Libraries Needed To Be Redefined To Remain Relevant
By Nurul Haziqah Abdul Halim
Pix Shahiddan Saidi
BANGI, 2 Nov 2012 – The library in a university needed to be redefined with what it could offer considering every kind of information is now available at the click of a mouse.
Otherwise it could be rendered obsolete, said Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic and International Affairs) of The National University of Malaysia (UKM) Prof Datuk Dr Noor Azlan Ghazali today.
Prof Noor Azlan said as the heart of a university, the library in a university must make itself more relevant to the younger generation.
There is thus a need for the library to shift to modernisation, efficiency and transformation to make make itself relevant to the younger generations.
Opening the Culturisation of Knowledge Programme at the Tun Seri Lanang Library here today, Prof Noor Azlan said a university library is important for the continuous flow of academic growth and learning.
“Making the library more modern in terms of systems and tools and having its services faster is not enough. To make a transformation you have to redefine what a library is,” he said.
“With growing technology, the new generations will ask ‘why do I need to go to the library?’ That is a valid question considering that the new technologies allowed for information to be accessed quickly and easily over the internet.
“We are talking of the heart of the University. We have to make sure that it still keeps pumping so that people could feel its presence and say ‘we need you.’ ” Prof Noor Azlan said.
He suggested that a good first step is just some simple innovation like providing more efficient services to accommodate the needs of the customers or clients and to make them feel more comfortable thus encouraging them to go to the library more often.
“I know the library is doing well, I know they have a huge amount of collection of literary works but we have to do more. We have to offer more than that,” he said when opening the Culturisation of Knowledge Programme at the Tun Seri Lanang Library here today.
Prof Noor Azlan later presented the UKM Honorary Library Membership to four people for their donations to the Tun Seri Lanang Library including Prof Dr Ding Choo Ming for donating his personal collection of 3,000 books to the Tun Seri Lanang Library.
The other three receipients are Prof. Dr Sahbudin Shaari, Associate Prof Dr Bilkis Banu Shri Abd Aziz and the late Prof Dr Kasmiran Jumari, for their donations to the Library Endowment Fund.
Prof Noor Azlan also presented the Knowledge Lovers Awards to 13 undergraduate students, one from each of UKM’s faculties who have not only excelled in their studies but have been using the library effectively.