Libro Futuro

In the library at the gates of Everest. Being a librarian in Nepal. Mario Coffa interviews Reshma Dangol

Intervista in italiano

Reshma Dangol is working with NLA (Nepal Library Association) team as a Joint Secretary. Currently she is working as a professional librarian in SAARC Secretariat  South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) established with the signing of the SAARC Charter in Dhaka on 8 December 1985. SAARC comprises of eight Member States: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The Secretariat of the Association was set up in Kathmandu on 17 January 1987.. She has working experience in different areas as academic librarian, special librarian, reference librarian and volunteered in different organization and involved in social services too. 

Reshma, can you briefly tell us about your work and what you do? But above all, what prompted you to choose this professional path? 

Thank you for giving me an opportunity for including me in your project. My passion is library. As librarians, we support the freedom to read. I have studied management, during my job I used to teach in the school where I usually stay in library for my works so I took the initiate to organize the school library in this way my career path has been enhanced. Further I have completed my masters in library and information science than I worked as a professional librarian in different academic library, reference library, medical library, special library, government library and get involvement in different projects, NGOs and INGOs, Associations. Now I feel fully satisfied to be a professional librarian. Librarians are the champion for right to access information for all people, regardless of race, creed, religion, or economic disposition.

Libraries are everyone’s university. These are some following works I have been handling:

  1. Maintenance of Library material / database.
  1. Organize the physical and digital resources of the library.
  2. Keep library database up-to-date
  3. To ensure the latest / current material is available and accessible for library


  1. Provide effective access to library collections and resources
  2. Perform cataloguing and classification of print, audio-visual and electronic resources
  3. Maintain special indexing systems and files for special collections
  4. Ensure an accurate inventory of resources
  5. Ensure efficient retrieval by users
  6. Maintain inventories, compile statistics and generate reports as required
  7. Provide assistance in locating materials
  8. Sort books, publications and files
  9. Enter cataloguing data into the library’s automated system
  10. Process resources for placement on shelf
  11. Managing reading lists
  12. Maintain records for the interlibrary loan service
  13. Maintain circulation files, records and statistics
  14. Provide relevant information to the library users
  15. Circulate, renew and discharge books and other materials.
  1. Procurement of books / publications etc.
  1. Liaise with suppliers
  2. Purchase of foreign publications, journals, pdf books, other resources as per


  1. Purchase of newspapers, journals, e-papers, e-magazines
  2. Order materials and maintain records for payment of invoices
  1. Disseminate of information
  1. Explore, display, disseminate and record SAARC –related news
  2. Respond to requests seeking information related to Library
  3. Prepare reports related to library, information and media services
  4. Provide essential information related to SAARC news within the Secretariat
  5. Translation of news as per requirement and order
  1. General
  1. Retrieve information from Regional Centers of SAARC related to Library
  2. To look after the educational visits for students requested by Schools in Nepal
  3. To organize and host the webinar, seminar and workshop for the secretariat


  1. To organize and manage the delegates who visits in the library.
  2. Conducting research about library and information science, knowledge areas
  3. Perform any other duties, assigned by the Secretariat. 

Work at SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) which has, among other purposes, that of promoting social progress and cultural development in the countries involved (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) . It is a very truly remarkable work: what can you tell us about it? 

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was established with the signing of the SAARC Charter in Dhaka on 8 December 1985. SAARC comprises of eight Member States: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The Secretariat of the Association was set up in Kathmandu on 17 January 1987. The objectives of the Association as outlined in the SAARC Charter are: to promote the welfare of the peoples of South Asia and to improve their quality of life; to accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region and to provide all individuals the opportunity to live in dignity and to realize their full potentials; to promote and strengthen collective self-reliance among the countries of South Asia; to contribute to mutual trust, understanding and appreciation of one another’s problems; to promote active collaboration and mutual assistance in the economic, social, cultural, technical and scientific fields; to strengthen cooperation with other developing countries; to strengthen cooperation among themselves in international forums on matters of common interests; and to cooperate with international and regional organizations with similar aims and purposes. Decisions at all levels are to be taken on the basis of unanimity; and bilateral and contentious issues are excluded from the deliberations of the Association.

