AdU librarians participate in PGLL library outreach in Myanmar

Date Posted: March 22, 2016 at 11:12 AM

The director of Adamson University’s Library Services Department, Ms. Helen de Castro and the College of Law librarian, Ms. Vivian Lirio participated in the first international outreach of the Philippine Group of Law Librarians, Inc. (PGLL) held last February 15-21, 2016 in Yangon, Myanmar.


The University of Yangon Law Library, a state university, is subsidized by the Myanmar government but has insufficient financial resources to acquire library materials and employ a full-time professional librarian. Majority of its library collections were donated by different international organizations and book publishers. The Library follows a simple system where materials are arranged according to title and is maintained by faculty members of the university’s College of Law. Due to their teaching load schedule and lack of expertise in organizing and managing a library, the resources are not readily available to its users; most of the books and publications are still in boxes. Hence, their donors are planning to discontinue sending donations until the books and publications are on shelves and used by students and researchers.


Through the efforts of Lexis Nexis and Dr. Khin Mar Yee, head of the University of Yangon’s College of Law, a call for volunteer professional librarians to help organize the library’s resources was planned. As the main collaborator, Lexis Nexis sponsored the volunteers’ accommodation, food, and transportation in Myanmar. The team of volunteers consisting of seven officers and a member was formed after a discussion between Gaythri Raman of Lexis Nexis and Ms. Milagros Santos-Ong, PGLL vice president. 


Ms. de Castro and Ms. Lirio, who also serve as adviser and secretary of the PGLL respectively, joined the PGLL volunteers led by PGLL president Ms. Nora Rey; Ms. Santos-Ong; Ms. Emma Rey, adviser; Ms. Ma. Luisa Madlangbayan, auditor; and Ms. Edeliza Gallo, member. Also representing Lexis Nexis in the outreach was Ms. Veronica Rios, head of Rule of Law & Emerging Markets. The PGLL leaders and members considered this outreach as part of their endeavors to provide technical assistance to their ASEAN colleagues.


The team of PGLL Librarians met the University of Yangon officials, Dr. Khin, and their faculty members. Presentations, discussions of the status, and a tour of the Library were conducted.  The volunteers embraced the challenge of unpacking the boxes, sorting, classifying, and encoding to make these materials available to students and researchers of the university. 


Arrangement and classification of books were made to be very simple and a color-coding scheme was adopted due to time constraints. Books were classified and shelved according to subject for easy access and retrieval on the part of the library users. The procedure and the system used were discussed, presented, and turned-over to university officials during the closing meeting.


The experience was professionally fulfilling as the group were able to follow the example of St. Vincent de Paul by creatively responding to those in need. The participation of the AdU librarians in this undertaking will complement AdU in fulfilling its mission to be agents of change. Vivian A. Lirio 


PGLL librarians with Dr Khin Mar Yee

The PGLL volunteers with Dr. Khin Mar Yee (center) at Yangon

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