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Assisting regional libraries.

The National Library undertakes a range of activities to support national libraries in the Asia-Pacific region. In the past this was done through a formal assistance program, but recently the NLA has found it more useful to respond to specific needs as they arise.

During 2006-2007, these efforts have focused on the following areas.


A member of the NLA's staff, Steve McPhillips, is currently an AusAID Australian Youth Ambassador for Development, working in the information technology area of the National Library of Cambodia. Coincidentally, Bill Oakes, a retired senior public servant who has strong links with Cambodia, visited the NLC and has been facilitating additional efforts to provide assistance. With input and advice from Steve, Bill and some NLC staff and volunteers, the NLA has purchased a range of reference books to update their collections, provided financial assistance to allow the Deputy Librarian to travel to the IFLA and the Conference of Directors of National Libraries (CDNL) meetings this year, and gathered together some basic conservation and storage materials to assist in the preservation of the collections.

Bill's separate endeavours have resulted in the donation of some second-hand computers to the NLC, and these will probably be used to provide the first public access computer facilities at the library.

Cook Islands

In 2006 Meredith Batten from the National Library's Collections Management Division visited the National Library of the Cook Islands during an acquisitions trip in the Pacific. A need for some updated reference books was identified, and the NLA subsequently purchased for NLCI a variety of new reference works.

East Timor

Evy da Silva, Librarian of the Dili Institute of Technology, was funded to attend the ALIA conference in Perth in 2006. Those readers of Gateways who attended the Perth conference may have seen the poster display Evy mounted in the exhibition hall. Library technicians are now being trained at the DIT to work in the 25 libraries which operate in East Timor.

Federated States of Micronesia

In 2004 the Yap State Public Library was devastated by a typhoon, and to date little progress has been made to restore the library and its collections. Following an approach by IFLA, and with the administrative assistance of the Pacific Islands Archives, Libraries and Museums Association (PIALA), the NLA has made a donation towards the rebuilding efforts.


The National Library made an application, on behalf of a librarian in Vanuatu, for Australian government funding for a professional attachment at the NLA.

Sri Lanka and Vietnam

Small donations of new books will be made to the national libraries of Sri Lanka and Vietnam over the next few years, replacing previous exchange arrangements with the NLA.

Sandra Henderson

Executive Support
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Author:Henderson, Sandra
Publication:National Library of Australia Gateways
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Aug 1, 2007
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