Communication technology development has helped change libraries in the past three decades. In the old days libraries had the main task to manage reference materials but now they changed into a learning site that provides librarians with experience and learning. Now, library can not only be visited physically but also virtually to get information.
Such things emerged in the seminar Libraries: Past, Present and Future on Thursday (15/3) at the University Club (UC) UGM, presenting Dady Rachmananta (Main Librarian, National Library), Dato Raslin bin Abu Bakar (Chief of Malaysian National Library) and Dr. Djoko Luknanto (Head of Education Development, Universitas Gadjah Mada).
Dady Rachmananta was optimistic with the establishment of Indonesian libraries that are based on IT with national mindset and global connections. The issuance of Law No 43 Year 2007 on Library has provided a stronghold for libraries in playing their role in the Unitary Republic of Indonesia. This started with the idea to establish an Indonesian cultural centre by President Soekarno in the early days of the Independence, namely the Merdeka Palace, the National Monument, the National Museum, the National Gallery, and National Library. “These showed the important role of a library as part of those that establish and maintain the culture of our beloved country,” he explained.
In its development, however, Dady said, through several decades there has been a negative stigma attached to libraries as being a deserted site, the minimal appreciation given to staff and incompetent human resources. But now, along with the IT developments, libraries have turned into a centre of information with positive image which is professionally managed.
Chairman of Malaysian National Library, Dato Raslin bin Abu Bakar, described that the Malaysian National Library has encouraged knowledge and reading among the community. To support this, the Malaysian Kingdom has established an Information School and Library to meet the demands for librarians for as many as 12,358 libraries in Malaysia. The National Library also focused on building village libraries connected to the Internet, reference materials digitalisation and monitoring libraries and the performance of librarians,
Dr. Djoko Luknanto said that libraries and librarians in Indonesia should start to use ICT more progressively to be able to deal with future challenges and be equal with other countries.
Djoko Luknanto said that partnership became the feature of current and future libraries to provide information for librarians. ICT became the hub that links global partnerships and it should be part of a library and librarians. “So, it is important to make big changes in libraries together, but it’s more important for librarians to start making small steps as a contribution to Indonesia,” he concluded.