• christinemackenzie

INELI – a growing movement

Over the past week INELI-Oceania and PLVN have been delighted to host 43 colleagues from INELI-India in Melbourne. It has been an enriching and rewarding experience and an important first step to knitting together the regional INELIs around the world. We were very pleased that Deborah Jacobs from Global Libraries, who was the instigator and visionary behind the project, was able to join us.

International Network of Library Innovators (INELI) is a project of the Global Libraries initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which since 2011 has provided emerging library leaders with opportunities to connect with each other - to explore new ideas, to experiment with new services and to learn from one another.

There were two cohorts of Global INELI and I was privileged to be a mentor for Cohort 1. It is testament to both the innovators themselves and the program that many are participating in and even driving regional INELIs and this new generation of librarians is beginning to make its mark in the library field.

INELI-Oceania was the first of the regional INELIs and is now almost halfway through the program for the second cohort. The program is supported by a number of peak library organisations in Australia and New Zealand and is guided by a Steering Committee representing local program partners and funders: ALIA, LIANZA, NSLA, State Library of Queensland, State Library Victoria, PLVN, Yarra Plenty Regional Library and Auckland Libraries. ALIA provides administrative support for the Program Manager. There were 16 innovators in Cohort 1 and 18 in Cohort 2 from Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific area.

INELI-India began in August 2015.The goal of the program is to develop leadership skills of public library professionals as innovators and to position libraries as critical community hubs for driving community development through information and knowledge services. The key objectives are to promote a network of emerging public library leaders, foster collaboration and partnerships among stakeholders across India for a vibrant public library movement in India. INELI India program is being implemented by M S Swaminathan Research Foundation and will build leadership capacity of 40 public librarians across India over a three-year period in two cohorts.

INELI-India participants visited 10 libraries in Melbourne and Geelong and built relationships with INELI-Oceania innovators, mentors and steering committee members. We are delighted they chose Melbourne to visit for their first international convening and know that this is the beginning of a rewarding and beneficial network that will grow and flourish into the future.

Photo credit: Leneve Jamieson, INELI-India at Geelong Library and Heritage Centre

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