CAMP FOR THE YOUNG ONES?

By: Nurul Diana Jasni, Librarian, University of Technology MARA

 

Young librarians participated in the Leadership and Development Camp in Kuching

This three-day leadership and development camp had inspired and motivated me. It started and helped me in the development of my leadership skills in various aspects such as the essential qualities of a great leader and to lead others with passion. Passion about my work responsibilities and as a librarian. As I believe if you are passionate about something,  it comes from the heart.

Collecting ideas

During this program I had the opportunity to meet a great group of librarians where I was so inspired about their sharing and knowledge that I will cherish and remember as I grow up in my career ladder. There are no regrets in attending the camp. Thanks also to the main facilitator, Dr. Ghazali, and group facilitators that made this experience so special. You cannot run a program like this without the energy and knowledge of people like them.

Group presentation

This program was incredible and we had extraordinary experience especially with World Cafe sessions, self reflection, group discussions and treasure hunt activities. When I returned I had developed a clear idea and vision about what I wanted to do. I feel I am on the right track to achieve them, not only for myself but for my organisation.

 

What would be my suggestions and improvements for this program? Please take me back for the next series as facilitator or participants. I hope there is something I can share and contribute in the future. I also hope the CSR programme can be improved in the future, especially suitable book collections donated to the community. CSR programs should be planned and managed properly by the organiser.

 

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YOUNG LIBRARIANS CAMP BORNEO 2019 IN KUCHING

By: Ahmad Syaufiq Abd Hamid, Librarian, Universiti Sains Malaysia

New Narrative 2

It was on the 16th April 2019 that I received a telephone call in my office that I had to go to a camp that was called the “Young Librarians Camp” that was organized by Persatuan Pustakawan Malaysia (PPM). I was notified that I was going there alone and immediately I doubted myself and had mixed feelings about going. Many things played in my head at that time. I do not even know anyone there. Who am I supposed to talk to? What if I do not know how to answer the questions that were asked during the camp? I am a new librarian and there are still many things for improvement and there are still tons of things I do not know. I was really anxious.

 

Deciphering the current state

As time passed by, suddenly it was already 27th April 2019, my flight day to Kuching. My flight was early in the morning. I reached Kuching at 10 a.m. and went to look for the famous Sarawak cuisines. I tried mi kolok and laksa Sarawak and they tasted fine for me. After stuffing myself with both, I went to the hotel to check in. In the hotel room I spent most of my time thinking what is going to happen tomorrow. Will I survive?

Collective understanding

The next morning came as ordained by the Almighty. I went to Pustaka early since I did not know how long it would take to reach the place from my hotel. When I reached there I saw a few participants were already there. I tried to blend in and talk. Then, we were told to go inside. The camp is starting soon. We had breakfast first and after that were put into groups. We stayed in the same group for the program.

 

I learnt many things and made many new friends. What I was anxious about before was just my own thoughts. Everyone shared their opinions, thoughts and never made anyone felt left behind. The facilitator, Dr. Ghazali was super friendly, open and knew what we young librarians are facing in our own organization and what we are facing in this era. During the two- day camp I have learned to visualize what are the causes of the present issues that we are facing. Also, I learnt how we could avoid them from happening and how we can make it possible to achieve what we want. Even with our small voices we could be heard. Dr. Ghazali promised us that he would take the necessary steps to make sure our thoughts and voices reached the necessary audience if we cannot do it on our own. But he fully encouraged us to be brave and sometimes bold to share our opinions.

 

As the last day came we were to do a CSR project at a village in Sarawak. We played futsal which was not really my forte, helped to organise the village surau library and got to know the villagers. During the last day we work as a team, not in many small teams but all of the participants of the camp as a team. I got to know all of them better and felt closer that day.

 

For me, the camp somehow changed me to be more confident, opened up my mind and I made many new networks with Malaysian libraries. I really think the camp is really good for new young librarians as when we are at our work place something distorts us from growing and changing. This type of camp really helps in boosting up faded ambition and giving ideas for making the library a better place. Now, if I am at a dead end, I have many reliable friends from amongst the participants from the camp that could help me on what I do not know.

