LRP Nominated in the University of Oxford’s Project Southeast Asia


Community Libraries as Third Spaces and Sustainable Development Tools in Southeast Asia

Quintin Jose Pastrana
Library Renewal Partnership

Quintin Jose Pastrana
Library Renewal Partnership

Suyin Liy
Asia Society

Community or public libraries serve as a strategic space and tool for development. Benefits to the community range from literacy advancement, to community cohesion, to lower criminality, and improved livelihood. In light of the escalating risks of climate change, libraries serve as an adjunct to adaptation strategies for local governments and communities as evacuation centres and gathering places for community dialogue and action. This workshop aims to understand the concept of 3rd spaces in the context of variegated cultures and governance structures, and share best practices across the region toward developing a conceptual and enterprise model for advancing community libraries and their benefits to communities and polities.

1) Can libraries provide a relevant role as Third Spaces in individual, different Southeast Asian nations and communities?
2) Is there a model that aligns with and adapts to different socio-cultural contexts and norms across the region?
3) What best practices can be shared and replicated, and what are the roles of different stakeholders in enabling this and similar initiatives?

1) Policy recommendations, 2) areas for further research 3) Candidate communities for intervention
Participant Details

Quintin Jose Pastrana

Founder and managing director of the Library Renewal Partnership (, a coalition of leading literacy providers in the government, civic, and private sector. LRP’s model is based on a paper developed at Oxford and applied in the Philippines, where over 100 libraries and communities have been developed and empowered. MSt Oxon, MPhil Cantab, MBA Georgetown.

Suyin Liy

Executive Director of the Asia Society – Manila Centre. Oversees public programmes in governance, economics, and culture in coordination with Asia Society offices in Indonesia, Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, and Mumbai. Asia Society has promoted public service programmes with multisectoral engagement, including the Library Renewal Partnership. MA UC Berkeley, BA Ateneo de Manila.


Paul Norcross
Phoenix Academy

Founder and principal, Phoenix Academy and its literacy partner, 7 Degrees of Change, which develops educational systems for charter schools and promotes literacy in both the United States and Southeast Asia. MBA, University of San Francisco.
Mr. Norcross will present best practices on literacy and public-private partnerships in the education sector in both developed and developing country settings given his experience as an educator and entrepreneur.


Milwida Guevarra
Ateneo de Manila School of Government

Lecturer on Public Finance and Governance at the Ateneo de Manila School of Government. Chair, Synergia Foundation, a leading social enteprise advancing literacy in the region. Phd Lyceum University, MSc University of Bath
Dr. Guevarra will provide theoretical and practical approaches for enabling and sustaining institutions such as public libraries particularly on development outcomes and pubic resource requirements and sourcing.


Ruth Equipaje

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