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In this issue:

We are now getting closer to the 2018 World Library and Information Congress. The question is: are you getting ready? This May 2018 newsletter will provide you with practical information to help you make your decision: information on the early bird registration, a summary infographic of what happened in 2017, and the congress programme for you to explore what will happen this year.

If you are curious to know more about Kuala Lumpur’s history and what the city has to offer, as well as to have a better understanding of the WLIC 2018 theme, tagline and logo, we have included two great articles that give you further insight into these interesting topics.

In continuing to provide a taste of Malaysia’s libraries, we continue our Libraries in Focus section. This issue features school libraries: the Kolej Tunku Kurshiah’s School Resource Centre, the Sekolah Kebangsaan Bandar Anggerik School Resource Centre, and the Sekolah Menengah Agama Persekutuan Labu School Resource Centre.

Finally, learn more about the library and information field in Malaysia, through two articles about Malaysian Library and Information Science (LIS) Education: Fifty Golden Years of LIS Education in Malaysia and LIS Education at The University of Malaya.
Have you registered for 2018 WLIC yet? Be an early bird and save!
Early bird registration ends on 15 May, be sure not to miss it and register now!

As we’re getting closer to the 2018 World Library and Information Congress, please remember that the deadline to register at the lower cost, Early Registration rate, is 15 May 2018 (24:00 CET).

Make sure to not miss out on the discounted rates for you and your colleagues by booking now!

Check the Registration Information in the WLIC website for more details.
Still not sure if attending the congress is a good idea? Check out what happened at last year’s WLIC in Wrocław, Poland

If you’re looking for a truly international experience to learn, develop, network and make friends for life, IFLA’s flagship event is the place to be! 

You’ve heard before that the IFLA WLIC is a one-of-a-kind library and information international event, check our WLIC 2017 statistics infographic and learn why:

Congress Programme now available: Start planning your week in Kuala Lumpur!

Time to start planning your week in Kuala Lumpur! The Congress Programme is now available online. You can customise your own itinerary and choose from a variety of export formats, including: Adobe PDF, MS Word, or as an iCalendar (.ics) export for MS Outlook.

There is a wide array of innovative and thought-provoking themes this year, such as:
  • Video Games: Winning strategies for libraries
  • Designing inclusive libraries
  • Librarian Fashion: What does the way we dress say about us?
  • Sanctuaries in the city: the public library as a safe space
  • National Bibliographies: Forging a Path to Access to Information
Full details of all papers and speakers will be entered in the coming weeks, so be sure to check back for the sessions of your interest.
Did you know? Learn how the IFLA WLIC 2018 Theme, Tagline and Logo were conceived
By IFLA WLIC 2018 National Council
Every year, IFLA’s World Library and Information Congress takes place in a different part of the world, across all five continents, leveraging the richness of cultural diversity, and allowing for a deeper dive into other countries’ cultural heritage and library and information community.
The WLIC Theme, Tagline and Logo is a great way to summarise and show WLIC delegates what is unique about each destination. See below how this looks like for WLIC 2018:


Transform Libraries, Transform Societies
The critical role played by libraries in the west and in the east in the development of a nation lies in their ability to transform societies that make the nation. Like many other countries, Malaysia is guided by five National Key Performing Indicators (KPIs) underlying its national development plan, and libraries are expected to contribute towards the achievement of the national KPIs via their niche area as expressed in the National Library of Malaysia’s policy statement – ‘Towards developing a [Malaysian] society that is characterised by a reading and knowledge culture, by 2020’ (Translation).
Since Malaysia is a multinational and multicultural country blending the various traditions and beliefs of the Malays, Chinese, Indians, Dayak, Iban, Dusun, Kadazan, Bajau, Melanau and ‘Orang Asli’, underlying diversity is a common guiding principle of nation building which is --- develop a strong family, develop strong communities, develop a strong society, and finally, develop a strong nation. It is easy to see why libraries in this part of the world play a significant role in national development by developing families and communities that are literate and knowledgeable. All types of libraries therefore, with their focus on their specific communities, have the unique advantage of being able to help transform societies.
In this digital age, libraries in Malaysia are undergoing transformation—developing digital libraries, upgrading professional competencies, undertaking innovative programmes and activities, reviewing library education curricula, embarking on community projects as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes, etc., to ensure that libraries remain relevant against the competing roles of Internet and other social media.
Recently too, there is a trend among local libraries and within PPM (Librarians Association of Malaysia) to initiate a move from information management activities to knowledge management activities—shifting from a passive role of ordering and loaning books to be directly involved in the knowledge- based activities of their organisations.
We hope that this theme can be applied globally to WLIC 2018 because it would be interesting to know how other countries contribute towards the transformation of their societies through their libraries.
Reaching Out to the Hard to Reach
Transforming Malaysian society is fraught with challenges. Malaysia’s society is not homogeneous. It is vastly multiracial, multireligious and multilingual, with an urban–rural dichotomy, rich-poor socio-economic divide, with varying literacy ability levels, obvious digital and information divides, etc. These are challenges faced in transforming libraries and societies in Malaysia. It would be interesting to know how other countries fare.
The IFLA WLIC 2018 logo has incorporated the Petronas Twin Towers and the red Hibiscus rosa-sinensis in the background.

