Lack of commitment among concerns faced by Library association

National 1 minute, 42 seconds


LACK of long-term commitments, time and understanding concerning voluntary work in libraries are among the challenges faced by the leaders of Brunei Darussalam Library Association (BLA) in luring youth’s participation.

This was shared yesterday by President of the Brunei Darussalam Library Association (BLA) Nellie Dato Paduka Hj Sunny when commenting on the challenges in motivating their volunteers.

Nellie said that some youth even asked her whether they will be getting financial benefits from their involvement in the BLA’s activities in developing reading and libraries. “Some don’t understand about volunteerism. This is an NGO (non-governmental organisation),” she said, adding that it is about voluntary work.

She said when she shared such issues with her foreign counterparts, the president of BLA said these barriers also happen in other countries and Brunei is no exception. “It’s so difficult to recruit the youth and to retain them. That’s the problem,” she said.

She stressed the importance of the love of the profession as librarians and sharing a sense of belonging to the development of libraries.

Currently, there are about 80 librarians registered under the BLA, while a total of librarians in the country are about 400.

In an effort to enhance the skills and knowledge of its members, BLA have been participating in workshops for librarians held in the country and abroad. Some of the workshops also provided them leadership skills.

Taking example, the NGO has participated in this year’s Building Strong Library Associations (BSLA) meeting in Manila, Philippines from May 30 to June 2. Representing Brunei was BLA president and BLA council member Amal Syukriyyah Hj Kahar.

Nellie said the event, which included workshops, practical activities and evaluation of the associations’ programmes, put emphasised on leadership and how to strengthen the library associations. “We share our experiences and best practices as well as learn from other participants about sustainability and advocacy,” she added.

She hoped that BLA can achieve its goal to be a recognised awarding body that maintains a high standard of professionalism among librarians.

The Brunei Times