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In this issue:



This March 2018 Newsletter features a call for 5-minute Lightning Talks, a new opportunity for congress delegates to share innovative projects of international relevance with other delegates, in only 5 minutes!
Preparations for the WLIC 2018 are well advanced! The IFLA-K.I.T. Group Team visited the congress venue, the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC), and worked with the local team to bring WLIC closer to reality. And in a very special visit, the IFLA President, Glòria Pérez-Salmerón met with the Malaysian library community to talk about what is to come in August.
To provide a further taste of Malaysia’s libraries and their contributions to national development, we also continue our Libraries in Focus section. This issue features three public libraries: Melaka Public Library Corporation, Pahang Public Library Corporation and Selangor Public Library.
The wider impact of an international congress comes through the enriching experiences that delegates bring back to their countries afterwards. This WLIC 2018 Newsletter issue has a Bonus Section: the memories and perspectives of a lifelong WLIC participant, with two pieces: “The Learning Never Stops” and “Lighthouses in the Dark”. Enjoy!

Can You Say What Needs to Be Said in 5 Minutes?


We invite congress delegates who want to share something interesting and inspiring with international library world to submit a proposal for a 5-minute Lightning Talk. It is a great way for IFLA WLIC delegates to share innovative projects of international relevance with other delegates.

Whether you carried out a project with a marginalised group, have some tips to pass on about building the membership of your association, you have an idea to solve a problem in your library, you have a passion you want to share, come along and share your news or ideas. The more variety, the more interesting it becomes!

Complete details on the Call for Lightning Talks webpage.


A recap of the visit by IFLA-K.I.T. Group Team and IFLA President, Glòria Pérez-Salmerón to Kuala Lumpur

