Kamis, 25 Juni 2009
Oleh Yuli Asmini
“Demokrasi mensyaratkan partisipasi aktif dari warga negara, hal yang hanya dapat dilakukan manakala warga memiliki cukup pengetahuan dan akses terhadap informasi. Disinilah letak salah satu peran penting perpustakaan dalam demokrasi, yaitu mengumpulkan dan menyediakan akses informasi”
Pernyataan diatas diutarakan nyaris bersamaan oleh tiga orang narasumber yang merupakan pembicara pada “Seminar Libraries and Democracy” yang diselenggarakan pada 18 Juni 2009 di Auditorium Fakultas Ilmu Budaya Universitas Indonesia. Seminar serupa diselenggarakan satu hari sebelumnya yaitu 17 Juni 2009 di Universitas Petra Surabaya. Kedua seminar ini merupakan kerjasama antara Forum Perpustakaan Perguruan Tinggi, Ikatan Sarjana Perpustakaan dan Informasi Indonesia, Univesitas Indonesia, Universitas Petra, Goethe-Institute, dan Library of Congress Jakarta.
Tiga narasumber pada seminar tersebut yaitu; Prof. Hermann Rosch, Pustakawan dan Pengajar dari Koln University Jerman, William P Tuchrello, Direktur Informasi Library of Congress Jakarta, dan Binni Buchori, Aktifis dan Politikus perempuan secara bergiliran menyampaikan presentasinya dipandu oleh Abdul Rachman Pengajar dan Pustakawan Institut Pertanian Bogor selaku moderator.
Prof. Hermann Rosch dalam presentasinya menyebutkan pentingnya peran perpustakaan dalam demokrasi dengan membaginya menjadi beberapa fungsi yaitu; fungsi pendidikan yang mencakup pendidikan secara umum, pendidikan dalam bentuk pelatihan dan keberaksaraan atau keberaksaraan informasi. Fungsi lainnya adalah fungsi sosial yang mencakup pelibatan minoritas, dan mendorong emansipasi dari strata social yang lemah.
Fungsi yang cukup panjang dipaparkan oleh Prof. Rosch adalah fungsi politik perpustakaan. Fungsi yang sangat terkait langsung dengan era demokrasi dan secara kontekstual sangat bersesuaian dengan kondisi Indonesia saat ini. Pada fungsi ini melekat peran perpustakaan sebagai penyedia informasi yang tidak bias, yang mendasarkan pluralisme atau keragaman sebagai landasan utama demokrasi. Dengan demikian, perpustakaan seharusnya menjamin tersediannya keragaman pendapat, sehingga tidak satu entitas pun dapat menyatakan dirinya sebagai pemegang kebenaran sejati. Pada fungsi ini pula perpustakaan diharapkan mampu menjamin terdorongnya partisipasi politik warga negara dengan penyediaan akses informasi sebagai hak dasar demikian pula dengan kebebasan berekspresi. Dengan tesedia dan teraksesnya informasi secara utuh masyarakat akan memiliki informasi yang cukup yang tidak saja berguna untuk mengambil keputusan, bahkan untuk mengontrol proses pembentukan kebijakan. Penyediaan akses informasi akan mampu menyuburkan nilai-nilai transparansi dan anti korupsi sehingga tercipta pemerintahan yang terbuka, yang berujung pada terselenggaranya tata pemerintahan yang baik.
