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Title: Development constraints: the public library sector in Malaysia
Authors: Wijasuriya, D.E.K.
Issue Date: 1980
Publisher: © D.E.K. Wijasuriya
Abstract: Although subscription libraries have existed in Malaysia since 1817, it was only in 1968, about ten years after independence that the Government adopted the Blueprint for Public Library Development in Malaysia. Since then, all but one of the States in Peninsular Malaysia have adopted public library legislation and have established State Public Library Corporations. Despite this, overall provisions are patchy and uneven and the greater bulk of the population still do not have access to public library services. Government authorities are quite concerned over this state of affairs as it is increasingly being realized that libraries can be an important instrument for economic and social upliftment, particularly of the country's largely rural population. The main purpose of the thesis therefore has been to identify the major constraints to overall development, to suggest measures to the Malaysian Government likely to place public library services on a firm foundation and to offer particularly to the developing countries some useful insights, based on Malaysia's experience in the field. Particularly significant is the fact that a Public Library Policy for the country endorsed at the highest levels of Government, does not exist. Legislative provisions too are not only inadequate but are conflicting in some respects. While both the Federal and State Governments have legislative competence for public libraries, the question of executive responsibility has never been clearly determined. Existing financial provisions place too heavy a burden on State Governments, whose sources of revenue, in most cases are strictly limited. The absence of long term development plans is a further inhibiting factor while manpower provisions, especially at the professional level are grossly inadequate. It is suggested that a Federal Act for Public Libraries is of cardinal importance. The Act should enshrine the public library policy for the country, place the subject of public libraries within the portfolio of a Federal Minister, equip the National Library with the required authority and make adequate provisions for finance and manpower.
Description: A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/24914
Appears in Collections:PhD Theses (Information Science)

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