I decided to get down at KL Sentral and take a cab to PNM. I was not sure about the time of the meeting and it was too early to call Nor (later I found out Nor was actually on leave) so I just paid RM10 for the fare and took the next available cab. The driver maneuvered the cab across the morning traffic at a frantic pace. Not that I did not like the speed as I would do the same as well but his driving was not smooth that made reading almost intolerable.
After three Director Generals since the last time I was at the National Library not much has changed. I seriously hope the mentality and culture have changed for the better though. As I walked up to the Auditorium Yazid, my former student, was walking down, we exchanged pleasantries and remarked we’ll see each other at breakfast table given by PNM.
I did not have any great expectation coming to the meeting but would want to learn as much as possible about the system and the mechanics of it. My learning objectives were;
1. To understand and explore the possibility of contributing more to the system.
2. To understand the issues related to SPP
3. To understand and learn the electronic system of SPP
4. To network and identify potential collaborative partners
5. Help to instill the concept of CoP within the participants
6. To meet the new DG, En Raslin to discuss on the possibilities of strategic collaboration.
The hall was three quarter filled when I looked around. With my laptop on and typing this I was one sore thumb, further more I was sitting practically alone on one side of the auditorium. It was not my intention to do so but I wanted to be nearer to the power source just in case I need it. Beside Yazid I was very sure there were a few more that I know in the hall. At least I saw Munazzah walking about the stage making sure everything was in order for the day.
The session started a bit late. As Raslin started on his speech my handphone buzzed in my pocket and it was The Boss. I walked out to answer it and to cut story short I had to go back to the office after lunch.
The gist of the DG’s, Raslin, speech was focused on to consider more on technology to enhance the SPP process. He mentioned that KIK (Katalog Induk Kebangsaan) would be launched in the 3Q and with it would be new way or doing things plus new opportunities for SPP. I did not get to talk to Raslin as he had another meeting to go to. So I did not achieve my sixth learning objective.
While waiting for the meeting to start Mek Lah and few other familiar faces came to say hello. My former student Adilah also walked up to me to say hello and to ask few other things. With that kind of scenario I began to miss attending events like that where I got to meet old and new acquaintances. I resolved to be part of the circuit again and now I have a very good reason to do so.
The meeting went on just like any other Mesyuarat Agong persatuan. Minutes were read, debated and new issues raised. But what I found refreshing was that most of us want to collaborate more. The subject of Library Group was discussed and mentioned were the Medical Library Groug (MLG) and Law Library Group (LLG). It was suggested that similar LGs to be formed in the area of;
1. Islamic Finance & Banking
2. Islamic Library Group
3. Consumer & NGO Interest Group
4. Science and Technology
To me what they were talking about was obviously CoPs and by just listening to the discussion I was convinced we were on the right track with all these.
We were also briefed on the KIK project under the Perdana umbrella. I was glad that the Perdana project is still alive and kicking and I sincerely hope have gone one better than when we started off. With RM10m investment the KIK project strated off with 102 participants and will slowly include all libraries. The KIK was modeled according to OCLC. KIK can currently be accessed at kik.pnm.my. As part of the Perdana big project it will act as the clearinghouse for Malaysiana collection. The project also has an open invitation to those who wish to digitize their special collection. Unfortunately, although it is one of the objectives, we could not use KIK for SPP simply because none of the library systems are Z39.85 or 7 interlibrary loan protocol compliance.
In the end I achieved my other five learning objectives by just listening to the discussion. I was hoping I could be more involved after lunch but then I had to leave.
Next action plan:
1. To join the Islamic Library Group
2. To seriously start the Islamic Banking & Finance and Banking Groups.
3. To set and appointment with the DG to share our vision and explore opportunities for further collaboration
Now I know why I unconsciously like to go home a bit late. The uninterrupted train ride home which was a bit quiet created an environment that made me relax and to think a bit more clearly. It was like the train flew into the night passing all stations without stopping. I was at Bangi station in no time just like that.