— Statistics on the borrowing of digital reading materials in 2020 show that the numbers have more than doubled to 367,306 from only 167,374 in 2019.
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Nancy Shukri said this was following the “Please Sit At Home and Read Books” campaign organised by the National Library of Malaysia (PNM) during the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) last year.
She said the campaign was to help give the public some ideas on how to occupy their time at home during the MCO and by browsing PNM’s online services including the digital library service, u-Pustaka.
“Today’s reading trend has undergone a transformation where people can easily access information using electronic devices such as smartphones and gadgets. In line with the new normal, the implementation of programmes through digital platforms reaches out to the corners of society.
“With the concept of information at your fingertips, various genres of e-books, e-magazines, e-newspapers, e-journals and e-articles can be accessed easily and for free anytime and anywhere,” she said in her virtual opening speech in conjunction with the “Jom Baca Bersama 10 Minit” programme organised by the PNM here today.
The annual programme was organised in conjunction with Unesco’s World Book and Copyright Day held annually around the world on April 23 as symbolic of the promotion of a culture of reading in daily life.
The programme, which runs simultaneously throughout the country starting at 11 am today, was organised by PNM in collaboration with the All-Malaysia State Public Library Council of Directors and the Librarians Association of Malaysia.
She said as of December 2020, PNM had conducted a total of 202 programmes and activities related to reading encouragement or information literacy with the involvement of more than 340,000 participants physically and online.
“PNM also collaborates with the Ministry of Education through the district education offices where 1,094 rural libraries have been used as reference centres and for book lending in groups to support the Nadi Ilmu Amalan Membaca (NILAM) programme.
“In addition, the implementation of the collaborative programme was part of the Media and Information Literacy Programme, which aimed at improving skills and effective information retrieval techniques for lifelong learning,” she added.
Meanwhile, Bernama Knowledge Management division in collaboration with the Training Development division also organised the “Jom Baca Bersama 10 Minit” programme as a sign of support for the local reading culture, publishing and copyright.
Also present at the event was Bernama Deputy Editor-in-chief cum chairman of Bernama Bibliography Club Khairdzir Md Yunus, who led the book reading and officiated at Clientele Café’s Ramadan and Aidilfitri bazaar activities to encourage staff to visit the library to borrow books, and enliven the Ramadan and Aidilfitri celebrations.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency