By: Dr. Nor Edzan Che Nasir, Immediate Past President PPM (2018-2020)
CONSAL XVII was held from 2 to 5 May 2018 in Nap Pyi Taw, Myanmar. The first event of the Congress was held on 2 May 2018 and it was the 3rd Meeting of CONSAL XVII Executive Board (EB) held at the Bagan Room of Mingalar Thiri Hotel. This was followed by the 26th Conference of Directors of National Libraries in Asia Oceania (CDNLAO) Meeting held at the Amarapura Room of Mingalar Thiri Hotel. Malaysia was represented by Dr. Nor Edzan Che Nasir, Immediate Past President of PPM; Ms. Chin Jyoon Loy, Vice President II of PPM; and Madame Maizan Ismail, Deputy Director-General of the National Library of Malaysia. On completion of both Meetings, the next event was the opening of CONSAL XVII Exhibition & Poster Session at the Myanmar International Convention Center 2 (MICC 2).
The Exhibition had numerous booths showcasing library related products as well as native products from Myanmar. Each CONSAL member, including Malaysia, was given a booth. PPM took the opportunity to promote and market IFLA WLIC 2018 as well as introduce PPM to the CONSAL participants. For the poster session, Malaysia had two representations through:
1. Nor Edzan Che Nasir and Zawawi Haji Tiyunin. From print to blog: The evolution of PPM News/Berita PPM.
2. Samsul Farid Samsuddin, Suzila Mohamad Kasim, Azana Abd. Hadi, Aznizultina Md. Nazar and Muizzuddin Kaspol. MyAgric: Next generation libraries projects in resource sharing among the agricultural interests.
A welcome dinner and cultural performance which was hosted by the Department of Historical Research and the National Library of Myanmar was held at the Ballroom of Mingalar Thiri Hotel for the 3rd EB and 26th CDNLAO members.
The Opening Ceremony of CONSAL XVII was held on 3rd May 2018 and began with cultural performance. The State Counsellor of Myanmar, Madame Aung San Suu Kyi, proceeded to strike the gong to commemorate the opening of CONSAL XVII and then presented her Opening Remarks which touched on the importance of libraries and the activities of the National Library of Myanmar. She also made a personal plea for librarians to retain print books. She said that a love for books will help one go through the difficulties of life. The State Counsellor then held a photo session and took leave. This was followed by Welcome Remarks from the Union Minister for Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture, Myanmar, Thura U Aung Ko and Remarks from the President Elect of IFLA, Madame Christine Mackenzie. There were several cultural performances depicting the rich culture of Myanmar and the spirit of ASEAN.
The Plenary Session that followed included a keynote address from the President Elect of IFLA, Madame Christine Mackenzie as well as an address from Dr. Thaw Kaung by Mr. U Than Aung, President of Myanmar Library Association. A total of 76 papers were presented in six parallel sessions throughout CONSAL XVII. The papers were presented in the following tracks:
- Access and opportunities for all
- Media and information literacy (includes media and social media literacy)
- Digital library management
- Advocacy (includes discussions on library associations)
- Transforming libraries
- Strategic alliance and partnership
- New competencies and training for library and information professionals
- Marketing and promotion
- Conservation and preservation (includes ancient manuscripts)
- ASEAN vision and libraries (includes collaboration/educational efforts)
Malaysia was represented through the presentation of three papers:
- Suzila Mohamad Kasim, Azana Abd. Hadi, Samsul Farid Shamsuddin and Aznizultina Md. Nazar. Challenges faced by subject librarians in an academic library and initiatives towards overcoming them.
- Yazid Ibrahim. Empowering civil servants through media and information literacy in transforming government services.
- Zuhanariah MN, Razman Shah R. and Muhammad Hisyamuddin MN. Basic information literacy license: IMU experience.
There was also an Exhibition Promotion in between the sessions. The Closing Ceremony was held on 4th May 2018 and the Vice President, Mr. U Myint Swe, gave his closing address. This was followed by a Gala Dinner. On 5th May 2018, participants visited the Parliament of Myanmar and the National Library of Myanmar.
CONSAL XVII was attended by 11 participants from Malaysia. The next CONSAL will be hosted by Cambodia.