28 librarians and faculty participate in the Special Conference for Librarians in Myanmar

Twenty-eight (28) participants from ATESEA member schools in Myanmar attended the 2019 Special Conference for Librarians on May 1-4, 2019 at Lisu Theological Seminary, Pyin Oo Lwin, Myanmar. Theological librarians and faculty members engaged in the 1) review of the best practices and the library management among theological libraries in Myanmar; 2) assessment of the current long-term and short-term development plan of their respective libraries; 3) review and orientation on available online resources provided by FTESEA and other relevant scholarly websites for theological education; and 4) discussion on information literacy activities that support the academic needs of theological libraries.

Ms. Ana Mae Cantel, the invited resource person, led the discussions and workshops.  She is a faculty of the Master in Library and Information Science with Specialization in Theological Librarianship program of Central Philippine University, Iloilo City, Philippines. The first day of the conference covered the topics on: 1) Library Management Review and Library Planning; 2) revisiting the ATESEA Library Standards; 3) reviewing the Library Collection Development Program; 4) Library Acquisition Programs; and 5) Collection Development Policy (CDP) of the participating theological schools. The afternoon sessions included topics on Library Programs and Initiatives using online resources, Library Linkages, Collaboration and Networking.  A consortium among the Myanmar theological schools, specifically those near each other, was also encouraged.

On the second day of the conference, participants reviewed the roles of Library Faculty Committee. Output presentations and an open forum became avenues for questions and clarifications.  The afternoon deliberations centered on Information Literacy Programs for theology libraries. They conferred on the emerging roles of theological librarians in the 21st century; the current practices and learning spaces of 21st century libraries; and trends and challenges among theological libraries in Myanmar.

Participants were also given time to freely convey their perceived hindrances to library management and in facilitating an open communication with the Library Faculty Committee.

ATESEA Director, Dr. Limuel Equiña, and FTESEA Director, Dr. H.S. Wilson, headed the team of facilitators.

The seminar set a historical mark in paving the way in founding the Myanmar Theological Librarians Association (MTLA).

The following were elected as officers of the newly organized group:

  • Chairperson: Charles Zothangpuia (Tahan Theological College, Tahan – Kalay)
  • Secretary: Naw Mie Mie Htoo (Ko Tha Byu Theological Seminary, Pathein)
  • Treasurer: Ptr. Thawm Sawm Langh (Chin Christian Institute of Theology, Chin State)
  • Executive Committee Members:
    Klo Htoo (Myanmar Institute of Theology, Yangon);
    Mercy Soe (Holy Cross Theological College, Yangon);
    Dr. Naw Wah Shee (Lisu Theological Seminary, Pyin Oo Lwin);
    Dr. Dabang Zawng Hkawng (Kachin Theological College and Seminary,  Myitkyina).

Rev. Dr. Tun Lin Oo, Principal of Asho Chin Theological Seminary, and Dr. Naw Lwai Wah, Principal of Karen Baptist Theological Seminary, will serve as the group’s advisers.

The group organized the MTLA to: 1) plan activities, training, workshops and other avenue for continuing professional education of Librarians in Myanmar and; 2) serve as an avenue in disseminating information related to the field of librarianship in Myanmar.