On June 23rd, 2022, (Ashadh 9th 2079), a delegation of prominent librarians of Nepal consisting of ten librarians paid a courtesy visit to the Right Honourable President of Nepal Mrs. Vidya Devi Bhandari at her office. It was for the first time in the history of Nepalese library sector that the Head of state had granted an audience to a library sector team and taken keen interest in knowing about the present scenario of Libraries and Resource centers in the country as well as the role being played by the Government and relevant organizations to uplift their overall condition.
The 10 members' delegation team was led by the current president of Nepal Library Association (NLA) Mr. Indra Prasad Adhikari and coordinated by Mrs. Balika Giri, a literary journalist. The chief of the Nepal National Library Mr. Dashrath Mishra could not join the team. The complete list of the delegation team members is as follows:
1. Mr. Indra Prasad Adhikari - President, Nepal Library Association (NLA)
2. Mr. Murari Binod Pokhrel - Founder president of NLA
3. Mrs. Bina Vaidya - A veteran library scholar,
4. Mr. Bhola Kumar Shrestha - Former president of NLA
5. Mr. Juju Bhai Dangol - Founder member of Kathmandu Valley Public Library
6. Ms. Nira Manandhar - Head of the Dept, TU, Library and Information Sc. Dept.
7. Mrs. Gita Giri Thapa - Former president of NLA
8. Mr. Yadab Chandra Niroula - Undersecretary, Govt. of Nepal, MOEST
9. Mr. Bijaya Sharma - Library officer at TU Central Library, Kirtipur
10. Ms. Kendra Fombo - Chief librarian, Central Law Library, Jamal.
On the occasion, after a brief introduction of the delegation members, the President of Nepal Library Association Mr. I.P.Adhikari apprised the Rt. Honourable President Mrs. Bidya Devi Bhandari about the overall condition of Libraries in Nepal, their significant roles in increasing Information literacy of the people, and furnished suggestions about the necessity of a Library Act for the overall sustainable development of libraries. Mr. Yadab Chandra Niroula, the undersecretary of Ministry of Education, apprised the president of the help being extended to the public libraries by the ministry of Education. Similarly, Mr. Juju Bhai Dangol, the Founder member of Kathmandu Valley Public Library spoke about the present scenario of Public library system in Nepal. He also narrated the scenario of Presidential libraries in the USA as an example of how the developed nations give priorities to libraries in uplifting information literacy for nation building.
The Rt. Honourable President Bhandari told the librarians' delegation about her long time interest in meeting with them to get acquainted with the situation of Libraries and improvements being made in this sector. She told that manuscripts, books and other written documents are the intellectual heritage of the nation and instructed about the necessity of IT equipped libraries for raising education level and people's literacy for overall development of the nation. The President opined that a library should not be regarded as a non-profit making organization thereby overlooking their intangible and significant contribution in nation building. In addition, she pointed out the necessity of libraries right from the local level and primary schools level to help inculcate reading habit in people. She also disclosed her wish to turn the present Presidential building into a library after a new office building is constructed for the President.
The one and half hour program was run interactively and smoothly. The librarians' delegation team members answered the questions raised by the TV, Radio and print journalists. Earlier, prior to meeting the Rt. Honourable President, the team had also visited the library of the President's office premises and furnished advice to the library staff regarding improvement of the library.