The Barbara Ward Library and Documentation Centre (BWLDC) was established at CDSA in memory of the Late Barbara Ward who left an indelible mark in the field of development and environment, which had a great impact on the relationship between the so-called developing world and the developed countries.
The BWLDC is the most critical facilitative activity of CDSA. It collects, collates, classifies and disseminates knowledge and information. The analogue library already exists and is being computerised. This collection will be enhanced by the addition of a Digital Library to facilitate global information exchange in a quick, cheap and easy manner. Currently the BWLDC houses a collection of over 16,000 books and documents and subscribes to more than 100 journals and newsletters in subjects related to development issues, policies, plans and case studies, along with newspapers and magazines. It has been a depository library of the World Bank until the Bank changed its policy and gave depository status to only one regional library. It is a depository library for OECD, Intermediate Technology Group (UK), and various UN agencies such as the FAO and UNDP.
The Development Network
Apart from the existing library, the networking, communication and dissemination capacity of the BWLDC is enhanced by the publication of a quarterly journal “Development Network”. This provides a platform for dialogues to fulfill its aims of:
- Facilitation of learning and sharing process.
- Dissemination of information.
- Establishment of linkages among development organisations and individuals in order to share their views, ideas and experiences.
- Promotion of mutual co-operation among development agencies.
- Facilitation of development partners’ access to information source, institutional establishment, resource mobilization, and
- Enhancement in the spread of development approaches and strategies.
The Development Network at present caters to more than 1200 members comprising of voluntary agencies, local community groups, social workers, individuals, training and research institutions, and financing agencies including government departments. Over 300 NGOs from abroad also subscribe to the Quarterly. Member feedback indicates that it is an effective instrument for information dissemination regarding the grassroots level experiments in various approaches to development.
Along with the Development Network, CDSA wants to expand by starting a publications program that will publish books, technical papers and occasional papers written by the faculty, staff, and students as well as outside sources.
The library also has a documentation centre that documents significant case studies of successes and failures, which are an important resource as teaching materials. CDSA aims to expand and improve on the present facilities to remain up-to-date and effective in our methods of teaching as well as help us to build a comprehensive database and documentation of case studies for research and future studies.