By Maimunah binti Kadir
Secretariat Director (Administration), National Committee, IFLA WLIC 2018
23 January 2018
Since the venue for IFLA WLIC 2018 is the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC), a tour of the venue was arranged for the IFLA-K.I.T. Group team. The team consisted of Josche Ouwerkerk, IFLA Manager, Conferences and Business Relations; Roberta Odebrecht, Account Director, K.I.T. Group; Siobhan Davis, Conference Manager; Charline Richard and Anne Porte. K.I.T. Group is the Professional Conference Organiser (PCO) for IFLA WLIC. Chin Loy Jyoon and Maimunah Kadir, representing the National Committee (NC) and Putri Saniah Megat Abdul Rahman, Siti Aishah Sh. Abdul Kadir and Nor Azlin Sahamed, representing the Cultural Sub-Committee, met Josche Ouwerkerk at the main entrance of KLCC. Ghazali Mohamed Fadzil, another NC member, joined us as our official photographer. Jenice Phung, Head, Conventions & Conferences Sales of KLCC was there to greet us as well and took us to Level 3 to meet the IFLA-K.I.T. Group team. We exchanged greetings and introductions with the team since there were new members from the team who we were meeting for the first time. Alyson Ow, Senior Event Coordination Executive Operations Department of KLCC was also there to welcome everyone.
The tour of KLCC took us to the Plenary Hall where the WLIC 2018 Opening Session will be held. The group was shown the holding room for VVIPs; rooms for the President, President Elect and Secretary General; for IFLA, K.I.T. Group and Volunteers; as well as rooms where meetings, plenary and concurrent sessions will be held. Also viewed were areas for events and activities such as exhibitions, Library Boulevard, cloakroom, sick bay; and areas where Internet facilities are available. IFLA-K.I.T. Group had earlier on identified the various rooms based on their requirements and the tour was to determine the suitability of the rooms and to make the necessary changes immediately. The NC’s task ended after the tour whilst IFLA-K.I.T. Group continued their meeting with KLCC and the various suppliers.
          The team meeting up for a tour of KLCC
          Courtesy of Ghazali Mohd. Fadzil
From 2.30 p.m. to 3.30 p.m., a number of NC members and the IFLA-K.I.T. Group team toured the proposed location for the Cultural Evening to determine its suitability to accommodate 3,000 people on 27 August 2018. After inspecting the facilities at MATIC and WOWKL, the team made several decisions before approving the venue. The team then proceeded to meet with the suppliers, caterers and Istana Budaya, an entertainment group. The meeting ended promptly at 5.30 p.m.
24 January 2018
The IFLA President usually visits the host country in advance of the Congress. Thus, such a visit was made by Ms Glòria Pérez-Salmerón, the IFLA President. The programmes that took place on the morning of 24 January and lasted until lunch time mainly involved meetings between IFLA and K.I.T. Group. This provided a morning that was free of meetings involving National Committee members, who were thus able to attend the Presidential talk to promote IFLA WLIC 2018 in Malaysia. The Talk was organized by Persatuan Pustakawan Malaysia (PPM). It was held at the Tun Suffian Auditorium, Faculty of Law, University of Malaya, from 9.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon. The Talk, entitled ‘Librarians: Motors of Change’, drew a good number of PPM members.
          Ms Glòria Pérez-Salmerón delivering her Presidential Talk,
          24 January 2018, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur
          Courtesy of Ghazali Mohd. Fadzil
          Ms Glòria Pérez-Salmerón with Malaysian librarians
          and LIS professionals who attended her Presidential Talk,
          24 January 2018, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur
          Courtesy of Ghazali Mohd. Fadzil
In the afternoon, Ms Glòria Pérez-Salmerón was taken for library visits to the Selangor Public Library in Shah Alam, the KL Sentul Community Library and the National Library of Malaysia. 
          Ms Glòria Pérez-Salmerón observing the activities
          on her visit to the Community Library (CLiC),
          Sentul, 24 January 2018
          Courtesy of Perpustakaan Kuala Lumpur
The IFLA team which included IFLA President, Ms Glòria Pérez-Salmerón; IFLA Secretary General, Gerald Leitner; and IFLA Manager, Josche Ouwerkerk and the K.I.T. Group team consisting of Roberta, Siobhan Davis, Charline Richard and Anne Porte, met at WOWKL at 8.00 p.m. for food tasting. The NC was represented by the Chair, Dato Nafisah Ahmad; Co-Chair, Dato Dr Zaiton Osman; Secretariat, Maimunah Kadir and Chin Loy Jyoon; and Siti Aishah Sh. Abdul Kadir from the Cultural Sub-Committee. They were entertained by WOWKL’s very own cultural troupe and this introduced the IFLA-K.I.T. Group team to the multicultural aspect of Malaysia. The show ended with a display of a Malay wedding where Glòria, Gerald, Roberta and Anne took part in the merenjis ceremony to bless the bride and groom.  
25 January 2018
The IFLA-K.I.T. Group team walked through with the Volunteer’s Coordinator, Azahar Mohd. Noor and supervisors in the morning. The NC was represented by Chin Loy Jyoon. At the same time, there was an interview session held at 10.00 a.m. with the Public Relations Department of MyCEB and the IFLA President, IFLA Secretary General and Josche Ouwerkerk. The interview ended at 11.00 a.m.
At 1.45 p.m., the NC held a meeting with the IFLA-K.I.T. Group team. All NC members were present in full force for the meeting which was held in Room 405, Level 4 of KLCC. The meeting was chaired by the IFLA Secretary General and was also attended by the IFLA President. All matters listed in the agenda were covered and the meeting ended at 3.30 p.m. with a group photo session.
          Meeting between IFLA, K.I.T. Group and NC held at KLCC,
          25 January 2018
          Courtesy of Ghazali Mohd. Fadzil
This site visit was certainly a high point on the learning curve for the NC members. It was indeed educational to observe how the IFLA-K.I.T. Group team conducted the walk through of venues and meetings with great professionalism. As we from the NC followed the IFLA-K.I.T. Group team on the walk through of venues, we listened to the questions they asked and took note of what were important. We were fortunate to have Ghazali Mohd. Fadzil as our official photographer to record the important images for the IFLA Newsletter.
This site visit also provided us with a lot of experience and knowledge to prepare ourselves for the next site visit scheduled for May 2018. All in all, it was conducted in a professional manner and forged a close relationship between the NC and the IFLA-K.I.T. Group team which is critical to ensure the success of WLIC 2018 in Kuala Lumpur.
          Here’s looking forward to the next visit in May 2018
          Courtesy of Ghazali Mohd. Fadzil

