EIFL first became involved in bringing access to knowledge to students and researchers in Myanmar in December 2013, through the eLibrary Myanmar project, which provides academic institutions with access to an impressive range of high quality international journals, databases and e-books.
Now, three years later, nine leading academic libraries are beginning to work together in a consortium - the Myanmar Academic Library Consortium (MALC).
The creation of MALC follows an intensive learning programme organized by EIFL in 2015/16, during which Myanmar library leadership attended a consortium-building workshop; travelled to other countries to learn from experienced EIFL partner consortia, and sent delegates to the EIFL General Assembly, where consortium coordinators from throughout EIFL’s global network share knowledge about consortium policies, management and operations.
These events led to development of a vision and mission for a library consortium for Myanmar. The final milestone was an EIFL workshop in Myanmar in August 2016 on ‘How to manage a successful library consortium’. During the workshop, MALC founder members developed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for current – and future – consortium members to sign.
MALC MEMBERS TO COLLABORATE ACROSS MANY AREAS
The formation of MALC heralds a new era of collaboration among academic libraries in Myanmar. The MALC MoU commits members to ‘jointly create and sustain a rich, supportive, and diverse learning environment that furthers teaching, learning, and research through the sharing of collections, expertise and programmes’.
MALC will expand members’ access to e-resources, save costs through coordinated licensing of e-resources and cooperate in the selection of e-resources. Members will also share information, technology, human resources, and work together to strengthen staff development.
“We welcome the formation of MALC, which is a major step to ensuring the sustainability of access to e-resources, and to putting modern, IT-based library services at the heart of academia and research in Myanmar,” said EIFL Director Rima Kupryte.
DOOR IS OPEN TO NEW MEMBERS
The nine founding member libraries of MALC (Myanmar Academic Library Consortium) are the Universities' Central Library, University of Yangon, Dagon University, Yangon Economic University, East Yangon University, West Yangon University, Mandalay University Yadanabon University and Yezin Agricultural University.
The MoU foresees expansion of MALC through associate membership for institutions that want to sign up in future. There are many universities and colleges in Myanmar, but very few have adequate IT infrastructure to make use of e-resources. MALC is there for them to join whenever they are ready.
The consortium is managed by a Board of Members, that will meet annually to determine its strategic planning, policies and operations. The first president, Daw Yu Yu Tin, director of the Universities Central Library, has been elected by members. Universities Central Library, will also host MALC’s operational office.