Masih dalam kaitannya dengan fungsi politik, Prof Rosch menyatakan bahwa perpustakaan juga berperan dalam menyediakan dan memelihara memori kebudayaan bangsa, sekaligus kekayaan dan warisan budaya bangsa. Fungsi lain dari perpustakaan adalah fungsi informasional. Fungsi ini terwujudkan dalam penyediaan akses terhadap informasi secara bebas, demokratisasi informasi ilmiah, dan konektifitas terhadap informasi global dunia. Demokratisasi informasi ilmiah menurut Prof. Rosch adalah keberadaan informasi ilmiah sejatinya tidak hanya disediakan untuk para ilmuwan, melainkan juga bagi semua warga negara. Hal ini disebabkan informasi ilmiah dapat berdampak pada ranah politik, ekonomi, dan etika, bahkan pada kesejahteraan masyarakat secara menyeluruh. Lebih jauh lagi informasi ilmiah semestinya dapat dimonitor oleh publik, dan penggunaan informasi ilmiah tidak dapat dibatasi hanya untuk melayani kepentingan pengusaha atau ketertarikan golongan tertentu saja.
Sedangkan dalam kaitannya dengan keterkaitan perpustakaan terhadap informasi pada tataran global menurut Rosch adalah perpustakaan utamanya mampu menyediakan akses informasi global kepada semua orang. Perpustakaan juga mampu untuk menjadi penyedia fasilitas bagi perkembangan opini-opini yang independen. Akses terhadap internet merupakan layanan yang seharusnya disediakan oleh perpustakaan khususnya bagi masyarakat yang tidak memiliki infrastruktur yang memadai.
William Tuchrello dan Binni Buchori selanjutnya menegaskan kembali peran penting perpustakaan dalam era demokrasi. Menurut Binni, peran nyata perpustakaan adalah memperkuat pengetahuan warga negara tentang hak-hak mereka, utamanya, perpustakaan mampu mendemokratisasi pengetahuan. Perpustakaan merupakan kunci bagi penyediaan akses kepada pengetahuan dan ide-ide kepada setiap warganya dengan setara. Tuchrello dalam presentasinya memberikan contoh, sebuah perpustakan seperti Library of Congress mampu menjadi faktor penting dalam proses demokratisasi di Amerika.
Seminar yang memberikan ruang untuk berdiskusi dengan menyediakan kesempatan berlangsungya tanya jawab antara peserta dan narasumber. Pada akhir presentasinya, Prof Rosch menyatakan bahwa ada persyaratan bagi perpustakaan untuk memaksimalkan perannya dalam demokrasi. Persyaratan tersebut antara lain adalah perpustakaan harus bekerjasama dan berjejaring disamping pembagian kerja berdasarkan kekhususan. Prof. Rosch bahkan menyebutkan jika perpustakaan dianggp penting maka pustakawan harus terlatih, cakap dan memiliki keahlian yang handal dan tentunya mendapatkan pendidikan secara berkelanjutan. Untuk menghasilkan pustakawan yang mumpuni tentunya lembaga penyelenggara pendidikan perpustakaan diharapkan dapat mengembangkan kurikulum yang mampu menjawab kebutuhan tersebut.
Prof. Rosch membagi pengalamannya tentang kepustakawanan di Jerman yang berupaya untuk menemukan ”common concern” sebagai isyu untuk menyuarakan kepentingan bersama kepustakawanan Jerman. Pada prakteknya isyu besama tersebut mampu memunculkan kampanye nasional tentang perpustakaan di Jerman dengan tema ”Library as a meeting point”.
Selanjutnya, Tuchrello dan Binni menyatakan dalam konteks Indonesia, saat ini, merupakan waktu yang tepat bagi perpustakaan dan pustakawan untuk terlibat aktif dalam menyuarakan posisinya. Proses demokratisasi dan reformasi di Indonesia merupakan sebuah peluang untuk lebih aktif bersuara. Pendekatan dan lobi terhadap pemegang kebijakan sebaiknya segera dilakukan. Kepustakawanan Indonesia direkomendasikan agar merangkul elemen masyarakat diluar kepustakawanan, termasuk media massa untuk terlibat dalam advokasi perpustakaan. Lebih tegasnya lagi Binni mendorong untuk dilakukannya pengarusutamaan perpustakaan indonesia, yang sampai saat ini masih termarginalkan
Seminar setengah hari yang dihadiri oleh kurang lebih seratus orang pustakawan dan dosen ilmu perpustakaan dari berbagai lembaga ini ditutup segera setelah diskusi selesai berlangsung. Selanjutnya beberapa pustakawan terlihat berkumpul, bercengkarama dan berdiskusi sambil menikmati suasana kampus Fakultas Ilmu Budaya yang sejuk.