Libraries in Focus

Public library development in Malaysia is very much a post-Independence phenomenon. Credit for public library development must be given to the Librarians Association of Malaysia or Persatuan Pustakawan Malaysia (PPM); while fostering overall development must belong to Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia or the National Library of Malaysia (NLM).
In 1956, the Malayan Library Group, precursor to PPM, submitted a memorandum on public libraries to the Ministry of Education, proposing the establishment of a nationwide public library system (Anuar, p.1).  Development was slow. In 1965, when PPM conducted a survey, only 63 public libraries could be located as possible respondents; they were mostly public-subscription libraries located in cities (Anuar, p. 8); all with small collections. At that time, just 50 years ago, there were only ‘half a dozen qualified librarians’ for the whole of Malaysia and Singapore; only one of them was a local person (Anuar, p. 1). In 1968, PPM commissioned a special survey on public libraries by Hedwig Anuar, Director of the Singapore National Library. Her Blueprint for Public Library Development, Malaysia is a landmark document that laid out comprehensive and wide-ranging recommendations. Among others, the Blueprint set out minimum standards for quality of service; legislative conditions and financial infrastructures; the role of the National Library in overseeing the development of public libraries; and the role of PPM for key professional input. Public library development with full government support took place under the various development plan periods beginning 1971-75.
Today, Malaysia has some 350 state/public/municipal libraries and over 1,000 rural libraries, with good collections and modern infrastructures (NLM, AR, 2016). Details of their funding, collections and services are impressive, as reported in the NLM Annual Reports. This issue of the Newsletter pays tribute to this important sector of libraries in national development with three case studies.
Hedwig Anuar, Blueprint for Public Library Development, Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, PPM, 1968.
National Library, Malaysia, Annual Report (AR). Various years.

Melaka Public Libarary Corporation
By Mohamed Aizammuddy bin Mohamed Idris, Director,Raifudeen bin Abd. Latif, Assistant Librarian, Melaka Public Library Corporation

