Dr. Melinda dela Peña Bandalaria, University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) Chancellor, was one of the Learning Facilitators at the 3rd Convening of the International Network of Emerging Library Innovators (INELI) - Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Project held from 26 November to 1 December, 2017, in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s (BMGF) Global Libraries initiative, the INELI-ASEAN Project aims for the training of national/public librarians or innovators from the ASEAN member countries through e-learning. Its third and final convening was directed toward processing key learnings and innovators’ experience; conducting workshops on networking, collaboration, partnership, and strategies to sustain these projects; finalizing collaborative projects; and presenting best practices in public library innovations through a poster-paper presentation. The project’s primary goal, which is the establishment of the ASEAN Public Libraries Information Network (APLiN), saw fruition at the introduction of the 2017-2020 APLiN Executive Board, presentation of APLiN’s three-year Development Plans, and the launching of its website.

Chancellor Bandalaria led several workshops over the course of the six-day event, including sessions titled “Network Makes A Difference (The Value of Networks, Sustaining Networks, Partnership and Collaboration)”, “Strategic Planning/Workshop on the Sustainability of the Collaborative Projects”, and “Online Learning Modules Workshop (Processing, Analysis of Key Learning, etc.)”.

Overall, the event renewed and stabilized its focus on the building of a strong network of outstanding emerging library leaders who hold an equally strong vision for the future of public libraries in the region. The event was organized by the National Library of the Philippines and hosted by the National Library of Vietnam.