Mr. Selvamani V., (Thottiyam Branch Library, Tiruchirapalli), Mr. Mohanasundaram M., (Inam Branch Library, Karur) and Sairam A., (District Central Library, Thiruvannamalai) are the public library innovators recognised as community trailblazers. These librarians are recognised passionate innovators of the International Network of Emerging Library Innovators (INELI) of South Asia, is spearheaded by M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, since August 2015.
Recently, three of them have received accolades for their performance and were awarded a prestigious title “Best Librarian Award” (Thottiyam & Inam-Karur) and “Best Library Award” (Thiruvannamalai) from Honourable Shri. K.A. Sengottaiyan, Minister for School Education, Government of Tamil Nadu, Chennai for the year 2018-2019 on Thursday, 14th November 2019.
Each of the innovators have led the transformation of public libraries as lifelong knowledge learning centres, in alignment of UN-SDGs. Innovative services rendered were to diverse communities includes farmer, youth, children, students, women, senior citizens, transgenders, and many others. The diverse groups have continued access to various services such as training for competitive examinations- viz., Health camps; TNPSC; Banking and Recruitment and other online examinations; Yoga classes; Tele-health programmes, plant clinics for farmers; digital literacy for senior citizens; Climate literacy etc. The key thematic areas covered are in the area of Agriculture, Education, Health, Climate Action, Skill Development, and Culture and Heritage, in aligning with national priorities meeting the UN-SDGs of Zero Hunger; Good Health and Wellbeing; Quality Education; Decent Work and Economic Growth; Building Sustainable Cities and Communities; and Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.
The INELI-India and South Asia online learning Programme is a Global Library Model of the Gates Foundation that allowed each of them to bring positive transformation of their attitude, skills and knowledge. This learning is an opportunity to learn on redefining library spaces for its communities and integrate global trends, recognising public libraries are potential data hubs for building community inclusivity and resilience. Each of the trailblazers have enhanced the user access approximate of 4,500 communities’ to their libraries for various services during this period.