Petronas Twin Towers: The Petronas Towers, also known as the Petronas Twin Towers (or in the Malay Language: Menara Petronas, or Menara Berkembar Petronas), are twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur. According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH)'s official definition and ranking, the Petronas Twin Towers were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 and remain the tallest twin towers in the world.
The towers were designed by Argentine architect Cesar Pelli to create a 21st-century icon for Kuala Lumpur. Soaring to a height of 451.9 metres, the 88-storey twin structure is Kuala Lumpur's crown jewel and is majestic by day and dazzling at night. The towers also feature a double decker skybridge connecting the two towers on the 41st and 42nd floors, which is the highest 2-story bridge in the world.
Thus, the Petronas Twin Towers is aptly portrayed in the IFLA WLIC 2018 logo as an international icon which powerfully captures the nation’s ambition and aspiration to be a global player and is synonymous with Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia at large. Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) also use the Petronas Twin Towers in their logo.
Red Hibiscus rosa-sinensis: The Hibiscus rosa-sinensis or bunga raya in the Malay Language was declared by the Government of Malaysia on 28 July 1960 to be the national flower of Malaysia. The word bunga in Malay means ‘flower’, whilst raya in Malay means ‘big’. The hibiscus is literally known as the ‘big flower’ in Malay.
The red petals symbolize the courage, life, and rapid growth of Malaysia as well as the political and economic stability of the country. The five petals represent the five Rukun Negara or National Principles of Malaysia, the objective of which is to create harmony and unity among the various races in Malaysia. The five National Principles are Belief in God; Loyalty to King and Country; Upholding the Constitution; Rule of Law and Good Behaviour and Morality.
The hibiscus is imprinted on the notes and coins of the Malaysian currency; in the Tourism Malaysia Logo; and it was also used for the Commonwealth Games logo held in Kuala Lumpur in 1998. Thus, it is appropriate that the Hibiscus rosa-sinensis be incorporated in the logo of an international event such as the IFLA WLIC 2018.
The Curve: The black curve represents the strength and fortitude of the Malaysian people upon whose shoulders rest the challenges of nation building.
Colour used for the wording in the Logo: Red represents a strong and vibrant multicultural society, with the various races living in harmony, reflecting unity in diversity.
About the Designer
The designer is Mohd. Tarmizi Kamson, who has vast experience in the field of graphic art and design as exponent and teacher. His art contributions have been associated with exhibitions in different fields, drama performances, publicity programmes, publications, among others, in the private, corporate and public sector. In his career within the public service, he worked for such different organizations as RTM (RadioTelevisyen Malaysia), MATRADE (Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation), and PNM (National Library of Malaysia).
Specific significant events in which he has contributed his expertise, at the departmental, national, and international levels, include the ASEAN Day Celebrations 2005; Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme 2013; and billboard design for Kemerdekaan Malaysia ke 50 [Malaysia: 50th Independence Anniversary]. In addition, he has designed for many events in the library and information fields.
Apart from the IFLA WLIC 2018 logo, he has also designed logos for the following, among many others:
  • Kelab Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia [National Library of Malaysia Club]
  • U-Pustaka - Perkhidmatan pinjaman buku dan maklumat keilmuan [U-Pustaka – Knowledgeable Book and Information Borrowing Service]
  • Anugerah Buku PNM-RTM 2013 IDLC 2014 [Book Award PNM-RTM 2013]
  • International Digital Library Conference (IDLC) 2014
  • e-Resources @ PNM.
His digital initiatives include designs for ‘Sirih Pinang’, a symbol of the Malay heritage; ‘Tsunami’; and for Malaysian postage stamps.

It is hoped that the symbolism embedded in the Logo augurs well for the forthcoming Congress; and that the theme and tagline will encourage discussions that address today’s issues for the future benefit of LIS professionals and their clientele worldwide.
Kuala Lumpur Past and Present
By Linda Yip
PPM Member
When Yap Ah Loy, a migrant from Southern China, first chanced upon Kuala Lumpur in the 19th century, he found a sleepy town of Malay, Bugis, Javanese, Indian, Chinese and other communities nestled around the muddy confluence of the Klang and Gombak Rivers.
          Masjid Jamek of the Past                                            Masjid Jamek Today
         Courtesy of                             Courtesy of Ghazali Mohd. Fadzil
Under Yap Ah Loy as Kapitan Cina (Chinese Leader) and subsequent Chinese Leaders, the British and post-Independence Malaysian governments, the town soon grew at a rapid pace to become the vibrant cultural and commercial centre of today.
Today, walking along the streets of KL (as Kuala Lumpur is fondly known), we come across sites which are reflective of those days gone by – the Masjid Jamek or Jamek Mosque at the river confluence, Sin Sze Si Ya Temple, Gurdwara Sahib Polis, Sri Mahamariamman Temple – all in Chinatown. Masjid India is located in Little India and the churches, including St Mary’s Cathedral and St John’s Cathedral, are dotted around KL where the British colonials congregated. In Kampung Baru, the Malay village bonhomie spirit is still to be found.
The entrances to the Sin Sze Si Ya Temple are obscured by the shophouses around but once found, the Temple will reveal an altar to Yap Ah Loy who was deified as its founder.
         Sin Sze Si Ya Temple                                                                      Sin Sze Si Ya Temple
         Courtesy of Ghazali Mohd. Fadzil                                                Courtesy of Linda Yip
Every Thaipusam, the statue of the Hindu deity Lord Murugan is transported on foot from the magnificent Sri Mahamariamman Temple to the Sri Subramaniar Swamy Temple in Batu Caves 15 kilometres away. A little-known fact is that the pipe organ in St Mary’s Cathedral is rebuilt from a second-hand one made in 1898 by Henry Willis who also built the organ of St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
            Sri Mahamariamman Temple                             St.Mary's Cathedral
                Courtesy of Ghazali Mohd. Fadzil                      Courtesy of Ghazali Mohd. Fadzil
KL's colonial past is preserved around the Dataran Merdeka (Merdeka Square) vicinity. Around the Square and further along Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin which are representative of the Neo-Mughal architectural styles, include the Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad, the Railway Station and the Railway Administration Building. The mock-Tudor building across from St Mary’s Cathedral is the Royal Selangor Club, a sporting club founded in 1884. The Club was purportedly instrumental in the naming of the Hash Hound Harriers (H3), an international network of non-competitive social running groups founded in KL in 1938. Celebrating 80 years of existence this year, the H3 is planning a Homecoming Celebration Run on 14 -16 September in KL.
           Royal Selangor Club                                                The Old Railway Station
           Courtesy of Linda Yip                                               Courtesy of Ghazali Mohd. Fadzil
For those who are nostalgic for the old days, do check out the website and search the Internet for Heritage Walks around various neighbourhoods. The cost-free GOKL bus plies along routes where these landmarks are situated. See
Remnants of the past can also be found in specific relics such as the Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman, a Malay wooden house on stilts, built without nails. The house is preserved as a tribute to building heritage by the Badan Warisan (Heritage Trust) Malaysia.

          Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman
          Courtesy of Badan Warisan Malaysia

Another neighbourhood which is being regenerated is The Row and its surroundings. All around, the pre-war shophouses are being converted to boutique hotels, food and beverage outlets and retail shops. Hidden along The Row is Peter Hoe Evolution+Beyond, a one-of-a-kind shop selling fabric, clothes, soft furnishings, household items and gift items. Read about Peter Hoe in the Malaysian daily Malay Mail, 26 September 2016 article below.

          Peter Hoe at The Row
          Courtesy of Lam Pek Tho and Linda Yip

A veritable institution which has survived since 1928 is Yut Kee at No. 1 Jalan Kamunting, a restaurant serving traditional Hainanese fare. KLites who used to breakfast or lunch at Yut Kee often now bring their children or grandchildren to share their fond memories of the ambience and the food! In and around KL, one can also experience rubber tapping, batik painting, and hiking. Have a glimpse of the tin-mining days at Selangor Pewter Visitor Centre and see how pewter items are made. In fact, a visitor can also have a hand at making pewterware at The School of Hard Knocks. (  
Food was and still is a rallying point for the communities, evolving into a Malaysian cuisine which is truly unique. The ethnic influences are found in many of the local cuisine - Malay or Chinese Chicken Rice; Chinese, Malay or Indian Fried Noodles; Malay or Chinese Fried Rice; Soup Noodles such as Laksa Johor, Assam Laksa, Beef Noodles, Prawn Noodles, Soto Ayam, Lontong. These are just a selection of the vast array of food that is Malaysian. Sampling of these food can also be found in the food courts at most of the shopping malls.
In Chinatown, there is a quaint little eatery called Ali, Muthu and Ah Hock, which can offer a Malaysian food experience at a one-stop venue.  This place is within walking distance of the LRT or MRT Pasar Seni stations.  The GOKL bus also stops at the Pasar Seni station.
                             Ali, Muthu and Ah Hock                                              Old China Cafe
                             Courtesy of Linda Yip                                                   Courtesy of Linda Yip
Next door is The Old China Café, its interior evocative of pre-war Malaya, which serves Peranakan (Straits Chinese) cuisine. See
Indeed, there is more to KL that meets the eye or what is revealed in the tourist literature.  While efforts are being made to make KL more liveable, one hopes that efforts are also made to conserve what is left of the past.
Libraries in Focus:

