BSLA Workshop Report


The historic Three- Day International Leadership Skills Training Workshop for Indian School Librarians was organised by School Library Association (India) in collaboration with the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), UN, Netherlands and G. D. Goenka University ( NCR, Gurgaon, Delhi). It was also supported by International Association of School Librarianship (IASL, USA) and the National Library of Singapore. The workshop was inaugurated at G D Goenka University, Gurgaon, Delhi on 4 October 2017.

Prof (Dr) Srihari, Vice Chancellor, G. D. Goenka University opened the programme by welcoming the guests. All the dignitaries were honoured by the Director, Principal, (Dr.) Neeta Bali by presenting bouquets. The organiser and coordinator of the project, Ms Madhu Bhargava, Dean of Libraries, G. D. Goenka World School presented the outline of the programme. Ms Ingrid Bon, Manager, Development Programmes, IFLA who was the chief guest at the inaugural session presented her thoughts on the importance of libraries.  Dr Ramesh C. Gaur, Librarian, Jawaharlal Nehru University delivered the key-note address followed by Dr Moorttimatee Samantray Rath, Head, LDD, NCERT, Mr Sanjay K. Bihani, Library & Information Officer, Ministry of External Affairs and IFLA Chair for Regional Standing Committee for Asia and Oceania, and Ms Amarjeet Gill,  National Library Board, Singapore.  Among other distinguished guests were Ms Tay Ai Chang, Deputy Chief Executive, National Library Board, Singapore and several heads of schools, Deans of G. D. Goenka University, Dr Suku Bhaskaran, Director, Dr Narendar Sharma, Assistant Registrar of G. D. Goenka World Institute were present as distinguished guests. Honourable guests presented their motivating thoughts on leadership and the importance of school library profession. The present endeavour was much appreciated. A pre-training study “School Libraries in India: A statistical Review” was released at the inaugural session by the chief guest, Ms Ingrid Bon. Dr Nitesh Bansal, Registrar, GD Goenka University felicitated the guests and vote of thanks was proposed by the Administrator, G. D. Goenka Education City, Major Kartikeya Sharma.


The workshop has been conceived as a Capacity Building Leadership Training Programme for School Librarians of India. School libraries and School Librarianship as a profession in India has not emerged as a major profession in spite of  having 1.5 million schools in India (according to a government report) It has been in an  isolated state  for long, consequently resulting in slow and professional development. The same has been the context to collaborate with IFLA in building Capacity for School Librarians of India.


Day 1 (05/10/17)

Day one started with a self introduction and by the trainers Ms Ingrid Bon and Pramila Gamage and an ice-breaking session of the participants. Participants were divided into five groups for the activities.

  • The Sessions started with team teaching technique to build the interest among the participants. The module on library /professional associations in society and the role of professional associations and how it differs from unions was discussed. Participants were encouraged to participate in group activities which helped to analyse the role of a Library association in any country.
  • In the afternoon session, components of Library association and how to form effective committees were discussed. Key leadership positions within a LA and its importance was highlighted. Associated   interactive sessions followed later on.
  • These were an eye opening sessions with clarity of objectives for establishing an association and its governing body. Each participant gave feedback on the sessions in one word and ended in collating twenty apt adjectives.

Day 2 (06/10/17)

Day two of the ‘Building Strong Library Association’ was extremely engaging day.It was a simulation day. After the review of the previous day, a shadow association was created by the participants under the guidance of trainers and throughout the day the team researched various successful library associations of the world and produced first draft on:

  • Vision and mission statements of the, to be born association.
  • Together they worked in groups on creating objectives and aims based on vision and mission.
  • The groups researched various successful associations of the world and worked in groups to define the vision and mission of a Library Association to come into existence. They also discussed different aspects of planning circles and stages. SWOT Analysis was conducted as an activity in groups to find out the strengths and limitations while forming associations.  Session also imparted how to define job roles and to manage people.

Afternoon session dealt with the planning terminologies, strategic plans, membership criteria on what, why and how.

The outcome of the day was strategic and operational plan and it was evident that together they are an excellent team to lead school librarians of 1.5 million schools of India.

Day 3 (7/10/2017)

A fruit bearing day indeed!  It was unimaginable for the participants that they have created policies, Standard operating procedures and de facto constitution of the School Library Association.

  • The team successfully defined vision and mission of the association.
  • Managing finance and budget
  • Fund raising plan
  • How to develop strategic relationships and partnerships
  • Election procedures

To conclude this workshop not only empowered the participants with the new skills to build an association but also helped them identifying their dormant skills which were honed well under the guidance of Ms Ingrid Bon and Ms Premila Gamage.


All good things come to an end for yet another to come. All the participants learnt practical aspects to begin an association on one hand and the other hand they were emotionally charged to meet one another face to face and to know each other.

A short and crisp valedictory programme was organised by the Coordinator, Ms Madhu Bhargava, Dean of Libraries, G. D. Goenka World School to distribute the certificates and mementos to participants.

Honourable Vice Chancellor, G. D. Goenka University, Prof. (Dr.) Shrihari welcomed the special guests, the trainers and participants. Bouquets were presented to the special guests.

A three day report was read out by the organiser and also participant of the project, Ms Madhu Bhargava.

Ms Ingrid Bon shared her experience as a trainer to the audience that the participants were eager learners so much so that she had to alter her training programme into advance one. She took pleasure in displaying the work executed by the workshop participants.

Dr. Neeta Bali, Director, Principal, G. D. Goenka World School, falicitated the Special Guests of the day, Dr R. K. Ahooja, Prof. Economics, Govt. College Gurgaon, Ms Sarita Ahooja, Headmistress, Delhi Public School, Maruti Kunj, Gurgaon. They also spoke good words for the accomplishment of the participants. Vote of thanks was proposed by the Administrator of G. D. Goenka Education City, Major Kartikeya Sharma.

Thereafter all the participants received the certificates sent by IFLA, Netherlands and mementos to mark the collaboration among IFLA, ISLA and G. D. Goenka University. The programme ended with National Anthem.

Compiled by: Madhu Bhargava, Head, ISLA Core Team & Dean of Libraries, G. D. Goenka World School

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