That’s all from me from the camp that was held by PPM at Kuching, Sarawak.

 

 

 

YOUNG LIBRARIANS CAMP BORNEO (YLCB) 2019 – A NARRATIVE FROM DR GHAZALI

By: Dr. Ghazali Mohd. Fadzil, Chair of Committee on Professional Development PPM 2018/2020

The second Young Librarians Camp (YLC) of the series was planned to be in East Malaysia and after a bit of discussion, Pustaka Negeri Sarawak had agreed to host. Thus, the name of this camp was titled as the Young Librarians Camp Borneo 2019 (YLCB2019). The idea of having our YLC series in Borneo was to provide opportunities for young librarians in East Malaysia to participate. Just as the first YLC, with the learning outcomes being to vision how librarians and libraries will look in three years and the development of a leadership competency plan, the objectives of  YLCB 2019 are:

  1. To bring young librarians together to hear their perspectives.
  2. To allow young librarians to spearhead library development in Malaysia.
  3. To address and find solutions to the present threats faced by librarians and libraries.
  4. To identify relevant leadership skills and competencies required.
Issues and challenges prompted by the World Café

To achieve the learning outcomes, the design of the learning was blended in all aspects throughout the value chain based on adult experiential learning where the learning was immersive, participative and collaborative using tools such as Storytelling, Strategic Thinking and Discussion, Future Backwards, Reflection, World Cafe and Strategic Conversation. The use of these tools not only provide the best opportunity for learning but also to get the participants to be comfortable to provoke their minds to learn. This is enhanced with relaxed attire, flexible structure and the absence of ‘PowerPoints’ presentation. The learning environment is important and the choice of the locations and activities were chosen to suit the needs. Pustaka Negeri Sarawak, fronting the lake and with natural trees surrounding it, provides enough relevant facilities and spaces for the camp. Two new learning activities introduced in this camp were Treasure Hunt and Community Building project at Kg Pinggan Jaya, Samarahan. The design of the program was also meant to ensure the Cost of Attending (COA) for the participants to the bare minimum without compromising on quality. Thus, the design took into consideration the meaning and relationship of all entire activities from the arrival to departure.

There were a total of  22 participants for this second YLC that came from various libraries in Malaysia. The day before we departed for Kuching, I sent to everyone this guideline.

MUST BRING

  • Sport shoes or any outdoor shoes. Kaki ayam acceptable as well.
  • Sleeping bags if possible (we are trying to source them). Tent will be provided if you do not wish to sleep looking at the stars.
  • Casual and outdoor attire – leave your lovely kebaya, baju kurung, slacks and ties at home.
  • Yourself, body and soul. Please make sure of this as we do not wish to have zombies in the camp.
  • Enough empty space in your luggage for kek lapis, batek Sarawak and such. Sorry laksa Sarawak and mi kolok not allowed on the plane (I had smuggled them in anyway).

NO, PLEASE DO NOT DO THESE

  • Do not leave your smiles at home. Camping will add a lot more smiles for you
  • Do not bring more than 3-day attire. Two pants and three t-shirts would be best for the men as most of you are married already.
  • Do not bring too much makeup either as we are not doing beauty parades or going out for grand dinners.
  • Do not worry about the food as they are delicious and authentic. Those that cannot live without their jajan and bread, please do bring along. Remember to bring for all of us as well.
  • Do not bring too much insect repellent as you could suffocate your neighbour.
  • Do say goodbye to your bff and please leave them for just three days. You will be rewarded with 20 more great friends. Do not worry about your wife, husband, girlfriend or boyfriend as they will still love you when you are back dirty and tired. Kek lapis will help to break the ice.
  • Last but not least, please, please, please do not leave your enthusiasm, the explorer, wanderer and the knowledge seeker you at home.
  • IN ALL SERIOUSNESS LET’S US ENJOY THE LEARNING TOGETHER
Thinking of Heaven

DAY  1: SUNDAY [28 APRIL 2019] –  The Arrivals

Sunday, 28 April was the date of arrival for participants from outside of Sarawak in Kuching. The arrivals range from morning to close to midnight. My wife and I together with Diana landed at Kuching airport at mid-morning. The arrangement was those arriving a day earlier had to make their own lodging arrangement for a night.

