June 2010 No.73  
   In this issue

Access Dunia 2010 User Group Meeting
 

 

Branding your library, digitizing heritage collections, storytelling, open access publishing, advances in the digital world and library rejuvenation were on the agenda of Access Dunia’s 2010 User Group Meeting in Kuala Lumpur, 18 May. More than 120 librarians from the four corners of Malaysia and Brunei were treated to a day of thought provoking opinions. Speakers came from far and wide as did publishers who mounted an exhibition of new products, services and technologies.

The overwhelming impression is how fast technology is changing the way libraries do business. The technology, including iPads, eBook readers and smartphones provide challenges to publishers and librarians in how they create and deliver information. When patrons use these devices in everyday life they expect libraries to provide them with a similar user experience.

This calls on libraries to question who they are and what they do. On the one hand they are knowledge gatekeepers with irreplaceable collections. Yet on the other, the perception of them by patrons is that the web can be a similar if not a more rewarding place to visit. In such cases branding becomes an issue (what do we want our library to be and what does it represent?) as does updating the ambience and experience of it by patrons, as Paul Gandel (Syracuse University and SMU) and Azahar Mohd Noor (Petronas) explained in their presentations. Casey Chan (WizFolio) made the point that the iPad will change the game for publishers and users: another challenge for libraries. This was reinforced by Kevin Sayar of ebrary who mentioned that one million iPads were sold in the first month of release, twice the first month sales of the iPhone.

Publishing is changing and librarians keep their eye on it. Open Access has ushered in new business and publishing models, one of which was described by Leo Cheung of Biomed Central. In this case, the model, which is profitable, allows BMC journals to be read by one and all without charge. But should profit be the motive for digitizing heritage materials owned by the library? Linda Yip of Apex Knowledge and Clive Wing discussed different models of real life library digitizing projects in Asia and beyond. Finally, Lee Chu Keong (NTU) amused the audience with humorous stories of success and failure making the point that libraries can learn from their own stories and experience. The User Group meeting ended with a lucky draw and a vote of thanks to the speakers and publishers who supported it. Access Dunia is a leading distributor of research databases and e-materials in Malaysia.

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