Dear Colleagues,


Greetings to you all!


At the start of the New Year, it might be good to remind us of what we achieved in the past year and what is up for the year ahead.


Looking back to last year, there were challenges and opportunities. Thanks to Dolores and her colleagues in the Philippines, we had a warm and hospitable Mid-Term meeting in March in Manila. Thanks also to the Program Sub-Committee led by Premila, our Open Session at the WLIC 2019 in Athens was well received. In collaboration with other Sections in Division V, we organized a successful Satellite Meeting at Alexandria Bibliotheca, Egypt. The presentations and papers of both the Open Session and the Satellite Meeting are now available in the IFLA Library. I also would like to thank Cendrella who brought back the skills and insights learnt from the workshop on IFLA’s new Strategic Framework and Action Plans in June at The Hague, and worked passionately to formulate our Section’s new Action Plan. Last but not least, chaired by Sanjay, we made good efforts to promote IFLA and our Section via various conferences and events in different parts of the Asia and Oceania region. You may wish to get an overall picture of our achievements in our Annual Report for 2018-2019.


Last year also saw a few members of the Regional Standing Committee of Asia and Oceania (RSCAO) completed their terms. Thank you all for your contributions. Among them, Takashi as the Information Coordinator never failed to work conscientiously to market our events on website and social media. We will miss you!


The newly formed RSCAO at the WLIC 2019 now consists of 22 members from six sub-regions. Looking ahead, our work will develop in line with our new Action Plan. We have been collaborating with IFLA Head Office to set up an online form for libraries in the Asia and Oceania region to submit their stories on how they support the attainment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The stories will be collated and published in a booklet. Stories with demonstrated significant impact may be recommended for publication in the IFLA Library Map of the World (LMW) ( The submission will begin soon in January 2020. Likewise, our Open Session themed Sharing our stories: libraries in Asia and Oceania supporting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is now inviting proposals and the Call for Papers is available at WLIC 2020 website.


The multitude of challenges facing our region have profound impacts on our society. Due to the social unrest in Beirut, we had to call off the Mid-Term meeting originally scheduled to be hosted by the Lebanese Library Association in March. Thanks again to Lin Li from the Regional Office and other colleagues in Singapore, the Library Association of Singapore together with the Regional Office and the NLB have graciously agreed to organize the meeting during 16-17 March. We will try to live stream the meeting for members who are unable to attend. Financial constraints, digital divide, climate change, environmental destruction and other critical issues, on one hand pose threats to us all, on the other, create roles for libraries to play in supporting the UN SDGs. We will discuss and address the issues and opportunities in our Section as well as with other stakeholders in the coming years.


May I take this opportunity to wish a Happy New Year to you and your families. I believe that 2020 will be another fulfilling and rewarding year!