As soon as we were out of the immigration checkpoint, I ordered a Grab car to Pustaka Negeri Sarawak (Pustaka) as I wanted to do my final check on the facilities. There were a lot of Grab cars at the airport so our waiting time was short and in no time we arrived at Pustaka.

When we were approaching Pustaka, we saw a fishing competition going on around the lake. I knew it was the second day of the International Children Festival 2019 and the place was buzzing with visitors mostly going into Pustaka. As we entered Pustaka, we were welcomed to a funfair like atmosphere complete with a few Marvel Comics characters. We felt excited as all the children there. All the activities sucked us in to be involved immediately. As prompted we turned to the right and walked into the Gallery that was turned into a Market Place for the festival. How wonderful were the festival and the great effort by Pustaka to organise it. Bravo to them. Inside the Gallery where our main location for the camp was going to be, was an organised commercial centre ran by mostly kids in the centre of the Gallery. There was a storytelling activity happening next to the stage and circumventing the Gallery were adult traders selling local wares and crafts. My wife straight away got hooked with the locally made handbags outlet. As for me, after going on around the Gallery, parked myself at an art and craft counter ran by a local artist Nia Latif. We talked about arts in Sarawak and I told her I was interested to come back one day to attend their own festival or event.

After a while, I remembered that I have had no proper breakfast yet since we left KL. Thus, we made a beeline to the cafe that I knew serves authentic Sarawak dishes. The place was packed and we settled for a table outside the cafe facing the lake. Unfortunately for me, mi kolok was a done deal for the day so I went for the second best, laksa Sarawak. Earlier on I sent a message to Encik Japri that I have arrived at Pustaka and would like to check the facilities for the camp. He replied back that Encik Razak would help me out and we waited for him at the cafe. Soon Encik Razak arrived and we eventually went around to check the campsite and shower rooms built for the camp

I have still a lot of materials for the camp to acquire and realising that I needed to move around, I decided to rent a car and Encik Razak called his friend and got me an Alza for the day which was sufficient for my needs. With that, we left Pustaka and practically went around Kuching searching for sleeping bags.

Late evening, after an early dinner at the Waterfront, we checked into our hotel. Syamrooz from UKM was staying at Dormani Hotel as well and I sent him a message that he could go with us tomorrow to Pustaka. I was too tired to do anything else and went to bed early.

 

Building a home by the Lake

DAY 2: MONDAY  [29 APRIL 2019]

CAMP DAY 1 – Explore and Understand

After breakfast, we left the hotel and since Razif was staying along the way, we decided to stop by and picked him up. We arrived at Pustaka almost at the same time with the others and they helped to carry all the things inside.

Once inside the Gallery I set things up the best I can quickly. Registration started immediately for the participants. Ha ha ha registration was actually just them signing the attendance sheet. Naturally, the participants started to occupy the tables around somebody from their own office or that they were familiar with.

As soon as we had our breakfast in the Gallery, I started to have everyone introduced themselves. I briefed them enough on what to expect throughout the program. The most important thing is for the participant to be open and willing to share and discuss – having a strategic conversation where each other will trigger each others thoughts in understanding and creating new knowledge.

Right before we started a proper session, the participants were group into four groups, mixing the participants to ensure enough sharing, networking and creation of new knowledge. There was a big group from Pustaka.

At 10.00 am we started on our first group learning and discussion activity using the World Cafe methodology. We focused our discussion around issues facing the world of librarianship today as well as the potential roles of young librarians. This was followed by a group discussion and sense making session where the group shared among each other their perspectives on the subject. This session brought about more realisation and triggers for new knowledge. Also, as a whole, the session was also a warm-up session to get everyone to know and understand each other more, to be comfortable to share during the program.

