Libraries at the mosques tapped for more duties
MOSQUE libraries should expand beyond the traditional functions of reading and borrowing to include religious tests, performances and academic workshops, according to the Head of Library Section at the Language and Literature Bureau.
In a library workshop held yesterday for mosque committee members and officers across Belait, Head of the Library Section Hj Sahari Hj Nassar commended mosque libraries who have made full use of provided facilities to attract more people to improve their religious, cultural and academic knowledge.
“Many mosque libraries have been holding more activities, especially those catering to the young. There are storytelling, jawi and colouring competitions for the children and more specific talks and extra-classses to help students with public examinations from PSR to A-levels,” said Hj Sahari.
Hj Sahari addded that the Mosque Affairs Department has worked to supply examination papers from previous years for these extra classes, while also addressing physical and psychological preparations when sitting for tests.
“The classes, held for most subjects, help students identify the format of exams; patterns in questions asked and how to answer properly, so they won't be surprised by the test,” he said.
Meanwhile on the subject on sourcing books, Hj Sahari said that mosque libraries needed to meet the needs of all readers from young to old, which requires prudent budgeting and detailed planning.
“To avoid wastage and keep spending in check, one of the most basic steps is to make sure you are aware of the current inventory of book, to avoid purchasing unnecessary copies or republications,” he said.
Other budget friendly options include sourcing books through charity drives and exchanging with other libraries or government departments. He also advised librarians to seek out individuals willing to donate their book collection to the library for safe keeping.
“There are those in society who actually prefer to donate or wakaf their personal books for all to share and benefit from, and so any staff of the library should be looking for anyone willing to donate,” he said.
Yesterday's workshop was held at the Mohammad Jamalul Alam Mosque in Kuala Belait.
The Brunei Times