Pertanyaan yang mungkin tercecer dari diskusi tersebut adalah bersedia dan mampukah kepustakawanan Indonesia menemukan ”common concern” dan bergerak bersama untuk pemajuan kepustakawanan Indonesia? Jawabannya mungkin mau dan mampu. Semoga!
Rabu, 24 Juni 2009
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)
Budaya Baca Indonesia Terendah di Asia Timur
Rabu, 17 Juni 2009 pukul 20:52:00
SURABAYA -- Budaya baca masyarakat Indonesia menempati posisi terendah dari 52 negara di kawasan Asia Timur. "Ini berdasarkan data yang dilansir Organisasi Pengembangan Kerja sama Ekonomi (OECD)," kata Kepala Arsip dan Perpustakaan Kota Surabaya, Arini.
Saat berbicara dalam seminar Libraries and Democracy di Perpustakaan Universitas Kristen (UK) Petra Surabaya bersama Goethe-Institut Indonesien dan Ikatan Sarjana Ilmu Perpustakaan dan Informasi Indonesia (ISIPII) di Surabaya, Rabu, dia mengatakan, OECD juga mencatat 34,5 persen masyarakat Indonesia masih buta huruf.
Karena itu, katanya, pengembangan minat baca merupakan solusi yang tepat. Apalagi anak SD yang dibiasakan dengan budaya baca dan tulis memiliki prestasi tinggi dibanding anak SD yang selama enam tahun tidak dibiasakan dengan budaya baca dan tulis.
Menurut dia, pembiasaan membaca dan menulis itu harus dilakukan dengan program pemaksaan pinjam buku di perpustakaan, lalu diberi tugas membuat simpulan dari buku yang dipinjam. "SD swasta yang melaksanakan hal itu umumnya memiliki prestasi sangat memuaskan dibandingkan sekolah negeri yang belum memiliki kebiasaan itu," katanya.ant/bur
The Digital Divide or Digital Partnership; The technical librarian participation in democracy By William P. Tuchrello
National Seminars on Libraries and Their Roles in Democratic Societies
The Digital Divide or Digital Partnership; The technical librarian participation in democracy
William P. Tuchrello
Field Director - Attaché
Library of Congress - Southeast Asia Region
American Embassy – Jakarta
The 1998 Indonesian democratic reformation (Reformasi) offered an opportunity for libraries to be participant in bringing education back to the people. Library managers faced two challenges how to motivate their staff to change libraries from warehouses to knowledge centers and how to respond to the digital divide. The digital divide is also an equal challenge for American library management’s abilities to understand and interact. Resolving the digital divide is a challenge Dr. Ilham Habibie coined as the lack of ‘critical communication’ or the dilemma of accessing Southeast Asian information so that research libraries can democratize access to the underserved. As one of the world’s largest countries rich in knowledge and information Indonesia is one of the least well internationally documented societies. Indonesia is intellectually resourced rich but access is chaos rich. Libraries, whether ones of bricks and buildings or virtual ones, have the goal of managing information from being chaos. We are going through a greater revolution than what happened at the time of Guttenberg the moveable press.
There is a long history in the US of linking libraries to fostering democratic principles. Today ICT is bringing librarians back to basics; the librarian must be a trainer of how to access information. Interacting with the end user is as much a function of the cataloger as once was the role of the reference librarian. ICT is making buildings and collection size secondary and often outmoded. Libraries big or small face a common issue. The Library of Congress Jakarta once only the technical side of libraries must change too or become a dinosaur. One way is being getting librarians more active in the development of the Comprehensive Partnership between the world’s 2nd and 3rd largest democracies.