School Libraries in Malaysia
As late as the mid-1970s, school library development, not just in Malaysia but in Southeast Asia in general, was described as being ‘depressing’ (Wijasuriya et al., p. 102). Most students in Malaysia’s rural schools had nothing beyond their textbooks as reading materials. Mission schools run by various Christian groups in the big cities did have library collections. With rare exceptions, collections were small, titles were mainly in the arts, and certainly not specifically planned for their student cohorts. The better libraries might have possessed abridged works by Shakespeare, some works by Jane Austen and the Arthurian tales of Thomas Mallory. The better-funded government schools for boys, located only in a few state capitals, such as the Victoria Institution in Kuala Lumpur, the Penang Free School and the Anderson School in Ipoh, were those that had proper libraries, with specified funding, space, and bookshelves, run by student library committees under the guidance of teacher-advisors.
In the post-Independence period, the newly-established Ministry of Education showed ‘a continuing concern for the development of school libraries (Wijasuriya et al., p. 43). Over the years, this concern was to translate into action, whereby thousands of school libraries were set up; and no new school was built without a library being included in the plans. Malaysia is among the rare handful of countries in the world, where, for decades after Independence, the annual budget allocation for education (in recent years for the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education) exceeded that of most other ministries, including the Ministry of Defence (Malaysia, Ministry of Finance). The school libraries featured in this issue are that of the following three schools.
  • Tunku Kurshiah College:An all girls' school that has a long history and has been relocated from Seremban town to the town of Bandar Enstek.
  • Sekolah Kebangsaan Bandar Anggerik:A National-type co-ed school centrally located in the city of Shah Alam.
  • Sekolah Menengah Agama Persekutuan Labu:A secondary religious school in the town of Labu.
Lim, Edward Huck Tee, Libraries in West Malaysia and Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, University of Malaya Library, 1970.
Malaysia, Kementerian Kewangan [Ministry of Finance]. Annual Budget.
Wijasuriya, D.E.K., Lim, [Edward] Huck Tee & Radha Nadarajah, The Barefoot Librarian: Library Developments in Southeast Asia with Special Reference to Malaysia, London, Clive Bingley, 1975.
The Development of Kolej Tunku Kurshiah’s School Resource Centre
By Wong Siew Chin
Library and Media Teacher, Kolej Tunku Kurshiah, Bandar Enstek, Seremban
The establishment of Kolej Tunku Kurshiah’s School Resource Centre or Pusat Sumber Sekolah (PSS) is synonymous with the establishment of Tunku Kurshiah College (TKC) or Kolej Tunku Kurshiah (KTK). Initially, the PSS was located in the administrative building. In Bukit Merbah, Seremban, the PSS was located beside the Teachers’ Room. However, in 1997, the PSS was relocated to the Science Laboratory Block and placed next to the surau [prayer room]. The Old Girls’ Association (OGA) of KTK donated RM 200,000 to upgrade the library in 1998.
On the initiative of the Principal, Mrs Rokiah Hj. Alias and Senior Assistant 1, Hajah Rusnawi Ibrahim, a PSS concept known as PSS Decentralization was introduced in 1999. In line with this new concept, KTK’s PSS had 18 special rooms. Among the special rooms were the Central PSS Room (BBM), Library, Multimedia Room (ASTRO viewing), SALC Room, AKSES Centre, Technology Park, Teachers’ Computer Room (CTRU), Editing Room, TKC Radio Room and rooms for third languages.
In 2009, PSS was relocated to a new block near the school field. The PSS was more conducive since it had a better air conditioning system. The International Languages Room and the Educational Technology Room were also relocated to the same block. At the end of 2012, the PSS was once again relocated to the new campus in Bandar Enstek together with the school’s relocation.
In 2014, the Parent-Teacher Association or Persatuan Ibu Bapa dan Guru (PIBG) was successful in getting a donor to contribute RM1,000,000 for a project to upgrade the PSS based on the concept of a new millennium PSS. More computers were acquired for information literacy through sponsorships from private parties such as GasMalaysia and Affin Hwang Capital in 2015. Funds were also provided by alumni, Old Girls Association (OGA) under Tan Sri Rafeah Salim to equip the Access Centre Room with new flooring, air conditioners and extra power points.
          The upper floor of the PSS
          Courtesy of Kolej Tunku Kurshiah
          Computers for Information literacy
          Courtesy of Kolej Tunku Kurshiah
The PSS now is fully operational and receives both local and international visitors for knowledge sharing. On 12 August 2015, PSS Kolej Tunku Kurshiah participated in the PSS Cemerlang Peringkat Kebangsaan, a competition for the most excellent school resource centre in Malaysia.
PSS TKC focused on reading activities among students and has produced many national level Tokoh Nilam since 2004. Kurshiah Reads Programme was one of the activities to inculcate the reading habit among students in TKC.
PSS has also helped the School to apply 21st century virtual teaching and learning methods by using a variety of information searching technology. In 2017, TKC was recognized as an Apple Distinguished School for its strength in innovation, leadership and educational excellence.
          Leisure reading area
          Courtesy of Kolej Tunku Kurshiah
          Apple Distinguished School’ Award ceremony
          Courtesy of Kolej Tunku Kurshiah
Editorial Note: Kolej Tunku Kurshiah Resource Centre is on the IFLA WLIC 2018 Non-Local Library Visit 2
The Sekolah Kebangsaan Bandar Anggerik School Resource Centre (Shah Alam, Selangor)
By Astura binti Abu Bakar
Library and Media Teacher, Sekolah Kebangsaan Bandar Anggerik, Sekolah Cluster Kecemerlangan, Shah Alam
The School
Sekolah Kebangsaan Bandar Anggerik was formally instituted in 1997 and was fully operational from 1 April 1997. The school initially operated from four blocks of buildings with a strength of 81 teachers and four support staff, and an enrolment of 1,462 students. The original name of the School was Sekolah Kebangsaan Seksyen 6(2) but it is now known as Sekolah Kebangsaan Bandar Anggerik; this is more appropriate as the school is located in the centre of the city of Shah Alam, which is also known as ‘Bandar Anggerik’ or ‘City of Orchids’.
The School Resource Centre
The School’s Resource Centre was established in July 1997, two months after the School was established with the motto ‘Buku Pemangkin Ilmu’, or ‘Books: Catalyst of Knowledge’.
The Centre is located on level 3 of Block B. Adjacent to the Centre is the APD Room which is used for viewing educational TV. The equipment room (ABM) was originally located at Bilik Bunga Raya on level 2 of Block A but was later relocated next to the Resource Centre. The APD Room was relocated to Dewan Anggerik.
          Year 4 and 5 students attending a creative writing workshop
          Courtesy of Sekolah Kebangsaan Bandar Anggerik
          Students showing books they had purchased
          Courtesy of Sekolah Kebangsaan Bandar Anggerik
In 2000, the Resource Centre participated in the Competition for the Management of School Resource Centres, but Petaling District was not placed. The Resource Centre was not daunted but continued participating in such competitions and won several awards at the district, state and national levels. These wins are in line with its mission: bertekad dan berazam menjadikan Pusat Sumber cekap dan cepat dalam budaya kerja ke arah kecemerlangan, which translates as: determined and resolved to be a Resource Centre that is efficient and quick in its work culture towards excellence.