In life and to be a leader, we always neglect to take a few moments in our lives to reflect on what we have done, learnt and experienced. This inner learning is important and everyone should take a moment in their life every day to reflect. To be a leader we need to firstly reflect on yourself, who we really are? What makes one ticks?

Slightly before and after lunch, the group went on their reflection session either individually or in pairs. There were free to choose their own location that they were really comfortable with. Some remained at their table while others sat on the floor with their backs against the walls or pulling their chairs in the middle of the high ceiling space. The choices were understandable and a comfort zone to them.

After the reflection session, we started on the first part of the Future Backwards exercise. Using the walls, mahjong papers and a lot of stick on note pads, they started to itemised points to describe how they saw the Current State (CS) of librarianship today. After an hour, when they had exhausted their CS, moving backwards, I requested them to start to think and chart the Turning Points (TPs), basically events, projects, and major decisions that result in their CS.

At around 3.00 pm, the caterer came in to serve evening refreshments for the break. In reality, we did not have breaks. To allow comfortable continuous discussion, all refreshments were made available and participants were free to bring the food to their discussion corner.

We continued with Self Reflection at around 4.00 pm and this time I requested for everyone to reflect on the pain they had experience in their life, I am definitely not a neuroscientist or psychologist but the one good experience I had was when the day I reflected on my most painful moment that brought a lot of changes in my life. The painful experience, not necessarily the worst or life-threatening, but pains that blocked me from going forward. Grieving is part of the circle to energise us.

When you do a CS, you are actually collectively trying to make sense of the current world you are living in. When you do it together, the realisation of reality will be richer as you will build up and filter certain realities together. After you have done this, then it would be useful to look at what had actually happened to get you there. These could be in the form of events, decisions, projects and incidences. These are TPs, the next activity that the participants needed to identify moving backwards from the CS. This is when during the exercise a lot of realisations will emerge. The realisation of what we had done or what our stakeholders had done to create our own world up to that point. These realisations and understandings are important for us to move forward. Not only you will know what to do or otherwise, but you will have a good real base to start your journey into the future.

After an hour or so, all the groups seemed to have reached their saturation points and I asked them to move their CSs and TPs to one side of the hall and pasted them in group order. Once done, we did our Gallery Walk and Sense-making sessions with every group presenting their case. There are a couple of reasons why we did these. Apart from creating a group understanding and creating new knowledge, the session was an opportunity to learn to Connect-The-Dots. In the end, it is a flow of knowledge comprehension and creation from individuals to a small group and ultimately a single bigger group.

Right before we end for the evening, I decided we needed a change in venue for the night session and Pustaka provided a lot of alternatives. One particular area that I thought was perfect for our Heaven was the room on the upper floor of the Pustaka that has the best view of the lake. It is a room when at night with the lights off, you will be looking at the stars in the sky. If ever there is a moonlight, it will be you looking and being outside with the reflection of the moonlight hitting you back from the stillness of the lake. You will feel like being in heaven on earth. The room was perfect for our night session and I made the necessary arrangement for us to be in that room for the night.

We finished the evening session at around 5.30 pm as we had to start to set our camp. After we had agreed on the best spot, with less instruction and guidance, everyone just started to choose the ideal spot and put up their tents. There was a bit of delay in getting the tents up but at around 6.00 pm we started and finished when the azan was heard from across the lake. At that point, we were not sure how many of us were going to sleep in the tent and we had opened up all of them at the edge of the lake next to the security area. Nevertheless, we had our beds for the duration of the camp already.

We took turns to use the shower room, refreshed and said our prayers and we walked to the Gallery for our dinner and the next session.

