More than just a library

Abang Johari (second right) and Hamid (third right) look at a special book, entitled 'Pustaka Negeri Sarawak: Our page-turning 20 years', which was launched in conjunction with the official opening of Pustaka Sibu.

SIBU: Compared to other state libraries in Malaysia, Pustaka Negeri Sarawak is very unique because it is not only a state library, but also a storage and preservation centre of records and archives.

This was pointed out by Pustaka Sarawak board of management chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Hamid Bugo at the launch of Pustaka Negeri Sarawak Sibu branch today.

He said records of historical value of the state government were preserved and kept by Pustaka Negeri for the use of future generations.

“We cannot deny the importance of records and archives being kept for the benefit of future generations. They reflect and interpret our lives today,” he added.

Hamid said Pustaka Sibu would keep the collection of government records and archives in the central region of Sarawak before they were sent to Kuching for preservation and permanent storage.

He pointed out that libraries were ‘the universities for life’ for all groups, regardless of race, age, rank and position.

They also played an important role in lifelong learning not only for the people in the state, but also globally through their diverse services and rich and authentic sources of information.

“The recent Covid-19 pandemic that has hit the world has forced all of us to rethink new ways of living and performing daily tasks,” said Hamid.

Library services around the world had also been subjected to a reform process in providing services to the public without compromising on the quality of services while maintaining public health.

Pustaka Negeri Sarawak, he revealed, had diversified its information services and delivery methods in digital form so that its services could be received safely and enjoyed by more users.

Hamid added Pustaka Negeri Sarawak had also implemented various online activities and programmes channeled through its official website, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter to strengthen its virtual presence among users at home and abroad.

“Pustaka Sibu will function as the main and superior digital information services portal for the central region of Sarawak which includes Mukah, Kapit and Sarikei.

“Locals will have the opportunity to improve their ability and know the latest developments in their respective fields through the library,” he said, adding that the library also had a network of information to libraries, archives, information centres and knowledge stores around the world.