PERPUSTAM and Transformation
The Melaka Public Library Corporation or Perbadanan Perpustakaan Awam Melaka (PERPUSTAM) is one of several state government agencies entrusted to produce a knowledge literate society and to realise this aim, numerous efforts have been undertaken and planned. With this in mind, PERPUSTAM has transformed its services in order to bring the younger generation closer to the Library and ensure that the Library remain relevant to the community.
In line with the development of information technology, PERPUSTAM has added value to its services. The Library Corporation has transformed its provision of services from conventional services to a more open, relaxed and entertaining format of services suited to the needs of the younger generation that comprises mostly of students. Apart for providing access to the Internet, which is a current trend for the community, PERPUSTAM provides facilities in the form of Wii Games, Xbox, virtual reality, iMac, iPad, tablets, iPen and 3D screens. This is to ensure that the community in the state of Melaka are not left behind in accessing these technologies and to avoid the presence of a wide information technology gap with developed nations. PERPUSTAM has also transformed the way in which it engages with members by moving into more interactive and creative activities. A variety of activities is now organized, such as 3 Doodler, Makey-makey, online games and DIY-based activities such as cooking, carpentry and other new activities that are of interest to the new generation.
This transformation has succeeded in producing the desired results when for the first time ever, PERPUSTAM was able to attract 700,000 visitors in 2016 and the numbers have continued to increase in 2017.  Thus, PERPUSTAM needs to move in tandem with the rapid development of information technology to ensure that the community in the state of Melaka is not left behind other worldwide communities in terms of access to the most current technology via the Library. The Library will therefore remain relevant throughout time.
          The X-Box Service, one of several new services at PERPUSTAM,
          has caught the interest of children.
          Courtesy of Melaka Public Library Corporation
PERPUSTAM and the Reading Culture
PERPUSTAM took the initiative to widen the Program Jom Baca Bersama Untuk 10 Minit or the ‘Let’s Read Together for 10 Minutes’ Programme that took off at the national level in 2014. The Library jointly organized the event with Jawatankuasa Pembangunan & Penyelarasan Dewan Undangan (JAPERUN) Negeri Melaka (Committee on the Development and Coordination of the Melaka State Legislative Assembly) and Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat Negeri Melaka (Welfare Department of Melaka State). Every recipient of aid from the Welfare Department will converge at one of 28 JAPERUN throughout the state of Melaka to receive their aid on a monthly basis. PERPUSTAM saw this as an opportunity to conduct their ‘Let’s Read for 10 Minutes’ Programme as one of many programmes to these aid recipients. The reading materials for the Programme were chosen to suit the type of readers with the selected titles based on current issues and situations. Through this Programme, PERPUSTAM was able to attract about 100 to 300 participants, who are JAPERUN’s staff and aid recipients, to read at every location. The Programme was also attended by the respective district’s assemblyman. Overall, PERPUSTAM succeeded in involving approximately 60,000 participants per year in the Programme at the JAPERUN level. As a token of appreciation, PERPUSTAM awarded JAPERUN with the Most Number of Participants Award for participating in the Programme. The Library will continue doing this in order to uplift the reading programme in the state of Melaka in line with the establishment of an advanced community to fulfill the Melaka Develop State Phase II programme.
          The Jom Baca Bersama Untuk 10 Minit at JAPERUN Sungai Udang
          was attended by Datuk Seri Utama Ir. Hj. Idris bin Hj. Haron,
          the Chief Minister of Melaka (front row, second right)
          Courtesy of Melaka Public Library Corporation
PERPUSTAM and the Creation of Local Content
Recently, the Library upgraded their Melaka State Collection in an effort to strengthen the collection, convert it into a reference centre and become the primary information source about the state of Melaka. This is in line with the Library’s objective to complete and update the Collection so that it could be referred to by the present and future generations especially for information about the state of Melaka. The main aim of the Library in establishing the Collection is to make it as an identity for the Library itself and the Collection will therefore differentiate PERPUSTAM from other libraries. The development of the Collection reflects the state’s heritage that has to kept and preserved for research and reference by the community. This will increase the public’s awareness of the history, culture and traditions of the state of Melaka.
