10 August 2023

18th AUNILO Meeting: Insights and Initiatives Propel Academic Library Collaboration

Gaetan Guichard Sutthanunt
AUN Programme Officer;

The 18th AUNILO Meeting took place from 1-3 August 2023, hosted by Universiti Putra Malaysia. The central theme of the meeting was “Co-Creating the Future of Libraries: Empowering Academic Librarians for Innovation and Impact.” On the second day of the event, August 2, a key focus was on the discussion of network-related matters among the head librarians of AUNILO Member Libraries. Additionally, this day marked the formal handover of the Secretariat role from the Philippines to Singapore.

The gathering featured participation from a range of countries, including Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia, and Brunei. In total, 24 representatives from the AUNILO Member Libraries attended the meeting, along with the presence of three members from the AUN Secretariat.

Significant proposals were put forth during the meeting, including:

  • A proposal to establish a Resource Sharing Network among AUNILO Member Institutions
    • The network would operate on a voluntary basis and allow institutions to share services, facilitate access to collections, and provide support to other member institutions when requested. This network will serve as an important mechanism to enable knowledge-sharing beyond the AUNILO’s annual meeting. 
  • A proposal regarding the implementation of a Staff Mobility Program
    • The objective was to provide librarians with the opportunity to observe and learn from other academic institutions, fostering career development and the creation of a collaborative training community.

The meeting also unveiled the New Business Strategy Plan for AUNILO covering the period 2023-2026. The plan introduced a three-year term structure, alternating the chair among SMU, NUS, and NTU. Key themes featured in the New Business Strategy included: 

  • The impact of digital technology and AI
  • Sustainability 
  • Multidisciplinary approaches 
  • Facilitating deeper understanding of Southeast Asian issues among students

The plan aimed to leverage existing opportunities, with a special emphasis on Open Science and Open Educational Resources (OER).

Further discussions included a report highlighting ongoing initiatives and coordination efforts within the organization. The concept of an ASEAN Summer School for AUNILO members was proposed, and the potential use of online platforms like MERLOT was explored. 

The meeting also looked ahead to the choice of host countries for the  AUNILO Meeting in the upcoming years, with Chiang Mai University set to host in 2024, followed by Brunei in 2025, and Cambodia in 2026.

In conclusion, the 18th AUNILO Meeting featured insightful discussions, proposals, and plans that aimed to enhance collaboration, innovation, and impact among academic libraries in the ASEAN region.