Synopsis of the American experience of library training
Melvil Dewey, founder of the modern American library profession noted “… the librarian is in the highest sense a teacher.”
In the 1880s academic librarians were already lecturing as the idea of course credit for library studies was a new idea. Professors such as Edwin Woodruff at Cornell conveyed the message that no word of a professor was final and that libraries offer a place where students could integrate ideas. By the late 1890s courses were being offered to teach students how to analyze books.
In the 1920s library instruction classes were still unscientific and lacking standards. By the early 1930s articles began to appear about research showing that students lacked skills in effectively using academic library resources. We went through a period were focus was on the technical skills not the client outreach.
In the 1960s the Knapp’ Monteith Library Project for example provided a teaching methodology of fostering library competence.
From the 1970s library use training comprised a rainbow from library tours to structured classroom training. Everything changed with the introduction of the World Wide Web and Internet which fostered the emergence of online distance education over face to face. Acquisitions and technical service librarians in bibliographically organizing information via online tools in real time began to interact with the user who could access libraries without physically entering. “E” books, JSTOR, articles and so on became available too anyone who could access the ‘net.’ However, a new phenomena evolved which Doran (1995) called the “Internot.” Mistakenly some believe that the Web is the equivalent of and the equal to a library” and technical librarians could no longer ignore their role to change an attitude among librarians that no amount of acquiring and processing information will keep librarians in the forefront of fostering democracy we must developed a system of blended librarianship integrating processing and access assistance into one product.
Universities such as UI are playing a vital role as a ‘training laboratories’ for future librarians by teaching and ideally applying the theory.
Library of Congress in Southeast Asia
The primary role is as one of America’s Revolutionary Founding Fathers President Thomas Jefferson proposed an institution to provide the Members and staff of the Congress with any information to make laws. From 1963 until the late 1990s LOC in Southeast Asia acquired, cataloged, preserved, and distributed research materials for Congressional and research institutions use in the U.S and internationally.
LOC- Jakarta is the regional center with additional offices in the embassies of Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Manila and Rangoon. During 4 decades hundreds of thousands of publications were acquired, processed and sent but there was almost no interaction with the primary intended end user the Congressmen and their staff.
The internet changed all of that so that by the beginning of the 21st century daily the staff provide information to various offices in the Library of Congress including the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and the, Law Library (LL) but as a side line not a major objective. In early 2006 the office received a reality check with a visit by Members and staff of the Congress. Simply the message was you do all this processing but we do not know you exist and you need to do a better job to be relevant. With the encouragement of a few Congressional staff that focus on foreign affairs in this region and CRS similar to your DPR P3DI staff our practical mission took on new objectives. We still acquire annually almost 180,000 publications for LOC and more than 30 libraries but we must expand how we communicate directly with the end user as “job one.”
1.) There are about 3,000 US institutions of higher education but only a few hundred American graduate students, professors and government researchers we technical service operations have to reach out directly to this target community.
Another client is the several hundreds of Southeast Asia students and faculty studying in the U.S. Their research often ends up electronically or in paper published in English so that our staff and Members of Congress benefit from the perspective of Southeast Asians not just through American eyes. Today maybe ¼ of the Ministers of Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Malaysia have studied in the US, Canada, Singapore and Australia often using our collection such as Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary General of ASEAN.
Our Chinese unit works with Ohio University in identifying new electronic and printed works on the overseas Chinese community. We need to get researchers of East Asia aware and to use Chinese publications from ASEAN countries as this region has the largest Chinese population outside of PRC & ROC. With the increased importance of China this unique materials gives us some insights on how China relates to democratic countries.
Indonesia is the 3rd largest democratic country. The U.S. is increasingly looking to Indonesia as a democratic partner yet Indonesian is perhaps the least known of the 5 largest counties in the world. It faces an acquisitions environment that continues to be a disorganized as the majority of the publications are outside of the established commercial sector, especially serials and digital products. In 1998 there were about 200 newspaper and commercial serials, now over 1,000 and no institution collect comprehensively and how do we address accessing digital data, how do we share the challenge?
