Myanmar Book Aid and Preservation Foundation
MBAPF was conceived by U Thaw Kaung and John Badgley in the 1990s as an institutional response to our national crisis in manuscript and book preservation. Badgley was curator of Cornell University’s eminent Southeast Asia Collection and U Thaw Kaung was Central Universities Librarian responsible for all university libraries. They focused MBAPF efforts on preservation projects until Myanmar was devastated in 2008 by Cyclone Nargis. Immediately thereafter U Thaw Kaung’s son, Dr. Thant Thaw Kaung, who had built Myanmar Book Centre into the country’s leading book importer, led the re-organization which to create a group of dedicated librarians, ICT experts and book lovers to promote education of the poor and give global knowledge to underserved population through-out Myanmar. He and his father helped Badgley create the U.S.-based Nargis Library Recovery. NLR gained exception to severe U.S. sanctions to create a new charity (later known as Myanmar Library Aid Foundation) to rebuild libraries and supply books. Hundreds of individuals and institutions responded including Thrift Books, the world’s largest online used book dealer, which pledged a million books in January 2009. In the following years MBAPF distributed them to over 900 public libraries throughout the country. Through funding from World Vision we rebuilt four dozen delta village libraries, then with funds raised by United Nations Women Guild and private donors MBAPF built four new libraries.
MBAPF conducted a nationwide landscape survey of public libraries in Myanmar by collaboration of The Asia Foundation in 2013. Much interesting data and information were collected, the survey became a useful tool for future works of MBAPF.
MBAPF engaged with Beyond Access group which is a consortium of Eleven Organization to modernize public libraries of Myanmar in 2013. Beyond Access Myanmar project was launched in November 2014 by collaboration with Ooredoo Myanmar, Beyond Access and Ministry of Information. First fifty five libraries were equipped with internet and tablets. Trainings on new library services, ICT for librarians and library leadership have been conducting since 2014. Additional 35 libraries were included in Beyond Access Myanmar project since February 2016.
MBAPF have been working closely with University of Washington on a project, “Information Strategies for Societies in Transition”. An impactful curriculum of mobile information literacy was received from University of Washington with the help of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Microsoft, Tableau and USAID. In January 2016, The Asia Foundation also joined in this project to sponsor for a symposium, Information Symposium which brought over two hundred people from different stakeholders to discuss information challenges and opportunities in Myanmar.
From 2014 onwards, MBAPF worked closely with Dariu Foundation which provided (7) mobile schools and donated 210 labtops to conduct ICT trainings to most needed communities of Myanmar. At present, MBAPF is implementing these mobile schools in Yangon, Ayeyarwady, Mandalay and Magwe Division to conduct training on basic ICT skills reaching to 6,000 people.
MBAPF became one of the leading civil society organizations which is supporting libraries with books, ICT and training in Myanmar.See more