Client Charter
a) Increase the level of teaching and learning as well as increasing the performance level of academic schools.
b) Provide good services to the School’s community to inculcate interest e Resource Centre.
c) Inculcate good values in the students so that the School can produce students who are excellent in both academic and social environments.
d) Establish a conducive environment for learning.
e) Encourage students and teachers to use various teaching and learning facilities so that they do not rely solely on text materials, and the ‘chalk and talk’ method.
f) Inculcate the habit of self-reliance and independent learning among students in preparation for their move to secondary schools or institutions of higher education.
g) Provide teaching and learning processes that are more enjoyable.
h) Establish a two-way communication between the School and the parent-teacher association.
i) Provide additional materials for students to acquire as much knowledge as possible in their examination preparations.
j) Take zero-defect measures to tackle the problem of illiteracy among students.
          Inculcating the reading culture among children from the Orang Asli [aborigine] community
          Courtesy of Sekolah Kebangsaan Bandar Anggerik
Editorial Note: Sekolah Kebangsaan Bandar Anggerik Resource Centre is on the IFLA WLIC 2018 Local Library Visit 10
The Sekolah Menengah Agama Persekutuan Labu School Resource Centre (Seremban, Negeri Sembilan)
By Hasbullah bin Idris
Teacher Librarian, Sekolah Menengah Agama Persekutuan Labu, Seremban, Negeri Sembilan


Sekolah Menengah Agama Persekutuan Labu (SMAP) is one of several prestigious boarding schools in Malaysia. It was known for its tremendous achievement and capability to produce professionals in every field with ‘iklim dini’ [education based on Islam] as the core of the School’s curriculum. The recent Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia [at the Form Five level] showed extremely good results when, for the first time since its establishment, the School managed to be among the top ten fully-residential schools in Malaysia.
The School’s Resource Centre or SMAPL has participated in both local and international competitions with commendable achievements to date. To maintain these significant achievements, the Resource Centre has unceasingly organized activities for the students, teachers and staff to ensure that the philosophy of reaching out to the hard to reach becomes a success.
In 2018, the focus of the Resource Centre is not only to increase the book collection and get as many people as possible to use the Centre, but also to nurture leadership among the student librarians. The first move was made in 2017 when all student librarians had to undergo two workshops to enhance their skills, understand their responsibilities, and deepen their knowledge regarding library operation.


Organization of Information
The first task carried out was the organization of information. Classes for student librarians, library assistants and teachers were held for a month on Saturdays from 9am to 11am. Students were taught to understand the use of, and interpret, the Cataloguing in Publication (CIP), use several websites for copy cataloguing and the basics of descriptive cataloguing. The students were then given a number of books to process and they were able to do this successfully. Student librarians are now able to assist the library assistant to process the books and input bibliographic data into the library system.
          Student librarians being taught how to shelf books by call number
          Courtesy of Sekolah Menengah Agama Persekutuan Labu

2. Information Literacy for Student Librarians
A couple of weeks were spent conducting information literacy classes for student librarians. Ranging from print sources to electronic formats, the formulation of keywords in developing their information searching strategy were taught. Using the Big 6 model, they were taught to use and incorporate information into their learning process. The impact of exposing them to information literacy could be seen from several notable results in various research and innovations nationwide last year.
Information literacy classes were also conducted for the teachers in early February 2018. This proved to be a useful experience for them, especially for the senior teachers. They were very excited during their class and the two-hour session was not enough for them. Personal consultations were offered to the teachers who missed their class. Up until now, the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) teachers do consult the teacher librarian when preparing their lessons and research projects or for other purposes. It seems that the intention of spreading the information literacy skills throughout the school was good for this year and hopefully for years to come.

          Information Literacy Workshop for the teachers
          Courtesy of Sekolah Menengah Agama Persekutuan Labu

The School has Form 6 students. It was found that they lack information literacy skills and were having a difficult time looking for information that they needed. In addition to library skills initiatives, the Resource Centre also extended operating hours into the night to allow them more library access.

3. Student Librarians at the Reference Desk
This initiative was taken from a service that is predominantly offered in academic libraries. However, some of the services may not be identical to those offered by a professionally trained reference librarian.
The objectives of having such an initiative for the student librarians are:
  • To assist students and teachers in searching, locating and retrieving the resources available within the library or online.
  • To advocate and provide alternative reference sources available in the library to the students and teachers.
  • To explain and assist the students and teachers on the use of the facilities provided in the library.
  • To answer simple reference questions raised by the students and teachers using the manuals provided to them.
It is expected that the student librarians are able to familiarize themselves with the collection, services and facilities offered by the Resource Centre. The training and manuals provided to the student librarians are based on the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) Guidelines, which are established standards for conducting reference services. However, there were some elements in the standards that were not used since the student librarians are not trained professionals in library and information science.


