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UNESCO presents publications for Bangkok's school and public libraries

12-07-2006 (Bangkok)
UNESCO presents publications for Bangkok's school and public libraries
Handbooks for supporting school library services and the development of librarians in schools supervised by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration were presented to Bangkok’s Governor Apirak Kosayodhin by Sheldon Shaeffer, Director of the UNESCO Bangkok Office, at a short ceremony on 30 June.
In all, over 2,000 copies of the UNESCO Public Library Manifesto, the IFLA/UNESCO School Library Manifesto, the IFLA School Library Guideline, and the Media Education Handbook were donated to schools under the supervision of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) so as to encourage the improvement of school library services and the development of school librarians.

Aiming at promoting the role of libraries in the emerging knowledge society, last year UNESCO supported a number of relevant activities including translation into the national languages of the Manifestos and Guideline.

Since their publication, the contents have been a subject of serious discussions among librarians in Lao PDR and Thailand where librarianship is not accorded the status it deserves in the societies. Crucial to the development of most libraries in Thailand are the policy makers’ awareness of the missions of the school and public libraries such as stated in the Manifestos. A quick look at the assignments given to school librarians reveals that despite their qualifications, librarians are often underestimated and underused.

The School Library Guideline helps to raise awareness among the school librarians themselves as to how they may influence school administrators to allocate greater attention and higher budget for all aspects of school library development. Those who have read the Manifestos and the Guideline agreed that they are useful publications which guide librarians in enhancing their roles. Moreover, librarians from BMA schools have shown interest in engaging more actively in the teaching-learning process as a way to develop information literacy among the students. Their enthusiasm prompted CI to bring the publications to the attention of senior education policy makers and top administrators of Bangkok.

In his statement, Mr. Shaeffer underlined the importance of libraries as gateway to information and knowledge, and of the role of librarians in supporting lifelong learning. He encouraged the Bangkok Governor to include information literacy and media education in the BMA’s education policy.

The Governor of Bangkok reiterated the BMA’s support to reading promotion and learning as may be testified by various ongoing projects. He also stressed that he would continue to pursue the plan for Bangkok to be nominated a World Book Capital despite the recent unsuccessful effort.

The BMA oversees 435 schools - with the combined student population of over 300,000 - and 35 public libraries. There are plans to establish more public libraries. It is expected that within the next few years there will be 100 public libraries throughout the Bangkok Metropolis.”
UNESCO presents publications for Bangkok's school and public libraries Mr. Sheldon Shaeffer with Mr. Apirak Kosayodhin
© UNESCO Office in Bangkok
Related themes/countries

      · Thailand
      · About UNESCO Libraries Portal
      · Libraries: News Archives 2006
      · Access to Information: News Archives 2006
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