The Libraries of the ASEAN University Network (AUNILO), a thematic network under the ASEAN University Network (AUN), serves as a platform for discussing strategies and sharing experiences in navigating the evolving landscape of education.

The 18th AUNILO Meeting, which took place from 1 to 3 August 2023, gathered participation from a range of countries.

s, including Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia, and Brunei. Hosted by Universitiy Putra Malaysia (UPM) and coordinated by the Secretariats of AUNILO and AUN, it gathered academic librarians from AUN member universities. In total, 30 representatives from the AUNILO member libraries attended the meeting, along with the presence of three members from the AUN Secretariat. The theme for the meeting was Co-Creating the Future of Libraries: Empowering Academic Librarians for Innovation and Impact.

Mahbob Yusof, Chief Librarian of UPM delivering his opening address

The first day of the event facilitated a gathering of various viewpoints, as each delegate from AUN member universities delivered a comprehensive report on their respective countries. Below is an overview of the presentations delivered by the representatives:

  • Brunei: Enhancing collaboration to drive digital transformation
  • Cambodia: Enhancing access to resources via technology-based initiatives
  • Indonesia: Utilising technology for the advancement of learning
  • Malaysia: Leading through innovation and collaboration
  • Philippines: Embracing student-centered learning
  • Singapore: Digital transformation for students’ transition
  • Vietnam: Technology-driven resource sharing
  • Thailand: Innovative learning and co-working spaces

On the second day of the event, emphasis was placed on network-related matters among the Chief Librarians of the AUNILO member libraries. The key focus was the discussion of establishing a resource sharing network among AUNILO member institutions, and the implementation of a staff mobility program. The meeting also unveiled a new business strategy plan for AUNILO for 2023 to 2026. Some of the fundamental points featured in the new business strategy plan include the impact of digital technology and AI, sustainability, multidisciplinary approaches, and facilitating a deeper understanding of Southeast Asian issues among students. Further discussions included a report highlighting ongoing initiatives and coordination efforts within the organisation.

In line with the meeting’s theme, a workshop was held on 3 August 2023 which involved librarians from AUNILO member libraries. Facilitated by Dr Nor Edzan Che Nasir, IFLA Asia Oceania Regional Division Committee Secretary, it provided a platform for discussions on the impact of changes in learning systems and library roles; different approaches to academic librarians’ empowerment; innovative initiatives and best practices for academic librarians’ empowerment; and connecting with peers and experts to exchange ideas and discuss emerging trends and challenges. Through the workshop, librarians had the opportunity to engage with leading experts in the field, participate in thought-provoking discussions, and learn about the benefits of empowerment and how it can positively impact their libraries and communities.

Group photo of librarians who attended the workshop on 3 August

In conclusion, the 18th AUNILO Meeting brought to light the resilience, innovation and collaboration that defines academic libraries across the ASEAN member universities. As higher education continues to evolve, these libraries remain dedicated to empowering librarians, leveraging technology, and enhancing user experiences. The meeting served as a testament to the continuous commitment of academic librarians in embracing change, promoting collaboration, and advancing their institutions’ academic goals.

Contributed by Mahbob Yusof and Nur Azleen Hasan, Sultan Abdul Samad Library, Universiti Putra Malaysia