Taking place on 6 October 2021, 9.30am – 5pm (GMT +8), the LAS-PPM Conference went online for the first time in 2021, bringing new opportunities for the library community to learn from each other in this new normal. With the theme “Collab | Camaraderie | Commune”, the conference brought to its participants presentations of how libraries in different parts of the world collaborate with and engage partners and communities to provide better service.
After the welcome address by the Presidents of Library Association of Singapore (LAS) and Persatuan Pustakawan Malaysia (PPM), Dr Sadie-Jane Nunis and Dr Rashidah Binti Bolhassan, the morning session started with a presentation by Namita Santra and Belinda Sta Maria from Monash University Malaysia and Dong Danping from Singapore Management University, sharing how they had learned and improved on conducting Library Carpentry courses as their workshop moved online due to the restrictions during the pandemic.
With more and more emphasis placed on online content, Dr Mohd Faizal Hamzah from Universiti Malaya also shared how his library had actively posted content on social media and analysed the data from Facebook insights on how the followers of their page interact with the content that they posted on social media.
Collaboration among different libraries has also enabled libraries to pull their resources together to provide better services to their users. Puspa Yeow from Temasek Polytechnic and Khoo Ai Ling from Singapore Polytechnic shared on the “Jointed Polytechnic Libraries” project that was established among the libraries of the four polytechnics in Singapore. This has enabled the polytechnic libraries to enhance user experience, optimise resources and cost and strengthen staff development.
After a review of the collaborative initiatives of digital local content among the public libraries in Malaysia, Nik Norfauzieana binti Mohd Zaki from the Ministry of Defence, Malaysia suggested that future research should focus on the six dimensions of collaborative initiatives: participants, the focus of interaction, the context of collaboration, features of collaboration, collaborative processes, and perceived outcomes of collaborations. This framework will also provide the libraries a guide for them to develop strategies for future collaborations.
Libraries do not work only among themselves but also with the larger community to provide their services, develop their collection and use their collection. Dr Mayasari bintai Abdul Majid from Tzu Chi International School Kuala Lumpur, Liana Nakamura from Viva School, Escola Viva, Portuguese and Dr Mohd Faizal Mohd Hamzah from Universiti Malaya shared on how school libraries could become a bridge between resources, teachers and students to help them in delivering Information literacy modules and learning relevant knowledge, and complementing formal education by offering additional resources.
Janice Loo from National Library Singapore, NLB and Lisa Wong from National Archives of Singapore, NLB recount how a public call was activated to collect materials relating to Singaporean experiences during the pandemic, which was an important event in Singapore’s history, and showed some of the materials collected under this call.
Leo F.H. Ma from Chinese University of Hong Kong in turn shared how their library worked with various researchers from their university as well as external institutions, to research on their oracle bones collection and thus enhanced the understanding of this collection.
The morning session ended off with a lively Questions & Answers session as participants actively posted questions to the presenters on their sharing and learning more about the projects that they have shared.
Goh Yu Mei
LAS Publications Committee Member