MIRI: Libraries must always be made people-friendly even in this age of digital technology.
According to Curtin University Malaysia’s reference librarian (Library and Learning Commons section), Nora Hii, going digital did not mean completely foregoing traditional library processes. Rather, it could be used to complement and enhance traditional practices to improve a library’s effectiveness.
She said this in her talk entitled ‘Digital Initiatives in the Library Sector’ during the Local Authority Librarian Management workshop here recently.
The annual workshop, organised by the Community Education Unit of the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, was attended by the heads of all municipal libraries in the state.
Hii, who was the guest speaker, highlighted the advent of digital libraries and how Curtin Malaysia’s library has embraced new technologies and evolved from a traditional library to a modern one incorporating both conventional and digital library systems.
“In today’s technology-rich learning environment, we have to evolve with the times, to keep pace with new technologies and the preferences of library users. Ultimately, it is to make libraries more efficient and user-friendly, and to make learning and knowledge acquisition more conducive and engaging.”
Curtin’s library has invested substantially in eBooks, expanding its collection to over 420,000 titles, and users at Curtin’s international campuses in Malaysia, Dubai, Singapore and Mauritius have access to a considerably larger collection and other online resources at Curtin University’s library in Perth.
Curtin Malaysia’s library occupies about 16,100 square feet on three floors, and serves over 4,000 students and staff. It can accommodate over 700 users at any one time.
The library’s current collection consists of about 32,800 printed books, 4,300 audio-visual items, 500 print journals, 420,000 electronic books, 160,000 electronic journals and 600 online databases.
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