In the area of ICT documentation Indonesia ranks 83rd of 134 countries surveyed in the rankings of the World Economic Forum’s The Global Information Technology Report 2008-2009 that places a particular focus on the high levels of good educational relationship and interrelationships of technological readiness and innovation as essential engines of growth. Yet of the hundreds of journals the DirGEn of Higher Education considers only 116 as accredited scientific journals, few of the journals nationally are internationally refereed, meet international standards and or are available consistently online. Many larger libraries (PNL) and (PDII) do scan documentation but with limited attention to ISO standards, bibliographic control and often limit access beyond their own immediate academic or research community. There are also long term concerns about planning for storage of digital data that could lead to massive data loss perhaps worse than if Indonesia continues to create printed documents. This hampers democratic scholarship sharing of ideas between Indonesian and foreign researchers including participating in joint research.
Few librarians and information staff are trained to provide reference assistance and have little knowledge of e-journal search strategies. There are almost 3,000 institutes of higher education almost all having journals most which are only available by direct contact and there is no JSTOR counter part. Indonesia and adjacent countries are a world’s wealth in flora and fauna. Documentation on how to conserve, protect and economically husband these natural resources will help the U.S. At the same time lack of a systematic way to exchange documentation on a region which is destroying its seas and forests, Indonesia for example is the 3rd largest emitter of CO2 which will result in harm to the U.S democracy. There are thousands of CDs, PDFs and paper publications produced by academic and research institutions and we as librarians need to insure that managing the information resources is part of our growing comprehensive partnership.
In 2008 the world was fixated on the election of Anak Menteng. But three important elections are taking place that needs librarians to pay more attention to, how they worked and what they mean; The Iranian election and the Indian elections were well covered by the media but the third and longest almost a ½ year rarely gets world in-depth media billing. Who leads democratic Indonesia will impact not only Indonesia but also the US. To insure our Congress and scholars have detailed direct access to this democratic process the LOC Jakarta working with LOC Washington is capturing, most likely for the first for LOC ever a foreign election web sites , party documents, and TV advertisements. The end product will reflect from the eyes and views of Indonesia how you perceive democracy.
Because of the internet technology the office now provides real time assistance to CRS and Congress. With Congressional Washington staff in a partnership we provide technical support to the training parliament librarians of the Timor and the Indonesian parliaments.
Our Bangkok and Rangoon offices that once were acquisitions support offices jointly are almost self-sufficient operations responsible for the collection of materials, both in paper and electronic resources from Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia, Vietnam and Burma. Because of ICT communication and accounting technology materials are cataloged and shipped to LOC-Washington and directly to participant institutions instead of sending all via LOC Jakarta or LOC New Delhi. What once took 6 months to get to the end user takes less than ten days? ICT permits creating a level playing field so now we can provide in real time scanned documents in a few seconds and paper text in a few days different views from the Govt. of Burma to the opposition so the end user can decide on issues such as the problem of Diaspora Burmese trafficking of persons of keen interest to the US Senate.
Our Kuala Lumpur office is doing similar work providing quick information on FTA economic agreement in process from the Malaysian standpoint as well as first hand news from both the govt’s UMNO and the opposition parties concerning one of the most hotly contested political differences since the founding of Malaysia; democracy at work..
Manila Office changing its role beyond acquiring from 3 major islands of the Philippines to serving the information needs of the U.S. Congress and the Asian-American communities and scholars from major universities. It is in the planning stages of changing from managing the paper based official US-Philippine exchange of documents to an "e" exchange and also the same with the depository set of the Asian Development Bank. The office is taking the lead role in developing PDF acquisitions for the region, PDFs are a wealth of documentation but are posing huge challenges, how to retrieve them in some orderly fashion for the wider research community to use them is an awesome task and we can not do this alone.