The Collection is now located on Level 2 of the State Library building and has become a special collecting centre for library materials that are related to the state of Melaka either written by those born in the state of Melaka or about the state of Melaka or published by publishers from the state of Melaka. The Library collects materials in any language and format, both print or non-print. These materials are obtained as purchases, donations, and gifts. The Library also produces its own sources consisting of books, magazines, pamphlets, annual reports, working papers, thesis, CDs as well as transcripts from oral history. Up until today, PERPUSTAM has successfully assembled 25 figures of the state of Melaka and they form the Figures Collection.
Efforts are actively and continuously being undertaken to develop the Melaka Collection to be the centre for the collecting and disseminating of information on Melaka. In time, PERPUSTAM will be synonymous with the provision of reference and information service about Melaka to the local and national community.
          The Melaka Collection is an attraction to users who visit PERPUSTAM
          Courtesy of Melaka Public Library Corporation
Editorial Note: The Melaka State Library is on the IFLA WLIC 2018 Non-Local Library Visit 2
Pahang Public Library Corporation
By Hajah Faridzah binti Jaafar, Director & Mohd. Norshazlin bin Sa’adun Nazir, Librarian,
Pahang Public Library Corporation
Perpustakaan Awam Pahang or the Pahang Public Library was established under Enactment No. 11 on 26 September 1973. The Library began its operation in the old Rest House building at Jalan Masjid, Kuantan in 1976. In 1985, the Library moved to the old State Legislation building at Jalan Gambut, Kuantan. On 4 September 2017, the Pahang Public Library opened its services to users in a new building located at Jalan Kemunting, Kuantan, with a floor space of 12,000 square metres that can accommodate 400,000 books and 1,000 users at any one time. Throughout the four months of its opening to users, a total of 76,627 users have visited the Library. Apart from that 73 activities were held involving 15,752 participants.
          The new Pahang Public Library
          Courtesy of Pahang Public Library
The Pahang Public Library has 75 libraries throughout Pahang comprising of a State Public Library, 10 district public libraries, 2 branch public libraries, a UTC community library and 61 village libraries.
Perpustakaan Awam Pahang and the Community
The Sahabat Perpustakaan Awam (SPA) (Friends of the Public Library) was launched on 26 August 2014 as an initiative taken by the Majlis Pengarah-pengarah Perpustakaan Awam SeMalaysia (MPAM) or the Malaysian Council of Directors of Public Libraries to promote the reading culture among our country’s community. It is an initiative taken by public libraries to get donors and volunteers as well as to share knowledge to help the public libraries in running library programmes and operations. As at 2017, 792 people have registered as Sahabat Perpustakaan Awam Pahang.
The Library has also established the Kelab Warga Emas Sahabat Perpustakaan Awam or Friends of the Public Library Senior Citizens’ Club involving senior citizens who are 55 years old and above. As at 2017, 401 senior citizens have registered as members and 1,947 senior citizens participated in numerous programmes that were organized throughout 2017.
The Buat Kerja Sekolah Di Perpustakaan or Do Your School Work at the Library programme was introduced to assist students to complete their school work at the Library. Through this programme, the Library pays special attention to students who come to the Library to complete their school assignments. Participants are students from both the primary and secondary schools. Throughout 2017, a total of 5,178 students have come to the Library to complete their school work.
          Do Your School Work at the Library Programme
          Courtesy of Pahang Public Library
Programmes with the community that were organized by the Pahang State Library are as follows:
  • Jom Baca Bersama Untuk 10 Minit  held on 25 April 2016 with 268,695 participants.
  • #MalaysiaNgaji: Satu Jam Bersama Al-Quran held on 29 June 2016 with 224,173 participants.
  • Konvoi Kemerdekaan PPAP held on 7 September 2017 with 602 participants.
  • Sambutan Hari Kanak-kanak Sedunia 2017 ‘My Child Day’ held on 16 November 2017 with 750 participants.
  • Program Science Hero@PAP held from 18 to 22 December 2017 with 627 participants.
          My Child Day, 6 November 2017
          Courtesy of Pahang Public Library
          The World Quran Hour with the community, 29 June 2016
          Courtesy of Pahang Public Library
Editorial Note: The Pahang Public Library is on the IFLA WLIC 2018 Non-Local Library Visit 3
Selangor Public Library : Nurturing Young Minds to Become Scientists
By Mastura Muhamad, Director; Juliana Es Mohd Munawir, Junior IT Officer & Hikmah Hassan, Junior LibrarianSelangor Public Library
