KUCHING: State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion has expressed support for the International Archives Week (IAW) 2020 programme organised by the Sarawak State Library (Pustaka) from June 8 to 14 in conjunction with International Archives Day on Tuesday.
“We are honoured to join this celebration together with other archive institutions globally to highlight the importance of archives, records and data landscape in the 21st century. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are celebrating IAW 2020 in the new normal through virtual conferencing and pushing content virtually,” he said in a video address.
He said that this year’s IAW 2020 theme of ‘Empowering Knowledge Societies’ was about three matters namely the use of artificial intelligence, digital preservation, and emerging technologies; promoting sustainable knowledge; and ensuring sustainable information.
He added that empowering knowledge societies was about trust and evidence.
“Good and sustainable record management of government departments should be practised from the creation of records to the preservation of records of historical and economic importance or value to a department or agency,” he said.
Jaul explained that Pustaka had embarked on two systems including Archival Records Management System (ARMS) and State Records Management System (SRMS), to assist stakeholders in achieving international standards in records and archive management.
He said that among the events of the IAW 2020 programme were online exhibitions, talks, and workshops.
“Through close association, collaboration, and benchmarking practices with international bodies such as the International Council on Archives and National Archives of Singapore and locally with the National Archives of Malaysia and National Library of Malaysia, academia such as Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) among others, it is hoped that we are united in advocating the best practices in the management and use of records and archives,” he concluded.
In conjunction with IAW 2020, Pustaka held a virtual chat session titled ‘Digital Archives and Digital Knowledge Sharing: The Roles of Archives and Library Institutions’ through Zoom on Wednesday on their YouTube channel (https://youtu.be/umPBkXw5sQU).
The topics discussed during the chat session were very well suited with the theme of IAW 2020. The programme addressed issues related to the importance of records and archives in the current digital age.
Among the main objectives of the programme were to highlight the functions and roles played by information bodies and institutions such as archives and libraries to ensure that these are always relevant in sharing or providing authentic information to the local communities up to the process of seeking information by users on a global level.
Through the chat session, it was also hoped that participants and the public would understand the function of records and archives in preserving historical value as well as their importance for current and future reference.
Such topics were discussed in depth by two invited panellists with vast knowledge in their respective fields, namely Dr Alwi Mohd Yunus from the Faculty of Information Management of UiTM (Puncak Perdana) and Chuah Kee Man from the Centre for Applied Learning and Multimedia of Unimas.
Pustaka serves as a library and also a state repository (archive) for state government’s records aged 25 years old and above. Records which have undergone the assessment process, taking into account their historical value or public interest, have been moved to Pustaka to be maintained and preserved for reference and research purposes.
In line with the current information technology development, Pustaka has taken the initiative to develop electronic record management to produce systematic record management, especially for public records in government departments and agencies.
Pustaka chief executive officer Dr Rashidah Bolhassan was present.