In promoting community service among the students, the student librarians served as facilitators to one of the neighbouring schools in Labu. The programme was to train the primary student librarians in handling and processing books. The School has no automated library system; thus, they have to undertake these processes manually. The programme was successful, and the student librarians were able to apply the knowledge they had acquired; they were also able to share their knowledge with their peers. Both parties had fun and are looking forward to similar initiatives in September 2018.

          Trained student librarians in action
          Courtesy of Sekolah Menengah Agama Persekutuan Labu
Editorial Note: Sekolah Menengah Agama Persekutuan Labu Resource Centre is not on the IFLA WLIC 2018 Library Visits.
Library and Information Science (LIS) Education
Libraries are only able to acquire and organize their collections in diverse formats and offer timely and appropriate professional services to their diverse clientele if they are managed by trained and knowledgeable staff. It falls upon academic institutions offering courses on library and information science (LIS) to produce such professionals. Expansion of school, and all other types of libraries, have inevitably led to a big demand for professionally-trained librarians.
This issue rounds up our focus on the Malaysian library world by reporting on library education. Initial suggestions to the Government were for postgraduate LIS courses to be established at the University of Malaya, the first Malaysian university, which opened in 1948. In the event, LIS courses at the undergraduate level were established first. These were run for many years before LIS postgraduate education became available from national universities. In the meantime, for many decades, it fell to universities overseas, mainly in America, Australia, and Great Britain, to offer postgraduate LIS education to Malaysians wishing to enter the profession. We are fortunate to have a report from the institution (UiTM) that saw the birth of library education in Malaysia; followed by a write-up on the development of postgraduate LIS courses at the University of Malaya. Through the joint efforts of national and foreign institutions, trained Malaysian librarians today number in their thousands, contrasted to a mere handful just 60 years ago.
Fifty Golden Years of LIS Education in Malaysia

By Professor Dr Sohaimi Zakaria, Dean, Faculty of Information Management, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Selangor Branch and Dr Norhayati Hussin, Deputy Dean (Research & Industry Linkages), Faculty of Information Management, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Selangor Branch
Formal LIS educational programmes in Malaysia began with a humble journey at Institut Teknologi MARA (ITM) in July 1968.  At that time, this institute (popularly known as ‘MARA Institute of Technology’) was established to provide professional programmes for school leavers to prepare them to enter the profession of Accounting, Architecture, Journalism, Law, Librarianship, and others.  The first few batches of students entered the programme of study that prepared them to qualify for the ‘Associateship of Library Association’ (ALA, UK).  In 1974, the ALA programme was replaced with a local curriculum in Library Science conducted by the School of Library Science, ITM.  From July 1968 to present, the LIS education has evolved and developed in tandem with the overall national development plans and international trends, transforming the ‘Barefoot Librarian’ of the 1970s into the present day ‘Cybrarian’.  The development and transformation of the LIS curriculum also mirrors the changes in the name of the school from Library Science to Library and Information Science and currently Information Management that encompasses several areas of Information Science and Library Science.
Besides Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), other public universities offering formal LIS education at the master’s degree level are University of Malaya, International Islamic University Malaysia (Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia) and the National University of Malaysia (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia).  Their programmes began in 1987, 1992 and 1995 respectively.  These three programmes differ from those of UiTM as they focus more on master programme by research, whereas UiTM offer both master programmes by coursework as well as by research. Another point of difference is the fact that UiTM also offers several programmes leading to Bachelor’s degrees in various specializations while they have no programme at the Bachelor level.  In 2011, Malaysia saw another diploma programme in Library Science being offered by a semi-private University of Selangor (UNISEL).  This development at UNISEL reflects the growth in demand for semi-professional level employment in Malaysian libraries and information organizations
LIS Education in Malaysia at Its Maturity Stage
The present scenario of LIS education in Malaysia offers curriculum that equips students with the information management skills on intranets and the internet develops and maintains digital libraries, as well as bringing applications of information and communication technologies to the library.  The scenario demands LIS educators to reassess their knowledge and skills to prepare students for today’s job challenges.  To produce a qualified work force, since the early establishment of LIS schools, most LIS educators are sent abroad to further their studies and to attend courses and training that qualify them to become LIS trainers, lecturers or professionals.  Over the years, with the steady improvement of the quality of LIS education, the Government has reduced the number of students studying abroad.  The affordability of the LIS education and LIS appearance in the list of global rankings reflects the improved quality.  Currently, University of Malaya’s LIS programme ranks at the top 24th in the World University Subject Ranking of Library and Information Management.
LIS Education: A Contribution Towards a National Agenda
LIS education in Malaysia transforms in many areas, equipping students with the skills and the state-of-the-art areas of expertise to fulfil industrial and societal needs both for today and the future.  Malaysia’s LIS educational institutions have experienced various trends and restructuring episodes that enabled the provision of high quality education. Keeping pace with national and international developments, LIS education has been conducting regular curriculum reviews, including industrial training as a value-added to its curriculum and prerequisite to preparing students for their future undertakings, and their roles as dynamic and responsive information professionals.
Stakeholders and industries increasingly demand capable workers in the use of information and communication technology (ICT). National Library of Malaysia, as an example, has launched various initiatives to support the Government's efforts in creating a knowledgeable society. Tremendous changes take place in the LIS field, whenever ICT becomes the driving force. The technological change has led to a vast modification of the curricula.
The Malaysian Government has strategically planned for every possible initiative to develop the nation, with the New Economic Policy (NEP) (1971-90), Vision 2020 (1991-2020) and recently the National Transformation 2050. LIS school programmes are without exception engaged to support all the Government’s planning for the development of society.  Since then, the LIS School has planned various programmes, i.e. providing reference centres in rural areas and schools; assisting industry in delivering effective services such as building a more consistent and efficient data hub; improving the community through outreach programmes, to name a few.  Such programmes are embedded in the curriculum and are made compulsory for students.
Our Graduates - Our Achievements
All the efforts put in by the Faculty of Information Management (FIM), (formally the School of Library Science) UiTM have been rewarded with positive outcomes as evidenced by the number of graduates from 1973 to the present. In 2017, UiTM graduates from FIM numbered 24,334, which was the largest output in comparison with graduates from UM and IIUM.  UiTM’s graduates are currently holding leading and managerial positions in various types of libraries throughout Malaysia.  Bachelor’s degree qualifications have provided graduates with a solid foundation to start a professional career in libraries, and to further their education at postgraduate levels in universities in Malaysia and overseas.  By 2018, UiTM’s graduates of early years both from the Bachelor and Postgraduate degrees are holding posts of chief librarian in most public and private universities, director of state public libraries, manager of corporate information centres and research institutes.  The majority of professional staff at the National Library of Malaysia are graduates from UiTM, starting from the top post of the Director General down the line to other executive posts.  A small percentage of graduates has ventured into small business enterprises contributing to the economic growth and knowledge building for the nation.  Regardless of the profession to which they belong, our graduates have been ingrained with the motto: ‘Information professionals preserve the past, value the present, and enrich the future’ for the society, the nation, and the world.
          UiTM campus in Jalan Othman, Petaling Jaya where LIS courses were first conducted
          50 years ago
          Courtesy of Ghazali Mohd. Fadzil
Current Challenges of LIS Education in Malaysia
Today, people are migrating from print-based reading to electronic formats and relying more on digital formats of materials. The young generations are highly technology savvy.  Their capacity to use digital technologies extend from their personal lives into their professional working lives. This is among the major challenges faced by librarians and information professionals in Malaysia. LIS education must be able to provide students and professionals with up-to-date technology to keep apace with the lifestyle and the current trends in information and communication technology (ICT). Older educators should learn quickly, and young educators must train well. The professionals must train, retrain and retain.
The LIS school needs to adapt and grow in tandem with IR 4.0 involving advanced digital automation technologies.  IR 4.0 scenarios would be new challenges and therefore, require the LIS school to effect changes so as to remain relevant and competitive.  The curriculum must embed subjects such as the Internet of Things (IoT), science data and big data management, animation, analysis, simulation, element of the robotic system and cloud computing, and much more.  The subjects embedded will help to spur LIS progress in the modern world’s landscape.  In sum, to remain whole and updated, the LIS education has to be flexible and keep abreast with the latest developments.  The LIS school has to be flexible and allow the LIS curriculum to open its doors to multidisciplinary and metaliteracy ventures.
          From School of Library Science to Faculty of Information Management
          Courtesy of Faculty of Information Management, UiTM
Edzan, N.N. and Abrizah Abdullah (2003). Looking Back: Master of Library and Information Science Programme at the University of Malaya. Malaysia. Malaysian Journal of Library and Information Science, 8 (1). 1-18.
Fuziah Mohd Nadzar, Mohd Sharif Mohd Saad and Ahmad Nadzri (2013).  Library and Information Science Education in Malaysia. Paper presented at the Seminar on Library & Information Science Education: Collaboration Among ASEAN Countries. Sukhotai Thammathirat Open University, Thailand. Vol.1, p: 1-6.
Mohd Sharif Mohd Saad and A.N. Zainab (2002). Information Literacy Programmes in Malaysian Public Universities: An Observation. Paper presented at the 68th IFLA Council and General Conference, 18-24 August 2002, in Glasgow, Scotland. Retrieved 5 November 2008.
Siri Sena Baba Hamid and Mohd Sharif Mohd Saad (2013). Information Literacy Competency in Research Process Among Trainees of Malaysian Teacher Education Institute. Asia-Pacific Conference on Library & Information Education and Practice (ALIEP2013), Khon Kean University, Thailand, July
The Sun [Daily] (2017). Universities Need to Grow in Tandem with Industrial Revolution 4.0. Retrieved from:
Szarina Abdullah (2010). Measuring the Outcomes of Information Literacy: Perception Vs Evidence-Based Data. International Information and Library Review, Vol. 42 issue 2, 98-104.
TN50 website (2018). About TN50. Retrieved from:
Wijasuriya, D.E.K; Lim, Huck Tee and Radha Nadarajah (1975). The Barefoot Librarian: Library Developments in Southeast Asia with Special Reference to Malaysia. London: Clive Bingley.
LIS Education at the University of Malaya 

