Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

An Analytical Study of Some NGOs'/NPOs' Contributions by Promoting Library Activities at Disadvantageous Areas in Vietnam to Create Potential and Lifelong Learners

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

An Analytical Study of Some NGOs'/NPOs' Contributions by Promoting Library Activities at Disadvantageous Areas in Vietnam to Create Potential and Lifelong Learners

Article excerpt

Introduction: Contents and Study Questions

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are high-profile actors in the field of international development, both as providers of services to vulnerable individuals and communities and as campaigning policy advocates. According to Wikipedia, the acronym "NGO" was first used in 1945 when the UN was created. "NGO is an independent voluntary association of people acting together on a continuous basis for some common purpose other than achieving government office, making money or illegal activities" (Peter Willetts, 2012). Akira Iriye (2004) defines NGO as "a voluntary non-state, non-profit, non-religious, and non-military association." Streeten (1997) said, "NGOs are professionally-staffed organizations aiming at contributing to the reduction of human suffering and to the development of poor countries". NGO is also known as a civil society organization. On the other hand a non-profit organization (NPO) uses its extra funds for the purpose of the organization, rather than dividing it between the shareholders and the owners of the organization. "A nonprofit organization is an organization that uses surplus revenues to achieve its goals rather than distributing them as profit or dividends"- Wikipedia. Examples of NPOs are public arts organizations, trade unions and charitable organizations. NGOs and NPOs should become the source of inspiration for every government to respect and implement all vital human needs. The various governments of the world have at least one thing in common i.e. they all know that without people involvement in the solution of problems, the nation may deteriorate to the point of disintegration and self-annihilation. In fact, in countries where we have plenty of volunteers working through various NGOs and NPOs, we tend to discover less problems and less human suffering. Very fortunately, from the very outset, the United Nations has realized this tangible evidence and thus it proceeded to establish good rapport with several NGOs and NPOs. Over the past 60 years, since the United Nations came into existence, NGOs and NPOs have played a big role in the implementation of the peaceful objectives of this world body of nations. They do this in various ways such as by funding projects, engaging in service provision and capacity building, contributing to awareness, and promoting the self-organization of various groups (Baccaro, 2001) that obviously empowered the society towards its development. Empowerment is the ability of individuals to gain control socially, politically, economically and psychologically through (1) access to information, knowledge and skills; (2) decision making; and (3) individual self-efficacy, community participation, and perceived control (Zimmerman and Rappaport 1988).

Consonantly libraries have been identified as one of the key elements for open access to information, which is crucial to democratic information society development. The unique function of libraries is to acquire, organize, offer for use and preserve publicly available material irrespective of the form in which it is packaged (print, cassette, CD-ROM, network form) in such a way that, when it is needed, it can be found and put to use. No other institutions carry out this long-term, systematic work as libraries do. "A library is an instrument of self education, a means of knowledge and factual information, a centre of intellectual recreations and a beacon of enlightenment that provides accumulated preserved knowledge of civilization which consequently enriches one's mental vision and dignifies his habit, behavior, character, taste, attitude, conduct and outlook on life (Islam 2004)." The online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia describe the library as a place in which literary and artistic materials, such as books, periodicals newspapers, pamphlets, prints, records, and tapes, are kept for reading, reference, or lending. In a digital sense, a library may be more than a building that houses a collection of books and other materials as the Internet has opened up an avalanche of online and electronic resources for accessing documents on various fields of interest. …

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