As a part of Libraries Unlimited policy and advocacy strand, British Council is supporting the government of Bangladesh to develop a Vision Document to help them develop 21st-century public libraries. These modern libraries aspire to embed the country’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals and provide communities with access to information, knowledge and skills development.
To develop the Vision Document, the Libraries Unlimited team is organising a series of policy breakfast with IID as policy partner, with the aim of engaging high-level stakeholders to voice their opinions on policy issues identified through various activities of Libraries Unlimited. The first policy breakfast was held on 22 July 2017 at the Library in the British Council, titled ‘Wellbeing, Prosperity and Communities: Library services for women and families’, focused on encouraging more community engagement and how library services can bring in more women and children towards the libraries by equipping library facilities. The panellist included honourable State Minister for Women and Children Affairs of Bangladesh, Meher Afroz Chumki and Barbara Wickham, Director Bangladesh, British Council.
The second policy breakfast focused on ‘Digital, youth and employability: Role of a modern library’. High-level stakeholders brainstormed on how we can leverage Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) for socio-economic growth and employment in Bangladesh. ICT division of Bangladesh government and other organisations are already in the field and have taken several initiatives for developing technology based services industry. Sir Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive, British Council, attended the session along with participants from government, political parties, library professionals, academics, CSO/ NGOs, development partners and other relevant stakeholders.