Ministry of Education (MOE) of Brunei Darussalam’s e-Education initiative described digital library as a “portal that comprises components of electronic resources, bibliographic databases of full-text journals and other knowledge-based information sources made available through the Internet and required by various sectors in the teaching and learning communities.” Brunei Government National IT Council (BIT Council) is constituted to work on the National ICT development, gearing up towards a knowledge-based economy. In this strategic plan, digital transformation of libraries, equipping them for digital revolution was a key programme. Accordingly, the most significant programme envisaged, VILIS Brunei started in February 2007 as be the National Digital Library of Brunei Darussalam. It provides scholarly information to the communities along with resources for academics. The Digital National Union Catalogue of Libraries in Brunei and e-library@ubd was initiated under the e-Education initiative of the Ministry of Education. In e-Education, digital library developments have been placed under the MOE’s five pillars of strategic ICT components, alongside Edunet (Internet for schools), e-Learning, Education Information Systems and Human Capacity Building. E-resource@MOE is an electronic academic resource digital library service providing access to thousands of electronic resources as open access material to the teaching and learning community in Brunei Darussalam.
University of Brunei Darussalam has taken up digitization work as an initial step towards digital library development. Other libraries namely Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka Library, Baitulhikmah Digital Library and Brunei Museum Library are working to integrate e-resources, information products and services, library automation and digital publishing which would boost the open resources development.
Brunei Darussalam National Accreditation Council has been working to increase open and distance learning solutions. Digital libraries and the digital transformation of heritage information have been identified as the most viable areas to be developed.
Despites all of these efforts, Brunei has only one OA journal (Brunei International Medical Journal) indexed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and no OA repositories registered in the Directory of Open Access Repositories. University of Brunei Darussalam publishes SHBIE e-journal which is not actively published since 2010, according to its website.
A number of ICT-related projects have been planned and implemented under the Brunei Economic Development Council and e-government initiatives. With the country’s Internet access infrastructure in place, Brunei is a part of the Open Access Database Plan. E-resource@MOE is an electronic academic resource digital library service providing access to thousands of electronic resources of e-journals and reference resource for access to teaching and learning community in Brunei Darussalam.
Brunei Darussalam’s economy as a developing country and there is an acute shortage of qualified staff and resources, infrastructure and funding opportunities for improving open access. English language proficiency is low, so training the workforce for communication is important. ICT development is crucially necessary to build a robust country in the areas such as digital library networks, telecommunications and connectivity. A national OA policy needs to be established.
List of Publications
Karim, H.S.B.H.A. (2004). Digital transformation of libraries in Brunei Darussalam: addressing the sustainability issues of VILIS Brunei. Program: electronic library and information systems, 38(3), 184-193.
Past and Future OA related Activities
Regional Conference on Library, Archives and Museums - Access & Collaboration: Search and Discovery through Innovative Technologies, 30 November – Fri 2 December 2011; Book & ICT Fair2 8 Nov-Fri 2 Dec 2011, will be held at International Convention Centre Brunei Darussalam, supported by the Ministry of Culture, Youth & Sports.
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