History has proven that the rise of an empire began with the construction of a library. Knowledge was recorded and stored in the library, such as the precious works of the medical scientist Ibnu Sina or Avicenna; the mathematicians Al Khwarizmi and Ibn Rusyd or Averroes; and the first engineer and pilot Ibn Firnas. Hence, the very strength of a country lies in the library.
Realizing this strategic position, the Selangor Public Library can no longer watch in silence. The Library believes that societies can be transformed by first transforming the libraries. By restructuring its roles and widening its functions, the Library now becomes a second home, a learning centre, a meeting point, a recreational centre, and a human development centre.
In this age where innovation is key, more knowledge workers with skills and knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are needed. A library may not be able to produce graduates in these fields, but it can definitely help bolster the societies’ awareness in the importance of having more people like Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates.
Transforming societies requires a collaborative effort. Thanks to the National STEM Movement, Selangor Public Library’s latest strategic partner in promoting interest and awareness in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), the celebration of the World Science Day at Raja Tun Uda Library, Shah Alam was successfully organized on 10 November 2017. Through this fruitful collaboration, the programme had successfully reached out to dozens of schools and hundreds of students, parents and teachers in Shah Alam to propagate STEM Education.
          Launching of the World Science Day 2017 at Raja Tun Uda Library,
          10 November 2017
          Courtesy of Selangor Public Library
World Science Day is celebrated internationally under the auspices of UNESCO to highlight the importance of science for development and societal well-being. On World Science Day at the Library last year, over 200 students and teachers participated in the numerous activities conducted by the STEM partners. The response was very encouraging and the participating schools have requested for more STEM programmes to be conducted regularly at the Selangor Public Library.
          Students participating in the experiments
          Courtesy of Selangor Public Library
          Prof. Dr Dato’ Noraini Idris, Chairman of National STEM Movement,
          delivering her speech
          Courtesy of Selangor Public Library
Among the activities conducted at the Raja Tun Uda Library on the World Science Day were:
  • Journey of a STEM Icon with Emeritus Professor Dato’ Dr Abdul Latiff Ibrahim, University of Selangor
  • Science Show
  • Doodle with Nuudles and DIY Crafts Workshop
  • Math Magic and Colour Magic
  • Computational Thinking Session and Green Energy Showcase
  • Solar Robot, IQ Games and Logical Thinking Game, Speed Stack Cups and Rubic Cube
  • STEM Kickstart Programme and Robotics
  • 3D Printing Technology and Robotics
  • Science Experiments with University of Selangor
  • Health Screening:The Future of Healthcare
          Participants at one of several STEM partner counters
          Courtesy of Selangor Public Library
The goal of this programme is not only to create awareness but to encourage more people, particularly students at the younger age to become innovative and creative, and to have critical and analytical thinking capability. As a learning centre and a human development centre, the Library can provide resources, tools, and facilities to offer more interactive learning experiences that excite and encourage more people to explore and experiment with new things.
          Participants at the Health Screening Counter
          Courtesy of Selangor Public Library
To further promote STEM education and skills to more students throughout Selangor, the Selangor Public Library and the National STEM Movement with STEM partners are planning for more workshops, forums and science camps on topics ranging from robotics, coding, 3D animation, aerospace, life sciences and many other disciplines of science and engineering. Exposure at the younger age will help to instil confidence, and children are naturally more inclined to follow the path of their interest. By organizing more STEM-related programmes that are fun, exciting, and relatable to the practical side of one’s daily life, the organizer aims to encourage more students to enter the science stream at the schools by choice, and then choose to continue studies in science, technology, engineering or mathematics in their tertiary education. This is the long-term plan to produce more apprentices and young innovators in the country.
As a nation-building agent, the Selangor Public Library will continue its efforts in reaching out and serving more people, by adding value to people’s lives through its library services and facilities throughout the state.
  • About World Science Day
  • Live streaming of World Science Day 2017 at Raja Tun Uda Library, Shah Alam (through Facebook Page of PPAS):
Editorial Note: The Selangor Public Library is on the IFLA WLIC 2018 Local Library Visit 13

Bonus: Experiences from WLIC participants

By Rashidah Begum Fazal Mohamed
Senior Librarian, Kolej DISTED, Penang
One of the characteristics of our Librarian profession is the commitment to lifelong learning. This demands that we continuously add to our body of knowledge and one of the most common ways is by attending conferences, particularly IFLA conferences. Learning is the most obvious motivation for attending these professional gatherings and we come back with fresh thinking and new ideas.
For Helga Schwarz from Berlin, Germany, her commitment to lifelong learning has been manifested in so many ways. She has not only been regularly attending the annual IFLA conferences since 1977, but has achieved two additional higher qualifications.  She obtained her Masters degree in Information Science from the Free University of Berlin at the age of 59, thirty-eight years after obtaining her Bachelors degree in library science.
In 2011, at the age of 75, she took on another big challenge. She began work on her PhD at Institute for Library and Information Science, Humboldt University in Berlin, and completed it in February 2017, shortly before her 81st birthday. Her 552-page dissertation was awarded a Magna cum Laude grade (with great honour). She has been fondly called ‘Berlin’s granny cum laude’. 
The subject of her dissertation was 'The German Library Institute' and it dealt with the founding, the activities and the closing of this Institute and how much political interests and the changing of support and funding by large scientific organizations affected the course of things. Helga worked at this Institute from 1972-89. The topic was controversial but she felt that at this stage of her life she had nothing to fear. Age has its advantages! 
Dr. Claudia Lux (President IFLA 2007-2009) who was Helga's supervisor for her PhD dissertation, describes Helga as "an incredible strong person. She is a model to pursue and reach your goals, no matter how long it takes. Even when she was very sick during the time of her PhD she did not stop, just paused and followed up as soon as she was better."
          Helga (left) sharing the joy of her graduation with her supervisor,
          Dr. Claudia Lux, former President of IFLA (right)
          Courtesy of Helga Schwarz
I first met Helga at IFLA WLIC in Berlin in 2003. I was the Chair of the IFLA Asia Oceania Section Standing Committee and Helga had been assigned to the Asia Oceania Section as the Liaison Officer. She had been selected as the liaison due to her long involvement in the Standing Committees of IFLA’s sections on Serials Publications and Science and Technology Libraries.
We kept in touch and she visited Malaysia twice, once as part of her trip to several Asian countries and the second time as part of her solo round-the-world trip. I also met her at several IFLA conferences after that, the latest being IFLA WLIC 2017 in Wroclaw. Meet this amazing Librarian as she will be in Malaysia to attend the IFLA WLIC 2018 in August in Kuala Lumpur.

Lighthouses in the Dark

By Helga Schwarz
Libraries are lighthouses in the dark for our users where they can find not only books, but all sorts of media, information, communication and activities. All this provided by the ‘masters of the universe’: librarians.
But where can librarians find their professional lighthouses? Librarians need library associations. National associations provide support when struggling with the bureaucracy for funds, they organize continuing education by meetings, seminars and local and national conferences, thus enabling contacts and exchange of expertise between colleagues. In many countries they provide professional information by publishing newsletters, magazines and blogs and they bring all types of libraries to a good reputation by public relations in various media.
IFLA is the big international lighthouse for national associations. It represents the international background and service institution. It is the big roof for all professional questions, developments and new ideas worldwide. WLIC offers an international platform for discussions and exchange without borders. New technical challenges, and those emerging by demographic change and growing immigrant populations are subjects in meetings and sessions. IFLA is engaged and gives help when libraries or librarians are in danger (FAIFE), when international contacts or cooperation is threatened. The most useful tool IFLA provides are professional standards in various fields. An example for this role and a milestone is the Public Library Manifesto, which facilitates librarians’ efforts to empower their libraries. The Standing Committees of the divisions work on many topics and present necessary results for the library community.
I am happy and proud having the opportunity since many years to be involved in IFLA Standing Committees and thus being part of the international library community. Many personal relations and friendships all over the world are the result of my engagement. One of these results are my strong relations to Malaysian colleagues and libraries, first of all to Mrs Rashidah Begum. She made it possible for me to visit the Universiti Sains Malaysia Library in Penang and the Penang State Public Library on the Penang mainland and the Children’s Library in Georgetown, Penang. I enjoyed these visits and the talk with colleagues and I was impressed by the good standard of service these libraries offer.
With help of the Goethe Institute in Kuala Lumpur I visited the Library of the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, where my interest was mainly the IT department. A special highlight were my visits at the National Library of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur and the Public Library. I visited both libraries twice, in 2004 and 2010. During my second visit I could admire the beautiful new building of the KL Public Library. Most impressive were my visits to the National Library of Malaysia. Their building was also new and of outstanding shape. I found a high quality service and wonderful and helpful colleagues who made my stay in Malaysia a success. This library is really a lighthouse for the users and for the profession. I’m now looking forward to WLIC in August 2018 and I hope I can meet many Malaysian librarians.

Malaysia Airlines is pleased to be appointed as the Official Airline for IFLA WLIC 2018. Click here for further information.


IFLA Headquarters
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IFLA WLIC 2018 National Committee
Librarians Association of Malaysia
P.O. Box 12545, 50782 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Maimunah Kadir
Tel.: +60 12 3836044

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