I preordered dinner through the local provider which was to be delivered at around 7.30 pm. It was delivered late and while waiting, I could sense worries and a bit of tension among the campers. The top topic in their minds was, should they sleep in the tent outside or in the Gallery or anywhere else inside the Pustaka. Suddenly, it was verbalised and there was a discussion going on the pros and cons. I can understand the edginess. In the beginning, the majority seems to be agreeing on sleeping inside until someone made a potent point and the balance tipped with no majority decision. Playing my card, I said I was opened to a majority decision but we needed a decision quickly. With that, I walked outside to wait for the arrival of our dinner. While waiting I knew they were still unsure with no decision. I already told them before, the worst thing we made in life and in the working environment is not to take a position and make a decision. No decision means you block others from doing their work to progress and waste a lot of energy and resources. In that sense, it is better to make a wrong decision than no decision at all. We are living in a complex world . Whatever decision we take will have different results and results can be remedied accordingly. So while waiting for the delivery, I sent a message via our WA group for everyone to vote “yes” or “no” to sleeping in the tents.

Despite the reluctance, I knew they want to do it and the final count of the vote indicated so. So just as assuring myself, our dinner arrived. We had nasi ayam penyet and it was delicious. At around 8.30 pm we walked up to the Newspaper and Journal Reading Room and using the glass pane, started on our Heaven and its TPs. This exercise is an exploration exercise into the future based on the knowledge that they have built while doing the CS. They knew the base and the issues facing them and the world of librarianship. Thus, it is not purely a dream but a substantiate dream. Understanding the structure naturally, the groups chose their own comfortable spots for the exercise.

It had been a long day and signs of tiredness were apparent. But still they plodded on and the discussion among them got even more interesting. No matter, at 10.30 pm I brought the day to a close.

We were tired and ready for a good night’s rest. The tent was good but the still night made the inside of the tent a bit hot. Also, mosquitoes came to visit some of us. I had my tent fly wide open and not a single mosquito. Lucky me and I slept well until Aini and my wife decided to have a night picnic under the sky. They were happily chatting and laughing ha ha ha. I was drifting from being asleep and awake to “Mat Rempits” using the main road nearby as their racing track. But, in general, I slept and rested well but in the morning I found out, as expected, not all of us did so.

 

Which painting is it?

DAY 3: TUESDAY  [30 APRIL 2019]

CAMP DAY 2  – Explore and Sense-making

Subuh was at about 5.15 am.. I woke as I do normally and together with my wife, we went to clean ourselves and since we were very early, we used the bathroom at the security room. My wife took her shower while I only clean myself for Subuh first, which I did outside the tent. After prayers, Sam (my wife) said she would be heading to the Gallery to dress as her bag was there since during the night a couple of the ladies decided to go in there to sleep. I took my toothbrush, towel and walked to the other shower area meant for the gentlemen and had a long refreshing cold shower.

After I took my bath, I put on my attire for the day and at 6.00 am, I pulled my bag to the Gallery as I intended to walk around the Lake. Most of the ladies were already there. They were happily sitting on the floor chatting and laughing. I left them there, stove my bag and walked outside with my camera.

It was a beautiful early morning at Pustaka and one look at the lake, I just can feel it was going to be a good day. I walked down the steps and walked slowly taking in the surroundings around me. I already felt refreshed and continued my walk towards the garden, crossing the small bridge to walk around the lake. A few joggers and walkers were already on site to enjoy the park. I am not sure how many actually did the ‘Walk In The Wood’ but I am sure those who did not, were missing something special.

My camera worked overtime as I walked. The reflection of Pustaka on the surface of the lake made it even worse but I totally enjoyed it and I thought I captured the best of Pustaka that morning. I really took my time walking and because of the new knowledge I had acquired recently, I was looking at the surroundings and the trees with interest. I understand more about why trees are the way they are now. It was really a more meaningful walk for me that day.

When I reached the location of our tents, the boys were still lingering enjoying the morning. After breakfast, we got ready for the first activity of the day, Treasure Hunt. I finished preparing the questions for the treasure hunt the day before and made sure we would cover a bigger portion of Pustaka. I designed the questions in such a way to force them to take a walk in the park, explore inside Pustaka and to have a bit of fun. As an example, I purposely developed the questions so that they had to walk looking at all the beautiful original paintings. At around 8.30 am, I sent them the questions via our WA group  and off they went hunting. I followed them just to have a bit of fun myself.

Why a treasure hunt?

