Libraries need to serve as community centers: Experts
The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Fri, 06/19/2009 9:02 PM | National
Public libraries need to expand their horizon and serve as community centers to lure more visitors, experts said on Friday.
In a discussion held at the National Education Ministry office in Jakarta, the chairman of the Association of Indonesian Library and Information Science Scholars, Harkrisyati Kamil, expressed her concern about the low number of visits in public libraries in the country.
“Libraries should be part of the community, rather than mere book lending or book keeping facilities,” she said, adding that people should be able to do activities and held events that promote community empowerment in libraries.
The discussion, themed Libraries, Books and Reading Habit in Indonesia, also featured the head of the University of Indonesia's Central Library, Luki Wijayanti, and the secretary general of the Jakarta Chapter of the Indonesian Publishers Association, Mula Harahap.
Mula lamented on the fact that many public libraries were only open during working hours.
“Who will go to libraries then? It would be better if they open from 4 in the afternoon to 10 pm,” he said, adding that in small cities where malls are scarce, libraries could be an alternative for weekend getaway if managed well.
The country is home to around 2,500 public libraries. (adh)