What can be done? By libraries activity joining in developing Indonesian and American comprehensive partnership can provide valuable access of information opportunities. A “Blended Partnership" cooperation between traditional and online learning would augment the comprehensive partnership such as Indonesia becoming an active participant in the World Digital Library.
National Seminars on Libraries and Their Roles in Democratic Societies
Abstract: Libraries and Democracy: A Complementary Relation
Hermann Rosch, Germany
Initially the question will be discussed which characteristics qualify libraries as instruments to build up and to strengthen a democratic society. A brief historical review shows the importance of libraries for rulers in the early history of mankind. The enlightenment claimed education for everybody and public control of power. From this moment on libraries became an indispensable means of public education and of political participation.
Following these introductory considerations the fundamental role of libraries in a democratic society will be treated. Their main tasks are: Educational functions:
• General Education
• Provision of information literacy
• Industrial training Social functions:
• Inclusion of minorities
• Emancipation of disadvantaged social stratums Political function:
• Provision of unbiased information
• Advocacy for democracy
• Transparency and anti-corroption: public access to government information
• E-Government and E-Democracy
• Facilitate Political Participation
Establish and maintain the national heritage, the national memory: Enable or
facilitate the development of a national, a regional, a local or a cultural identity
• Free access to information
• Democratize the access to scientific information
• Make the global world of information available: fully utilise the potential of Internet and International information infrastructure (Integrtion?) Provide connection to the rest of the world
The next question to be discussed is how libraries can meet these expectations. It is quite evident that no single library is able to fulfil these tasks completely and satisfactory. Libraries have to cooperate and to develop networks. Only if they specialize and build a system based on division of labour they can tap their full potential and meet the requirements of a democratic society. Different fields and forms of cooperation will be described at a glance. If libraries have to fulfil such a multitude of tasks is clear that people who run a library and who claim to be librarians have to be skilled in their trade. Librarians need professional training and a systematic and thorough education in library and information science.
Just to top off the considerations two case studies will be presented in brief. The first one consists of a national campaign run by the German Library Association. It is called "Germany reads. The Library as a Meeting Point" ("Deutschland liest. Treffpunkt Bibliothek"). The second example is a project operated by IFLA and its Committee Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression (FAIFE). FAIFE has developed two important Manifestos called "Internet Manifesto" and "Manifesto on Transparency, Good Governance and Freedom from Corruption". Both will be introduced in few words.
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National Seminars on Libraries and Their Roles in Democratic Societies
New challenges for Indonesian libraries in the era of democratisation
By Binny Buchori
Indonesia is one of the largest democratic country in the world. Significant changes since 1998 in Indonesia has been a lot of impact for role’s of libraries in Indonesia.
• Universalise the thinking of citizens, so that people have the same standard on rights (how many people understand that they have the rights to drinking water and clean water, do PDAMs deliver this?; do the public know the responsibilities of the mayor of Surabya?)
• Enhance the knowledge of citizens on their rights;
• Provide information to stimute people to be organised;
• Improve the skill and knowledge of politicians and other pro democracy actors
• Libraries are key in providing equal access to knowledge and ideas to every citizens
• Libraries could and should “democratize” knowledge
• In a democratic society libraries should function as “the centre of knowledge to all” (as opposed to centre of knowledge for power holders/bureaucracies);
In the process of democratization, did libraries had take their part?
• Promoting knowledge on democracy through its collection and services?
• Enhancing the knowledge of pro democracy actors such as CSOs, political parties, journalists on practices of democracy?
• Democracy projects such as voters education?