I have been a ‘treasure hunter’ myself during my working days and apart from the fun and the way the questions were set really force you to think differently. To think out of the norm. Not only that, you need to see things from different perspectives. It is a good brain exercise. Apart from that, the structure of the game really brings out characters that are really observable. Most do not realise it but the observable characters are leadership characters. It is also sense making and experiential learning for the participants. It was enjoyable learning.

We ended the hunt at around 11.15 am. After calibrating their answers, I went through the answers with them.

Grieving is an important part of our self-development. At noon, I asked the participants to do a reflection of the pains in their life. Again they did this either in pairs or alone.

Just before we broke for lunch, Aini approached me to request from me for all of us to finish the day early. I asked how early? She suggested at 6.00 pm. Obviously, she was the spokesperson for the group. A natural choice by everyone it seems. I understood that those from the Semenanjung need to explore and experience Kuching a bit. Kek lapis, mi kolok, laksa Sarawak, ikan terubok, Kuching Waterfront at night and the likes are some of the must-haves or to do in Kuching. Thinking together aloud, we agreed to continue working until 6.00 pm. I did an adjustment to the schedule and informed everyone. It may seem impromptu and reactive. Actually, I anticipated a request like this and blended it into the design. Purely because a trustful relationship is important in making sense of the world we live in. Furthermore, I could observe their relationship growing.

Immediately after lunch, I called upon Puan Imilia, the Chair of PPM Kumpulan Sarawak to give a briefing on the CSR project that we were going to do the next day.

Immediately after the short briefing, we started on our group reflection and sense-making on their heavens. For that, I asked each group to paste their heavens at one side of the hall. We started by each group explaining their heavens and we discussed them. This Gallery Walk is a necessary process in trying to ensure a deeper understanding. Once completed for each group, I asked them to rationalise everything and to build one heaven as a group. This was the ultimate discussion and we took a few hours in our discussion and we were connecting the dots as we go along.

Once everyone is satisfied, from the collective heavens, in two groups, I requested for them to craft a written vision of the future.

At around 6.00 pm, I brought the day to a close with a short debriefing on what they had experienced for the day.

Because of the change in plan, I had already reorganised the delivery of our dinner to be at 6.30 pm. Some chose to eat and some kept theirs for supper.

Since I had a small rental car, I offered the two available seats and Amin and Syam decided to go with us and we agreed to leave after we did our Maghrib prayer. I knew that the rest will make their own group arrangement and this is very important for the camp. It was not just a free and easy outing per se for the participants. Some may not realise that the outing is part of the program and I did not explain it to them. They sort of indicated to realise it from the feedback they either gave me or the observation I had of them, when I met them enjoying themselves at the Kuching Waterfront.

I had another good sleep by the lake

 

Activities with the children of Kg. Pinggan Jaya

DAY 4: WEDNESDAY  [1 MAY 2019]

CAMP DAY 3 – Community Building

At 5.51 am, after I did my Subuh prayers,  I looked up at the sky from my tent. It was a beautiful morning breaking behind us. I took out my camera and took a few shots. The others were either still sleeping or just lying down in their tents waiting for the day to break properly. Sam actually left earlier to pray and dress at the Gallery.

As soon as we were up and ready, we started to take down the tents and cleared the camping ground. I had already cleared my tent and walked to the gentlemen’s section to help and as on queue Syam came back from his bath with a YNWA towel and I could not resist for the both of us to capture the moment with the signature of our team that we love.

Together with PPM Kumpulan Sarawak, we organised a CSR project at Kg. Pinggan Jaya, Samarahan for the third day of the Camp. Kg. Pinggan Jaya was Kg. Pinggan and apart from fishing, the main product of the village is gula apong. Community building is about trying to understand, know and love the community. Know everything about them and to serve what they want and need. Central to the community is youth development.

