18 August 2023

ASEAN Universities' Library Innovations Showcased at the AUNILO Meeting

Gaetan Guichard Sutthanunt
AUN Programme Officer;

The 18th AUNILO Meeting, a gathering of academic librarians from ASEAN University Network (AUN) member universities, held at Universiti Putra Malaysia, served as a platform to discuss strategies and share experiences in navigating the evolving landscape of education. Coordinated by the AUNILO and AUN secretariats, the meeting centered around the theme "Co-Creating the Future of Libraries: Empowering Academic Librarians for Innovation and Impact." The event brought together a diverse array of perspectives, as each representative from an AUN member university presented a comprehensive country report. Here's a closer look at the insights shared by these representatives:

Brunei: Collaborative Empowerment for Digital Transformation

The representative from Brunei, Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) Libraries, highlighted a collaborative approach as a key driver for empowering libraries. The report emphasized the active collaboration with faculties and students to co-create resources and services. Key initiatives included supporting blended and online learning, empowering library staff for user-centric services and research support, and recognizing staff talents and expertise. Challenges like collaboration difficulties and succession planning were acknowledged, while future directions focused on securing library practices through advocacy and professional development.

Cambodia: Technology-Driven Resource Accessibility

Cambodian libraries exhibited a commitment to resource accessibility through technology-driven initiatives. Despite budget constraints, libraries in Cambodia leveraged open-source technologies to enhance services and resources. Efforts in digitization aimed to provide greater accessibility to resources for students, even in remote locations. While funding challenges were noted, libraries in Cambodia embraced collaboration and open access principles to foster a dynamic learning environment.

Indonesia: Harnessing Technology for Learning Transformation

Representatives from Indonesian universities underscored the importance of technology in transforming learning and library services. Libraries across Indonesia actively embraced digital transformation trends, integrating them into teaching and learning practices. Collaborations with faculties and other institutions were integral to this transformation. Initiatives included creating online learning resources, leveraging AI technology for various tasks, and providing access to a diverse range of digital resources.

Malaysia: Leading Through Collaboration and Innovation

Malaysian libraries showcased their dedication to leadership development, open science, and innovative collaborations. Notable highlights encompassed leadership programs for chief librarians, participation in the National Open Science platform, and collaborations with faculties and other institutions. Libraries in Malaysia focused on maintaining quality services while navigating challenges related to funding, facility upgrades, and changing trends in higher education.

Philippines: Adapting to Student-Centered Learning

The Philippines' library representatives showcased their adaptability in the face of evolving learning paradigms. They embraced student-centered learning approaches, shifting from traditional to blended and online modes. Libraries played an active role in supporting online learning, offering access to electronic resources, and providing information literacy programs. The report emphasized investments in digital resources, innovative approaches, and holistic learning experiences for students.

Singapore: Innovations Shaping Library Experiences

Singaporean universities, including Singapore Management University, National University of Singapore, and Nanyang Technological University, demonstrated a commitment to innovation and personalized learning experiences. Initiatives like the ASEAN Summer School for Emerging Library Leaders and the Academic Transition Programme showcased their emphasis on digital transformation and easing student transitions. National University of Singapore prioritized digitization and personalized learning through its BL2.0 Initiative, while Nanyang Technological University fostered well-being spaces and harnessed AI for improved operational efficiency.

Vietnam: Technology-Driven Resource Management

Vietnamese universities' library representatives highlighted the importance of technology and collaboration in enhancing library services. A unified library management system streamlined resource sharing, while technology adoption supported research and knowledge sharing. Despite challenges related to funding and human resources, libraries in Vietnam embraced innovation, introduced user feedback mechanisms, and invested in digital and physical resources.

Thailand: Diverse Teaching Methods and Learning Spaces

Thailand's library representatives showcased the diverse approaches to teaching and learning across the country. Universities adopted a range of teaching methods, from traditional lectures to online platforms like MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). Libraries also offered innovative learning and co-working spaces, facilitated by technology and mobile applications. Challenges related to upskilling librarians for emerging technologies and preserving digital resources were acknowledged, while the emphasis on quality assurance and innovative learning spaces remained strong.

Conclusion: Advancing Libraries in ASEAN's Academic Landscape

The 18th AUNILO Meeting brought to light the resilience, innovation, and collaboration that define academic libraries across ASEAN member universities. As higher education continues to evolve, these libraries remain dedicated to empowering librarians, leveraging technology, and enhancing user experiences. The meeting's theme of "Empowering Academic Librarians for Innovation and Impact" was reflected in each representative's report, underlining the crucial role of libraries in shaping the future of education within ASEAN. The meeting served as a testament to the continuous commitment of academic librarians in embracing change, promoting collaboration, and advancing their institutions' academic goals.

For more information and activities from AUNILO, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/AUNILO/