Local Leaders are Encouraged to Participate in Literacy for Welfare
Jakarta — Regional leaders are invited to work together with National Library of Indonesia in improving people's welfare through literacy. National Library of Indonesia through social inclusion-based library transformation program reaches the community, especially in rural areas, in obtaining quality information to improve quality of life.
Director of National Library, Muhammad Syarif Bando, stated that social inclusion-based library service transformation programme originated from concern for the problems of stagnant rural life. "That in fact, nearly 50 percent of our population there, in fact, need technical manuals for how to get out of the economic problems faced on the one hand, and build a spirit of motivation for them to change with a little knowledge that might be found in village library," he explained while giving a speech at National Level Peer Learning Meeting held online on Wednesday (2/12/2020).
Therefore, a helping hand and openness from regional leaders are needed to realise people's welfare through literacy. National Library of Indonesia acts as a companion and provides tutorials for the regions in order to gain insights to manage abundant potential resources around them. Syarif hopes that the stimulus provided by National Library of Indonesia will be responded by regional leaders.
This year, beneficiaries of social inclusion-based library transformation programme cover 32 provinces and 100 districts. Testimonies from beneficiaries who experience an increase in the quality of life after obtaining knowledge from library can motivate people to make library an open space for sharing knowledge, experiences, and practicing life skills. Deputy for Human, Community and Cultural Development of Ministry of National Development Planning/Bappenas Subandi revealed that currently, the progress of a nation is determined by its ability to manage and utilise literacy knowledge. He emphasised that people with high literacy levels are the main capital in building a knowledgeable society. "The progress of a nation is no longer determined by the wealth of natural resources and the low labour costs," he explained.
During Covid-19 pandemic, Subandi stated that village library could optimise its role as a centre for information and knowledge as well as a centre for community empowerment to move people to rise from adversity. He gave an example of Candil Village library in East Belitung. “I explored the deciduous forest area around the village library as well as got to know what we can call a nature library. With the concept of nature library, libraries want to introduce to the public that knowledge can not only be obtained from books but also from nature and our environment," he explained.
Meanwhile, Head of Expert Team of Ministry of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Areas and Transmigration, Haryono Suyono, stated that books and materials in the library must be selected according to the interests of the community. In addition, books should be able to be delivered to village, especially social institutions in the village, so that they can add knowledge and skills to the community. "I suggest that positive reading material be delivered to social institutions in the village. So that library becomes an agent of change for the nation and village community becomes a component of change," he said.
National Level Peer Learning Meeting was held in four locations or regions, namely Medan, Surabaya, Denpasar and Makassar. National Level Peer Learning Meeting was held to facilitate the process of mutual learning and sharing of experiences between libraries, motivating and building participants' confidence to continue implementing the work plan for the transformation of district and village libraries, and strengthening mentoring and monitoring process of district and village libraries.