Lao PDR: Library Week Promotes Knowledge Sharing and Information Access

March 27, 2012

VIENTIANE, March 27, 2012 “Today a Reader. Tomorrow a Leader”- is the theme of the 5th annual library week co-organized by the National University of Laos (NUOL) and the World Bank in Lao PDR. One of the goals of Library Week 2012 is to highlight the importance of access to information and optimal use of available information in studies, research, and decision making for all; students, teachers, researchers, journalists, and the public.

This year’s Library Week will feature the World Bank’s Open Data Initiative, a one-stop-shop for data that allows free access and use of the world's most comprehensive collection of data on developing economies. By simply logging on to, it is possible to get free and easy-to-navigate access to over 2,000 indicators from the Word Bank data sets.

This year’s activities encourage participants to make the most use of the wide array of information readily open, accessible, and searchable. “Since its launch, the Open Data Website has had 1.6 million page views and 80,000 downloads of data globally. Through this Library Week, we hope that more people in Laos will access and make use of the World Bank’s rich data resources. We hope that students and teachers take the opportunity to make use of the data and tools introduced to enrich teaching and learning. Data on its own is little or no use; the value of data increases exponentially when you share it, analyze it and use it. This is the main aim of the Open Data Initiative”, said Keiko Miwa, World Bank Country Manager in Lao PDR.

Under the theme “Today a Reader, Tomorrow a Leader”, this year’s Library Week will see participation and information sharing activities from libraries of NUOL, Development Partners, and youth organizations. Several presentations to enhance knowledge sharing will be conducted by partnering organizations during the three days, in addition to information displays, educational quizzes, trivia and a wide range of publications available to the public.

The opening ceremony was attended by Associate Professor Dr. Phetsamone Khounsavath, Vice President of the National University of Laos, Ms. Keiko Miwa, World Bank Country Manager in Lao PDR, teachers, students, international organizations, government counterparts, as well as mass and youth organizations. The event will be held on March 27-29, 2012 at the premises of Central Library at the National University of Laos in Vientiane. The Library Week will be open to students, teachers, and the public, aiming to promote knowledge sharing and information access, with particular focus to support research and educational activities.

“We are very pleased with the partnership between the National University of Laos and the World Bank”, said Associate Professor Dr. Phetsamone Khounsavath, Vice President of the National University of Laos, “it helps to provide quality academic resources and professional library services and meet increasing educational needs of our students and professors."

Library Week is part of a joint cooperation on Knowledge Sharing and Youth Initiative between the World Bank and the National University of Laos, established in 2007. Other activities under this partnership include the establishment of the InfoSpace at the Central Library of NUOL, a series of knowledge sharing seminars related to development, field visits to World Bank projects, and internship programs promoting knowledge sharing and increasing participation of teachers and students in shaping the development agenda.

Media Contacts
For The World Bank
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Tel : +856 21 450 010 fax: +856 21 414 210
For National University of Laos
Central Library
Tel : 021-770937