Our Areas of cooperation’s are:

  1. Human Resources Development and Tourism
  2. Agriculture and Rural Development
  3. Environment, Natural Disasters and Biotechnology
  4. Economic, Trade and Finance
  5. Social Affairs
  6. Information & Poverty Alleviation
  7. Energy, Transport, Science & Technology
  8. Education, Security & Culture

What does it mean for you to be a librarian in Nepal?

For me a professional person trained in library science and engaged in library services and who is in charge of the library with a degree in library science, who administers or assists in a library is known as Librarian. He/ She is the intellectual and dynamic person to be as a librarian. As to be successful librarian, there are required several skills and qualities they should possess. These include strong listening and communication skills, creativity, analytical abilities, and interpersonal skills. IT abilities and knowledge are also becoming more important for librarians to possess, as digital databases and online research continues to expand. I have been enhancing library sector of Nepal by organizing different seminar, webinar and conference also providing trainings nationally and internationally. This library profession means a lot for me and this is my prime duty to promote and research in the information literacy for my country people and help individuals by using both databases for quality of reference sources. Further preserve and archive rare materials and ensure access to information. Now currently I am engage in planning, organizing and strategically managing the resources and conducting library programs and encouraging library profession of Nepal globally.

A curious question: I love Nepal, the land of great peaks and mountaineering. Have you ever had the opportunity to cross this theme in your work in the library or in your other professional activities?

Awesome and thank you for loving our country. I heartily welcome you to visit our country. Thank you for the question, during my career I feel fortunate to visit and explore and know their values, interests and skills. As you gain more experience and knowledge the process will begin more exciting and based on our research and input for the development of library and information science section. We have to conduct a self-assessment, create own search toolkit and campaign it to action adding to this engage in networking.

What did the COVID experience mean for the library sector in Nepal? Also in terms of digital, how are the services developed?

The pandemic spread of novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19 has significantly changes in every aspects of human life, including library profession. The Internet and web technologies have created a new strengthen to Nepalese libraries in research, teaching and learning even in this difficult time. The concept and practices of providing remote access of e resources by libraries is not new but the user friendly systems has been adopted by many libraries in this pandemic period. The library professionals are always active and prompt in providing resources made available by them for the users through digital movements like social media, emails, viber, whatsApp, LinkedIn, Facebook and others. Users may demand for an additional digital resource depends on their requirements. In my view, this pandemic period has provided an unique opportunity to build strong relationship with stakeholders and users and knowledge professionals and continuous learning innovative systems of digital approaches to build a strong digital platform for providing their services and adaptation of new technology to enhance library profession in Nepal. Digital knowledge and platform is playing a vital role in supporting our nation to settle into a new normal situation in library sector.

Mario would like to be a librarian when he grows up: what would you suggest to him?

Dear Friend Mario, you are doing amazing job and unique project. I wish you all the best and success in your each and every activity in promoting LIS sector globally. I am always there for any help and assistance required during your any projects and involvement of LIS subjects. Once again heartily congratulations for your great success and achievement on this project.



Mario Coffa
Mario Coffa
Mario Coffa archivista e bibliotecario, laureato in Conservazione dei Beni Culturali presso l’Università degli Studi di Perugia (2005) e diplomato in Archivistica e Paleografia presso la Scuola di Archivistica dell’Archivio Segreto Vaticano (2010). Dal 2010 Lavora per CAeB (Cooperativa Archivistica e Bibliotecaria) presso le biblioteche dell’Università di Perugia come bibliotecario e come archivista presso l'Archivio Storico del Comune di Gubbio. Si occupa di Biblioteche Digitali e formazione in ambito di biblioteconomia digitale. Nel 2014 membro del Comitato Esecutivo Regionale dell’Associazione Italiana Biblioteche (AIB) sezione Umbria, membro del gruppo AIB sul portfolio professionale e nel triennio 2017-2020 Presidente eletto di AIB Umbria. Dal 2020 membro dell'Osservatorio Formazione dell'Associazione Italiana Biblioteche. Autore di diversi articoli e interviste per Insula Europea sul tema degli archivi, delle biblioteche e del digital lending.