DBP to digitise local books

National 2 minutes, 9 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Language and Literature Bureau (DBP) is in the process of digitising local publications to make them more accessible to users outside of Brunei.

Mohd Azurin Othman, head of publications at DBP, said digitalising the books is one of the bureau’s move to improve the accessibility of the books and promote local literary works.

“This is our ongoing effort to promote local literature and publications to the outside world in line with the development of technologies as users can easily access these digitised books through their electronic devices,” he said in a recent interview.

As head of the project, Mohd Azurin said there will be two types of digital books - interactive children’s books and for academic or scholarly publications as e-books.

“As of now, we already have Nakhoda Manis as the prototype of the interactive children’s book which has animated images with voiceover to provide readers (children) with a real world story,” he said.

He said the Nakhoda Manis prototype will be equipped with 13 languages with seven of them already being translated, in collaboration with Universiti Brunei Darussalam’s Language Centre.

“So far we already have Nakhoda Manis being translated to English, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Tagolog, German and French languages,” said Mohd Azurin.

Other books that will be turned into digital forms will depend on aspects of their marketability and labour costs, he added.

Mohd Azurin did not provide a time frame of when the digital books will be completed, but said they will be available on the bureau’s Gerbang Bahasa website that is currently being upgraded.

In a separate interview, DBP’s Library Officer Emi Suryaney Hj Hipny said the library is now converting reference materials such as its index books and directories into digital forms.

The index books, directories and bibliographies contained information on local newspapers and previous publications in Brunei that are compiled by DBP’s library, she said.

She added that users can easily search for information on specific local publications and find materials related to their topic of research on DBP’s E-Library.

Emi said the online resources will be shared on the ASEAN Digital Library (ADL) portal that will be launched this May in Singapore.

“ADL is the sharing of metadata on digitised materials from Asean countries in which Brunei (for now) is sharing online index books, bibliographies and directories that are published by DBP’s library only,” she said.

Through this initiative, she said it can promote materials from Brunei that might be of interest to researchers from all over the world.

The Brunei Times