By Dr Kiran Kaur
Associate Professor, Department of Library & Information Science, Faculty of Computer Science & Information Technology, University of Malaya
Library and Information Science (LIS) is an interdisciplinary field that ranges from  library-related areas of study to diverse organization and dissemination of information. Traditionally, when it was only library science, the field was limited to practices and perspectives of library management, collection development, information organization, dissemination and preservation. The education and training of library science produced librarians who were practitioners. The research in library science in the early 20th century focused on how to best improve library management and services to its users. However, as library users changed, there arose a need to study different mediums, different users, different ways to disseminate and preserve information. Competition with commercial information providers and pressure to establish the discipline as a science, elevated the education and research agenda in LIS. Research became a focal point in LIS education and practice.
Currently in Malaysia, there are five major schools that offer LIS education at the Diploma, Bachelor, Master and PhD degree levels, namely Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), University of Malaya (UM), International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Islamic Science University of Malaysia (USIM) and University of Selangor (UNISEL). Generally, the focus of these degrees is on producing practitioners who are in demand in information-related industries, especially the education sector. Most graduates from the LIS programmes find employment in university libraries, either public or private. The Bachelor of Sunnah Studies with Information Management is the latest academic programme to be offered. This is to fulfil the demand by stakeholders for skilled workforce to manage records and information relating to Islamic studies.
LIS Education in University of Malaya
Efforts towards LIS education in UM began as early as 1987, when the Master of Library and Information Science programme was introduced at University of Malaya under the Institute of Advanced Studies. The programme however was deferred due to lack of resources, funds, and teaching staff. Efforts to revive the programme succeeded in re-introducing the Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) in 1995 with its first batch of students. The programme was then conducted in both Coursework and Mix-mode. In 1993, University of Malaya offered three modes of the Master’s level LIS education. Candidates who have work experience in library and information-related fields and would like to pursue their career in research had the option to enrol in the Master of Information Science (by Research). This programme is designed to be completed within a minimum of two semesters. The product would be a dissertation and a minimum of one published WoS (Web of Science) indexed journal paper. The full coursework mode however was not offered once UM was conferred the Research University status in 2010. In line with the university’s vision and mission, the programme’s educational objectives were designed to fulfil the need to produce graduates who were also researchers. The Mix-mode programme consisted of core courses, elective courses, and candidates were required to fulfil the requirements of a 36-credit dissertation. During this time, the volume of research within the MLIS programme increased significantly. Students under the supervision of experienced faculty were guided to conduct quality research and produce research articles worthy of publication in peer-reviewed journals. However, over time there was a decrease in the number of students for the mix-mode programme. A market survey was carried out and feedback indicated that a full coursework programme is necessary for candidates with no prior library science qualifications who would like to pursue a career in library and information services.
          The Master of Library and Information Science is based at the Faculty of Computer Science
          and Information Technology
          Courtesy of Azwan Mohd. Naser
In 2017 the Department obtained the approval to offer a full coursework mode programme. Currently there are three modes of the programme:
  • Master in Library & Information Science – Coursework mode
  • Master in Information Science (Library Science) – Mix-mode
  • Master of Information Science – Research Mode
Table 1 depicts the programme learning outcomes for all three modes of the LIS education. Each learning outcome is aligned to the vision and mission of the university and faculty. Both generic skills and subject specific knowledge and skills relating to the LIS discipline have been carefully formulated with valuable input from students, alumni and potential employers. These details are made available to all students via the faculty website:
Table 1: Learning Outcomes of All Three Programmes


The University of Malaya’s educational objectives guide the teaching and learning methods applied in the delivery and assessment of the programmes. The extensive use of the e-learning platform, SPeCTRUM, which is based on Moodle, supports independent learning among the adult learners. The system allows for timely feedback of student assessment and this helps in improving their learning experiences. The LIS curriculum is reviewed every three years to ensure its content is up-to-date and fulfils market needs. The programme and the teaching staff are evaluated annually by the students for continual quality improvements to the teaching learning methods, facilities and assessment methods.
In anticipation of the students’ research needs, the Department of Library & Information Science also conducts a series of research methods seminars and workshops to assist students in conducting research so that they may produce quality work and graduate on time.
To further support this, the Department conducts an international conference once every two years – International Conference of Libraries, Information & Society (ICoLIS). To date, the ICoLIS has been held six times since 2007. This conference gives the students an opportunity to not only enhance their soft skills in organizing and managing an event, but also to present and publish their work as a paper in the proceedings of the conference. Another effort to enhance the students’ research skills are by training them in technical writing for journal papers. The Department’s WoS indexed journal – the Malaysian Journal of Library & Information Science (, is another avenue to encourage students to conduct good research and publish their research findings. *
          Guests of honour, speakers and participants at ICoLIS 2016
          Courtesy of UM Library
The Department is aware of the need to keep the graduates in touch with society needs and actively involve themselves in activities that contribute to society. Guest lectures by international LIS academics have helped to instil a positive attitude towards appreciating the contribution of LIS to society.
          Professor Mike Thelwall, Almetrics Measuring Impact in Scholarly Communication,
          18 January 2018
          Courtesy of FCSIT UM
To date, 322 students have graduated from the Master’s programme since 1997, while about 35 students have graduated since 2000 from the PhD programme relating to LIS. University of Malaya is proud to have not only sustained the LIS programmes but produce graduates who are knowledgeable, skilled and have the ability to apply these skills in advancing library and information services.
The programme must continually engage with the stakeholders to keep abreast of the demands of the current market and improve the programme in line with these demands, while maintaining the core content of the discipline of library and information science.
*Editorial note: The Malaysian Journal of Library & Information Science received the Current Research in Malaysia award 2017 from the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education.

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