Librarian voices concern over books

The National, Friday July 22nd, 2016

E-library or digital library is not practical for preserving PNG indigenous people’s knowledge and culture, says a provincial librarian says.
Morobe provincial librarian Lucy Sevese and long time Lae resident said yesterday, the e-library is convenient for easy access given the development in technology in the world and our country today. But we still have to preserve the hard copies of information stored.
“I support the idea of an e-library because nowadays students and the general public have access to this modern technology but my main concern is that we still have to preserve our hard cover books.
“What if the main server or the system crashes? If we have hard copies then we can still to go back to the manual system to retrieve the information, so information in books are still vital to learning these days.
PNG is a unique country with different cultures and traditions and access to cultural knowledge has to be contained in hard copies for the next general to learn, Sevese said.
She said stories like the Bottle lady of Siassi and others from elsewhere in PNG plus books by famous PNG writers Vincent Eri, Paulias Matane, Albert Maori Kiki, Ignatius Kilage, Russel Soaba and others have to be kept in hard copies.
Students may access information through e-library but they would still want to see the real history of what has taken place, so that is why I still preserve the books, the librarian said.
“E-library gives you access to stories and information about other countries outside PNG but we must preserve hard copies for future generations to access.
“Books from abroad are different.  The whole idea why I am still keeping the books I have here is to preserve our own traditions and culture in hard cover.
“I have visited libraries in other countries like in Australia where history books on traditions and cultures are being stored both online and on hard copy.
“I support the idea of e-library but I will still manage to preserve the old volumes and hard copies and I also insist on preserving the culture of PNG in books.
“Because I have worked in different provinces and places in PNG I have a wider experience of culture and traditions in PNG and I am looking forward to preserving the culture of Morobe in the resource centre which is yet to be constructed,” said Sevese.