The CSR was nicely blended into the Camp where communication and community building are very important to the participants’ development. There was so much learning and I know they have learnt a lot without realising so. They need to reflect on it. We rented two vans to transport us to Kg Pinggan Jaya. We organised it as such that those going straight to the airport to board one van and the others that were coming back to Pustaka in the other van. However, the two vans were not enough for all of us and Roswati was quick and decent enough to lend me her MyVI for me to use, not just for the day but for the rest of my stay in Kuching. Hanis and Rehan went with us in the car.

At 8.41 am we arrived at the surau of Kg. Pinggan Jaya, about one and a half hours after we left Pustaka. After a brief discussion, and because of the heat, we agreed to start the futsal matches straight away. The futsal court was quite a distance and we decided to walk there. I personally would not have it any other way. I just love to walk in the new place that I am visiting.

There were two matches, the gentlemen and ladies. I was tempted to play initially but back off to give the younger guys to play. With the help of players from UiTM, we won both matches. Winning is not everything and they had fun and knew each other much better. The Men Dream Team comprised of Syaufiq, Syamrooz, Rehan, Razif, Hanis and Amin. The Ladies Dream Team comprised of Grace, Kool, Aini and 3 other invited players. I was the photographer.

After both matches, we rested for a while at the shed chatting to rest. It was really a hot day but we were still very happy. There was a small sundry shop nearby and even that we were a bit lazy to go and buy our drinks ha ha ha. I would have stayed there chatting a bit longer with the guys but I needed to be at the surau for the next activity. I decided to walk back to the surau and started walking.

I did not even go about ten metres when a motorbike stopped next to me and the man told me he would take me to the surau. Although a bit hot, I really would enjoy the walk, especially in a new kampung that I have never been to. However, it was impolite of me to refuse the kindness of the kampung folks.

There were already a lot of activities at the surau. Apart from helping to manage and clean their library collection together with members from PPM Kumpulan Sarawak, we organised a talk and azan competition for the kids. The activities ended on-time before lunchtime.

Before we wrapped up, I gathered everyone around for the last time firstly to thank them for their commitment and presence. Also, for the last time, I debriefed them on what had just happened in the last three days and what to expect in the future. It is the journey as much as the destination.

After we said our prayers, we said goodbye to the kampung folks and departed. One van went straight to the airport while the other one made a stop at Pustaka before dropping everyone else in downtown Kuching. After seeing everyone off safely, I slowly drove out. We saw Valentino stopped at a local stall and I knew straight away it was a gula apong stall. We stopped as well and we bought a few kilos of gula apong to take home.

After we had collected our luggage at Pustaka, we drove out to Kuching to check-in for the night. Those that were flying home were either on the way to the airport or were already at the airport.

See you guys at the next YLC Kedah in August 2019.

MOVING FORWARD

  • We had introduced and discussed a lot of ideas that we felt were important for our future. Some are interrelated and need to be done in sequence and it may not be feasible to implement all at the same time. Do share our ideas with your colleagues and bosses at the office. At the very least, you can implement ideas within your circle of influence. Do not worry. PPM will help to take up the other major issues and initiatives.
  • Always seek to understand first before you start or make a decision on something. Do not assume that you understand your colleagues and bosses. Remember, diversity and difference in thinking are very important for our future.
  • When you want to do something strategic and new, if you cannot build it into your current work, it will become an additional task for you and naturally, something else has got to give. We have been in the business of administrative and routine work and I believe such tasks could be reduced or done by your junior staff. You can have more time on strategic issues pertaining to your stakeholders.
  • Lastly, I will share our ideas and issues at bigger events and programs. However, please do not let me take on this role 100% as you are also competent to share with your colleagues and management.

 

From the bottom of my heart I am very thankful for the YLCB2019, especially for the discussion on issues and on how library can earn money. After the program I think out of the box and recently created one (1) room for us to provide new services. The new services are binding, laminating, and sale of  transparency films, CDs and envelopes. We sell to the students at reasonable price. Now our library beginning to earn money.

Sandra

 

Different activities on 2nd & 3rd day from previous YLC, which is very good! half outdoor and indoor activity. On 1st day, facilitators should not present the idea came out from the group. It should be explained by the group member. so that group member can digest what they have discussed. Overall good job on the initiatives Dr Ghaz! appreciate it!

