Source: Borneo Bulletin, Siti Hajar, 5 June 2012
With the Asean Community endeavour fast approaching with numerous agencies across Southeast Asia readying to realise the 2015 goals, the Brunei Darussalam Library Association (BLA) is also being kept busy in ensuring that the Abode of Peace makes a significant mark in contributing to the regional initiative.
Following the Third Meeting for the Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians (CONSAL) XV Executive Board and Conference in Bali, Indonesia recently, BLA President Nellie binti Dato Sunny told the Borneo Bulletin: “We want to enrich our libraries with more published materials as a means to ensure that people understand in greater depth ‘what Asean is’ from various perspectives, including economy, culture and heritage.
“The association is looking to enhance Asean-related publications and collections with limitless reference to the 10-member grouping,” she added.
The executive board meeting witnessed the launch of a Bruneian book produced in collaboration with Singapore and Malaysia entitled “Islam in Southeast Asia: A Cultural Bibliography”, said Nellie. The BLA is looking to produce another two books by 2015, in time for the next CONSAL meet in Thailand, she added.
A total of eight books published by the BLA, including six titles that had previously been introduced in the region, were launched in Hanoi, Vietnam. the recent publication, said Nellie, spans 300 pages containing “the best articles” with 300 prints distributed among country representatives. The remainder will make their way to local schools and government departments in the country, she said.
Although the world lives in an era in which such publications can be found on the World Wide Web, and despite the presence of library databases that are easily accessible, “there are articles that are not captured,” Nellie added.
She emphasised that books are still “the sort of tools that normal websites might miss”.
Those who will also benefit from such an initiative include students undergoing librarian training in two Brunei higher educational institutions that use, on the majority, material from countries that are not within the region.
“These students need references on books about Brunei,” she said. The BLA President further stressed the importance of having more Asean-centric premises when teaching such students.
Carrying the theme ‘National Heritage: Preservation and Dissemination’, the Executive Board Meeting was a four-day conference held from May 28. It was attended by more than 700 participants from Asean member countries. Brunei Darussalam presented a paper on Library Education by Hj Abu Bakar Hj Zainal.
Other Brunei delegates included those from Universiti Brunei Darussalam, the Language and Literature Bureau and other relevant agencies.