• Libraries’ role in democracy is still marginalised;
• ICT has made users access information more and more through internet;
• Public libraries have not yet become information centres for communities;
• Libraries and librarians are not actively in deepening democracy: promoting citizens’ rights, taking part in advocating rights to information
• Knowledge and skill of librarians are more on technical aspect of library management and not on networking with other actors, developing social capital or public relations;
What should libraries do? Take the opportunity to:
• The biggest difference between democratic and totalitarian country:
o Democratic: active citizenship
o Totalitarian: absence of citizen participation;
• So….libraries should move away from passive, government oriented to active and community oriented institution
• Libraries should become the agent to the fulfillment of citizen’s rights
Recommendations related to libraries and democracy:
• Professional organisations:
o Bridge the gap between library schools and new trends and development;
o Lobby legislators and political parties to strive for an enabling environment for library development (budget allocation, lift import tariff on books);
o Promote the role of libraries to the public;
o Put library development as an agenda
o Promote the role of libraries as the pillar of democracy;
• For libraries:
o Be relevant to the needs of citizens(through survey)
o Mobilise support from the communities;
o Develop Patron for Public Libraries;
o Collaborate with private sector for fundraising
o Aggressive PR (ad, campaign)
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National Seminars on Libraries and Their Roles in Democratic Societies
Wednesday, June 17,2009 at Petra Christian University, Surabaya
Thursday, June 18,2009 at University of Indonesia, Depok
Libraries in Indonesian society are still suffering from under-appreciation due to the
society’s lack of understanding of the roles and functions of libraries as cultural institutions
in a democratic society. The fact that most Indonesian librarians are still caught up in the
technical aspects of library management doesn’t help in alleviating this condition. Libraries
and librarians need to begin presenting themselves in the society and engaging the society
by responding to issues that the society can relate to.
As cultural institutions in a democratic socie ty, libraries can play vital roles in contributing
to democracy. This can be done by strengthening of the civil society in Indonesia through
the advocacy of access to information for all, encouraging open access to documents
produced by government agencies , combating state censorship, providing means of
learning for common people, and providing resources to enable them to contribute back to
their fellow citizens and strengthening the democracy.
As the Legislative (April 2009) and Presidential Election (June 2009) approaching, the
issue of democracy is on the rise in the media and the Indonesia n society as a whole.
However most of the public discourses have been limited to democratic processes signified
by general elections. Very little attention is given to the fact that democracy is not limited
to general elections. Democracy encompasses a wide range of issues, including the
existence of a learned society, an empowered civil society, accountability of the
government, equal and open access to information, and the abolition of state censorship.
These issues directly and indirectly relate to libraries and librarianships.
Indonesian libraries can exploit the excitement over the general elections to educate the
society on the issues pertaining to libraries and their roles in democratic societies,
especially in the context of Indonesia. This can be achieved be holding a seminar, where
representatives from several developed & democratic nations – such as United States,
Australia, and European countrie(s) – can share their experience on the issues. A speaker
from Indonesia can then contextualize the experience of these nations to the current
condition of Indonesia and offer a common platform for Indonesian libraries to assert their
vital roles in the Indonesian democracy. The seminar will involve two prominent library
professional associations in Indonesia, which are ISIPII (Ikatan Sarjana Ilmu Perpustakaan
dan Informasi Indonesia/Association of Indonesian Library and Information Scholars) and
FPPTI (Forum Perpustakaan Perguruan Tinggi Indonesia/Forum of Indonesian Higher
Education Libraries). The seminar can also be held as Twin Seminars in Surabaya and
Jakarta to provide greater exposure in the media and society.
1. Educate the Indonesian society on issues pertaining democracy, which is – and should
– not limited to democratic general elections.
2. Initiating a national discourse in Indonesian society that libraries – in collaboration
with the media – can play their vital roles as the fourth pillar of democracy
3. Initiating a national discourse among Indonesian libraries and librarians regarding a
common platform for asserting their roles in Indonesian democracy.
4. Increase the profile of Indonesian libraries in Indonesian society
Date & Venue
1. June 17, 2009– Petra Christian University, Surabaya
2. June 18, 2009 – University of Indonesia, Jakarta
Liauw Toong Tjiek (Aditya Nugraha)
Head of Library – Petra Christian University