Match service with demand, Libraries told

National 2 minutes, 7 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

LIBRARIES are required to adapt their services and resources to meet the demands of academics and students.

Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) Assistant Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs) in his opening remarks during the 12th ASEAN University Network Inter-Library Online (AUNILO) said “Libraries, as the centre of academic institution, are expected to provide quality collections and resources to fulfill and satisfy the information savvy academics and students,” said Associate Professor Dr Mohammad Ayub Sadiq @ Lin Naing.

Elaborating on the subject, he said, the “shift from print to electronic resources has fundamentally impacted the library institution and its users. With the influx of resources such as e-journals, e-books, full-text databases, aggregated databases and others, the shift to electronic resources is rapidly changing libraries (and) the way it operates.”

Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) Library as well as its counterparts from other institutions were encountering the same challenges and through the meet have provided some feedback and advice including finding an alternative, cheaper yet similar resource and to use a pay per view options.

However, Ahmad Safwan Hj Jalil, UBD Librarian cum Liaison officer who represented UBD during a presentation session at the 12th ASEAN University Network Inter-Library Online (AUNILO) meeting, pointed out that the biggest challenge faced by libraries, education institutions and the government is the cost of providing access to scholarly resources which continue to rise in an unsustainable rate.

During his report, Ahmad Safwan said that the library has had to cancel some of their subscription leading to some of their online materials that they have once offered in the library to become inaccessible.

“It hurts the faculties and the university as a whole. Sometimes (students and academics) like that (online) journal but it’s not accessible now,” he added.

“We (also) have some cutback on our plans to buy new eBooks. That is one of the major hurdle (we are facing),” said Ahmad Safwan.

Ahmad Safwan said that the university is currently deciding the best approach to sustain their resources and are deliberating between a perpetuity or subscription approach.

To overcome the challenge of cost, Dr Mohammad Ayub Sadiq suggested using a huge network such as AUNILO to pool resources and expertise creating a platform where academics can process knowledge and readers can access and read this knowledge for free.

“Knowledge or education should not be expensive commodity for the development of all communities. It should be accessible by everyone, regardless if we are poor or rich.”

“Let’s look at the fundamental issues. With collaborative effort, nothing is impossible,”

The Brunei Times