Pre-CONSAL (Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians) Convening on the ASEAN Integration in Bangkok, Thailand

Theme: “ASEAN Integration: Cross Border Mobility of Librarians”

Date and Duration: 09 June 2015 ; 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Venue: Viva Garden Serviced Residences, Bangkok, Thailand

Contact Persons:

Mrs. Elizabeth R. Peralejo                                            Dr. Prachark Wattananusit

Immediate Past President                                           Vice President III

Philippine Librarians Association, Inc. (PLAI)                Thai Library Association (TLA)

                                          

    Background/Rationale

The ASEAN Community in 2015 envisions a region that is “outward looking, living in peace, stability and prosperity, bonded together in partnership in dynamic development and in a community of caring societies”. With 2015 already at hand, the 16th Meeting and General Conference of the Congress of Southeast Librarians (CONSAL) which will be held in Bangkok, Thailand from09 to 13 June 2015, aims to look into the possibility when all libraries and information centers cooperate in serving users as one standard ASEAN Library and Information Center, thus the theme : “ASEAN Aspirations: Libraries for Sustainable Advancement”.

One dimension of increased economic integration is the mobility of skilled labor, especially for highly-skilled professionals who will be able to move freely among ASEAN member countries. At present, several agreements are being worked out between government agencies and professional organizations among member countries to ensure the free flow of skilled labor. The successful implementation of these agreements is a move towards an effectively-managed, rights-based, policy environment in the region that can benefit both countries of origin and destination, as well as the migrants themselves.

In preparation for this event, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), through its Building Strong Library Associations (BSLA) program, has agreed to sponsor this Pre-CONSAL convening to give an opportunity for leaders of library associations and of the profession inSoutheast Asia to have a common understanding of the ASEAN Integration, particularly its Economic and Socio-Cultural  Communities, and discuss relevant issues specifically in relation to possible cross border mobility of librarians in the region.

      The main objectives of the Convening are:

  • To learn and understand the background of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and its effect on the practice of librarianship in the region.

  • To discuss common areas of concern, specifically on the following:

    • Requirements to practice the profession in selected ASEAN Member States (AMS)

    • Skills and competencies required of a library professional

    • Country restrictions for foreign professionals

  • To determine the role of the library associations in dealing with the so-called “ASEANization” of the profession and identify areas of mutual collaboration.

  • To strengthen library associations across the Southeast Asian region by sharing best practices, learning from each other, and working together

     Planned Activities:

The one-day program will focus on:

(1) A Brief on the ASEAN Economic Community and the Basis for Cross Border Mobility of Professionals (i.e., ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services, ASEAN Movement of Natural Persons, ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangements, and ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework);

(2) A Brief on the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community with emphasis on its Human Development element which involves:

(a) advancing and prioritizing education,

(b) investing in human resource development,

(c) promotion of decent work; and

(d) promoting Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

(3) Presentation by selected ASEAN countries on common areas of concern;

(4) Focused Group Discussions on the role of library associations in the ASEAN Integration.

The expected participants are a maximum of 30 individuals coming from member countries of CONSAL (i.e., members of the CONSAL Executive Board, other officers of library associations, other leaders in the library profession).

    The expected outputs are:

(1) An awareness of the challenges for the profession brought about by the AEC;

(2) Increased dialogue, understanding, and consensus among the CONSAL Executive Board members and  library associations in the region on how to proceed with this issue of cross-border mobility;

(3) Recommendations on areas of mutual collaboration through mutual recognition Agreements (MRAs);

(4) Repository of information on libraries and library associations, on skills and qualifications requirements in terms of the librarianship profession, and on laws and regulations to practice and work across the region which can be made available to the public for reference.