eLibrary Myanmar Project

Supporting educational change at universities in Myanmar by enabling access to knowledge and building skills and capacities

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Smiling students with computers
Students learn to use e-resources at the University of Yangon.

Having timely access to the best international teaching, learning and research resources is essential for high quality education and research, and thereby for social and economic development.  

The online availability of global scholarship has opened up exciting new possibilities for academic institutions worldwide, and the opportunities are greatest for those in developing countries such as Myanmar where libraries do not have extensive print collections. Now, given appropriate support, institutions and their libraries have the potential to “catch up” quickly.

There are 158 universities in Myanmar under the Ministry of Education. After years of isolation, their libraries have very limited current print collections.  What’s more, until the start of the eLibrary Myanmar project in December 2013, no universities had access to online subscription resources.  As a result, research standards and output have been undermined, and students have missed out on the opportunity to acquire the skills and knowledge they need to succeed both in education and the workplace.

The eLibrary Myanmar project was created to enable libraries at universities under the control of the Ministry of Education to provide effective support for teaching, research and learning across all faculties - from the sciences to the social sciences and humanities.

Major results of the project have been to provide access to an impressive range of high quality international journals, databases and e-books to a growing number of academic and research institutions; the creation of institutional open access repositories – the first in Myanmar - at two universities, and development of a library consortium to grow and sustain the project. In addition the project has built capacity of students, faculty and librarians in copyright, open access and raised awareness about the changing landscape of scholarly communication.

The project began with just two institutions, the University of Mandalay and the University of Yangon in 2014 (including the Universities' Central Library). Participation has grown steadily, and by 2016 five more universities had joined the project, gaining access to the e-resources library: Dagon University, Yadanabon University and the Yangon University of Economics joined late in 2014; West Yangon University and East Yangon University joined in 2015. In 2017 EIFL signed an agreement with the Department of Higher Education for the inclusion of six more universities. The six universities joined in 2018. They are: Yangon Technological University; Mandalay Technological University; University of Computer Studies, Yangon; University of Computer Studies, Mandalay, and two universities from outside the major economic regions of Yangon and Mandalay, Sittwe University in Rakhine State and Mawlamyine University in Mon State.

The eLibrary Myanmar project now reaches 13 universities with a total of 205,000 students.

The project is funded by the Open Society Foundations’ Higher Education Support Programme (HESP).​

This is a turning point. In the coming years, any major achievements from our university in teaching, learning and research will be related to the EIFL eLibrary Myanmar project. 
Dr Kyaw Naing, Pro-Rector of the University of Yangon

December 2013 - December 2019.

  • Providing access to a comprehensive multi-disciplinary package of over 40 core international subscription e-resources through effective negotiations with publishers
  • Increasing the skills and capacity of librarians, including IT and information literacy training
  • Empowering librarians to build close links with faculty
  • Raising awareness amongst faculty, researchers and students about the availability and benefits of e-resources (both subscription and open access), and improving skills and confidence through training
  • Encouraging faculty to embed the use of e-resources in the curriculum
  • Reviewing national copyright law and providing advice to ensure that revisions support libraries, education and access to knowledge
  • Supporting visibility of local research outputs through open access publishing and institutional repositories
  • Developing a library consortium to sustain and grow the project
  • Click here to see a list of past and upcoming events in Myanmar

A wide range of high quality international e-resources is now available to faculty and students at partner universities through the eLibrary Myanmar project. View the full list here

  • Rapid expansion of the EIFL eLibrary Myanmar project. In 2014 the project reached just two universities. Today it includes 13 universities under the Ministry of Higher Education, two under the Ministry of Health and two under the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism. 
  • Access to a vast eLibrary is now available. Following negotiations with publishers, we have licensed and made available a comprehensive eLibrary containing over 76,000 full-text scholarly journals, more than 240,000 full-text academic e-books, and over 50 databases including a vast range of other materials.
  • Single point of access to multiple e-resources. In order to promote discoverability and usage, content from the many individual e-resources available in the eLibrary can be cross-searched via a single EBSCO Discovery Service interface which has been customized for each partner university.
  • Good usage of e-resources. During 2017, there were over 60,000 full text downloads from the subscribed e-resources at seven universities.
  • Made local research accessible through the internet. The project training and support led to the launch of institutional open access repositories at University of Mandalay and University of Yangon. And three more repositories will be launched in 2018, at Yangon University of Economics and Yadanabon University and Yezin Agricultural University.
  • Training for librarians, faculty and students. An extensive programme of e-resources training for librarians, faculty and students is being implemented by our three highly experienced local Project Coordinators.  
  • Increased skills, capacity and confidence of librarians. Having received IT and e-resources training themselves, librarians at partner universities are now providing training to faculty and students, as well as providing support to users in the library.
  • Improved technological infrastructure, bandwidth and library facilities.  From new fibre optic cables to new computers and air-conditioning units in the libraries, the project has already been a catalyst for major improvements to infrastructure, bandwidth and library facilities at all partner universities.
  • Increased library visibility.  The project stimulated creation of online presence by partner institutions. All partner universities now have websites with links to library resources, and all the partner libraries have Facebook pages. 
  • Created a platform for other academic and research institutions to join the project. The Myanmar Academic Libraries Consortium (MALC) has been formed and is open for all to join.

Download an information sheet about the eLibrary Myanmar project (PDF) here. Download the 2014 Annual Report feature article about the eLibrary Myanmar project (PDF) here.  Download the 2015 Annual Report feature article about the institutional open access repository at the University of Mandalay (PDF) here.