Razif

 

The camp has provided everyone with the opportunity to contribute ideas for the improvement of librarians and the availability of library services. An invaluable experience to spend the nights in tents and taking baths in an unthinkable place. To achieve our short or long term vision (heaven) we need to first identify the turning points. Additionally, it was the right platform for expanding our network of partners.

Grace

 

In my opinion,  YLC Borneo 2019 provides a good platform for the librarians to share their thoughts and ideas on every issues that libraries currently are facing. With all the combined ideas, we are able to share good knowledge among each other through HEAVEN on how to create better library in the future and give the best services to the users. This program also had build good relationship and connection between librarians from all around Malaysia

Kool

 

 

YOUNG LIBRARIANS CAMP BORNEO 2019: WRITTEN IN THE STARS

By: Muhammad Nooramin bin Mohd Hassan, Librarian, Perbadanan Perpustakaan Awam Pahang

Heaven on earth

 

I just came back from a 5-day climbing expedition to one of the most challenging summit in Peninsular Malaysia. A memo awaits on my desk. Another camping trip? In Kuching? Librarians Camp? Sounds fun!

 

Back home, everything’s has been taken care off. The kids’ logistics to school, the fridge is well stocked with food and security protocol is in place. The only thing I would be worrying about is what knick-knacks to buy for my kids. I can say that I am in the clearest state of mind during this camp.

 

My solo journey to Kuching is an amazing experience and I arrived earlier because the airfare was cheaper. I spent much of my free time before the camp to explore the city on foot (and sometimes by oat). I got lost numerous times in this historic city but only to discover something new that is totally off the travel books. I got my first taste of the delicious mi kolok. It was very tasty that I refused to consume anything else during my entire stay.

 

Messing and rationalising the surau library

 

Finally, I step foot at the famous Pustaka Negeri Sarawak. I have heard a lot about this library but never got the chance to see it myself. With acres of landscape, a man-made lake. And lush greeneries. We set our tents by the lake. The sunset view is just breath taking. The guards reassured us many times that there were no bujang senang or crocodiles in the lake. I just had to check.

 

The programme sets to address and find solutions to the present threats faced by librarians and libraries. There are many mutual problems and issues among us. A relaxing dress code, no slides, no handouts, just discussions and talking. It is amazing to see how many issues were identified and ideas put forth when you put together a bunch of young librarians and get them to think. I kept myself busy scanning through all the post-it notes, memorizing them and taking notes.

When I say jump, they say how high?

On the second day, there was a treasure hunt. The riddles were quite challenging and I love the morning walk around the library. I took this chance to peek further inside Pustaka Negeri Sarawak. Their working spaces, storage rooms, meeting spaces, reading areas and other areas – everything was beautifully designed and well maintained. I picked up a few design ideas along the way. With a few legal trickery and manoeuvre our team won the treasure hunt.

 

Come nightfall, I had plenty of time reflecting about the matters discussed earlier. I spent hours just sitting by the lake with my favourite canned coffee, potato chips and all the while basking in the stillness and tranquility of the night sky. Then it came to me, I know what I need to do to overcome the (present) problems. I know several things that requires small but significant changes. All these thoughts were just laying around the edges all this time. It just needed a little push.

 

The Men Dream team

 

On the last day, we set out to Kampung Pinggan Jaya, somewhere in Samarahan for our CSR activities. The kampung folks were waiting for us for a game of futsal. I am not the soccer type, but we were in faraway land and I was game for anything at this point. That was the first time I tried the game of futsal. I am glad I did not break any bones or joints. Another round of reflections during the ceramah agama, and we rooted for the local boy who helped to buy drinks for us earlier, in the Azan competition.

 

The whole YLCB2019 experience has been a blast for me. Made new friends, phone numbers exchanged, networking established. The program is well designed, great location and I highly recommend it.

 

I returned home with a new sense of direction, some fresh new ideas that I cannot wait to implement and a whole lot of ikan terubuk masin.

 

Awesome!!