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News Focus- Recover from pandemic through social inclusion-based libraries - BeritAja

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Jakarta (BERITAJA.COM) - Data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS) in 2022 indicated that Indonesia's mean years of schooling stood at 8.69 years, or only until the junior high school level.

This situation is not adequate to make Indonesians to be competitive.

"Therefore, libraries must become public spaces, so that people can improve their knowledge and competency," Head of the Planning and Finance Bureau of the National Library (Perpusnas) Joko stated.

Through libraries, adult education can continue. Libraries become open public spaces for people to share experiences and improve competencies in their respective fields.

Perpusnas has the Social Inclusion-Based Library Transformation (TPBIS) Program that has been supported by the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) since 2018 and is aimed at creating a prosperous community.

highlighted that in order to achieve the goal, it does not only need to build a culture of literacy but also a literacy ecosystem. To this end, the role of stakeholders, including regional governments, is deemed necessary.

“Currently, libraries can be used as public spaces for the community to train contextually, (to improve) skills, competencies, and to share experiences. Thus, the books must be practical, pragmatic, and appropriate," he remarked.

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The success of the TPBIS program has been felt by people in several regions. For instance, a scavenger in Bali learnt how to make aromatherapy soap through a library and succeeded in improving both individual and familial welfare.

He affirmed that the success of the TPBIS program lies in the synergy team that has been formed. The synergy team comprises literacy activists, academicians, and regional offices that are supported by regional head decrees.

"One of the successes of the synergy team is that they succeeded in conducting advocacy regarding the use of village funds for library development," he explained.

He affirmed that consolidation, synergy, and coordination between stakeholders in the library sector, at both the central and regional levels, should be conducted intensely, so that libraries can play a strategic role in improving the community's welfare.

General Secretary of Perpusnas Ofy Sofiana stated that the essence of the TPBIS program is reducing poverty among marginalized communities by utilizing public libraries in regions across Indonesia.

The program is expected to continuously validate the position of libraries as the supporting sector in Indonesia's economic recovery.

"Libraries can become the supporting sector in economic recovery," Sofiana stressed.

Currently, the TPBIS program has been implemented in 296 districts and cities in 30 provinces. The number is still deemed inadequate, and the program has not reached villages in the country whose number reached 81,616.

Perpusnas has also conducted technical training for 1,804 regional library staff and 2,196 village library managers as well as trained 79 master trainers and 415 facilitators in regions.

As many as 2,133,918 people have participated in 85,776 community involvement activities in libraries. Moreover, the Independent Replication Program was conducted in 18 districts and cities and 1,125 villages.

"With the success of TPBIS in various regions, many other regions replicate the program independently, as it is deemed beneficial in improving the welfare of the community," she explained.

Head of Perpusnas Muhammad Syarif Bando stated that literacy skills are one's depth of knowledge on a particular subject that can be used to produce goods and services that can be utilized to compete at the dunia level.

Applied science books

Regional governments are encouraged to provide applied science books in libraries that can be utilized by the community in managing natural resources around them.

"Libraries, through applied science books, must be able to make the Indonesian nation a producer country," Bando remarked.

Currently, the TPBIS program has become a national priority program that has 450 village library partners in 2023. In January 2023, it was recorded that 1,661 training activities had been held with 70,165 participants.

Some examples of the activities are the counting course at Manokwari District Regional Library, Papua; computer course at the Kian Laut Village Library, East Seram District, Maluku; and the English course at Loang Malaka Village Library, Central Lombok District, West Nusa Tenggara.

A handicraft class has also been provided to people with disabilities at Salatiga City Library, Central Java.

Perpusnas is holding the 2023 National Library Coordination Meeting in Jakarta on March 6-7, 2023. The meeting is expected to generate policies and recommendations as well as plans for programs and activities in 2024.

The 2023 National Library Coordination Meeting is held with the theme of "Social Inclusion-Based Library Transformation for Community Welfare, Smart Solution of Post-COVID-19-Pandemic Economic Recovery."

Sofiana explained that the coordination meeting focuses on Perpusnas' efforts to strengthen the TPBIS program as a solution for post-pandemic economic recovery. Libraries are demanded to have innovation, creativity, design, and interactivity, as well as to change their mindset.

"The 2023 Rakornas is focusing on Perpusnas' efforts to strengthen the TPBIS program because this year, we are striving to revive from the COVID-19 pandemic impacts. Thus, the TPBIS program is needed for recovering (the economy of) the community," she remarked.

The meeting also features the launch of the BintangPusnas application, which is integrated with the Perpusnas super app to improve access and digital content of school and university libraries. The application is also aimed at supporting the Merdeka Belajar (Independent Learning) program of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology and the acceleration of library development.

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