Southeast Asian libraries on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals webinar
11 October 2022
The Southeast Asian Libraries on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Webinar focused on the best practices by Southeast Asian libraries and librarians to support the UN SDGs. Through this programme, the IFLA Regional Division Committee for Asia and Oceania aims to inspire and encourage colleagues within the region to advance their efforts to bring the UN SDGs to fruition.
The Webinar was held via Zoom on 23 June 2022 from 2:30 to 5:30 pm (UTC+8). The Webinar was organised by the IFLA Regional Division Committee Southeast Asia Working Group in collaboration with the National Library Board, Singapore. The Working Group was headed by Mr Gene Tan with Ms Elvira Lapuz, Ms Labibah Zain and Dr Nor Edzan Che Nasir as members. They were assisted by Ms Soh Lin Li, Ms Michelle Lau and Ms Benita Lim from the National Library Board, Singapore.
The two themes of the webinar
Theme 1: Libraries’ Engagement with National Authorities
While libraries in Southeast Asia are often directly or indirectly involved in SDG-related activities, the national library association and the national library are typically in the best position to advance SDGs and achieve significant outcomes in their countries. They could work with the relevant national agencies, as well as engage national authorities who are responsible for the production of the UN SDG Voluntary National Reviews. By showcasing SDG-related works by national library associations and national libraries, this session sought to promote synergy among the national library bodies and other players within the region.
Theme 2: Community Engagement through Library Programmes
Libraries in Southeast Asia have been engaged in a number of outstanding SDG activities, and many have notable examples and implementation frameworks that fellow library practitioners could emulate. This webinar invited Southeast Asian librarians to share their SDG-related experiences and best practices with the aim to inspire and encourage colleagues in the region to explore creative ideas that support the UN SDGs.
Key points of the webinar
The webinar began with an introduction by the host, Mr Gene Tan who is a member of the IFLA Asia-Oceania Regional Division Committee (RDCAO) and Assistant Chief Executive, Partnership & Strategy Group, National Library Board, Singapore. He introduced the speakers and the committee members who were responsible for the Webinar. This was followed by an Opening Address delivered by Mr Winston Roberts, the Chair of the RDCAO and Senior Advisor, National Library of New Zealand. He talked about RDCAO and how the library sector in Asia Oceania can help with attaining the SDGs. He also urged librarians to connect with their respective national authorities.
The next presenter was Ms Kristine Paberza-Ramiresa, IFLA’s Member Engagement Officer. She presented on the UN SDGs and IFLA Library Map of the World. She talked about IFLA’s Library map of the World and elaborated on the types of stories that would fit the SDG Story portal.
This was followed by presentation for Theme 1: Libraries’ Engagement with National Authorities from Datu Dr Rashidah Bolhassan, Immediate Past President, Librarians’ Association of Malaysia and Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development for the State of Sarawak, Malaysia; Mrs Suwakhon Siriwongworawat, Vice President, Thai Library Association; and Ms Raneetha Rajaratnam, Director of Programmes and Services, Archives and Libraries Group, National Library Board, Singapore. All three presenters talked about their countries’ involvement in the SDGs. They showed how libraries in Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore engage with the relevant authorities in regard to the SDGs.
Theme 2: Community Engagement through Library Programmes was discussed by Ms Hoang Thi Thu Trang, Deputy Head of Science Research and Professional Guidance Division, National Library of Vietnam; Mr Agung Wibawa, Middle Librarian, Library Archives Agency of Gunung Kidul Regency Yogyakarta Indonesia; and Mr Chad Aren E. Diaz, Head (Training Section), Public Libraries Division, National Library of the Philippines. Their presentations showed how the various programmes undertaken by libraries in Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. All these programmes bring together entire communities for a common aim.
The host then proceeded to ask questions to all six presenters. The Webinar came to a close at 5.40 pm. Even though as of 20 June 2022, there were 681 registrants, there were 237 attendees at peak of the Webinar. The Webinar was well attended by groups of viewers in the libraries across Southeast Asia.