Online growth leading the way

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Brawijaya University Library, Indonesia, is undergoing rapid change to keep up with technology, writes Nicola Bacon of ProQuest

Indonesia boasts the third largest education system in Asia – the number of universities has grown from 10 in 1950 to over 2,000 today, with further growth anticipated.

The Ministry of Education, and more recently the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education are responsible for the management of higher education in Indonesia, with government subsidies financing 80 to 90 per cent of state university budgets.

Brawijaya University is one of the leading universities in Indonesia. It was established in 1963, and with more than 60,000 students caters for a wide range of degrees, diplomas, masters, doctoral degrees and specialist postgraduate courses in multiple disciplines.

Employing 16 professional librarians, 40 technicians, 10 administration staff and five part-time employees, the University Library delivers a breadth of information and knowledge to its strong community of students and researchers. The library provides its 2,500 daily visitors with essential research materials and seeks to deliver a world class service to its patrons.

Government regulations in Indonesia mean that print collections are still the preferred resource in the region, which can restrict the number of e-resources that users are able to access.  The library contains more than 200,000 print items including books, magazines, newspapers, and bound theses (both undergraduate and postgraduate). In contrast they subscribe to 13 e-resources inclusive of e-journals and e-books.

However demand for e-resources is increasing. Johan Noor, head of University Library at Brawijaya University, explained: ‘We compared corresponding days within the library and found that online visits are on average five times the number of physical visits and are increasing.’

Technology is also affecting the library and its patrons, as Noor points out: ‘The wake of IT has changed the way we work and serve. We have to drive our patrons to access our e-resources as well as to utilise our physical facilities.’

It is essential for the library, as in all libraries across the world, that the IT services are adequate. This is challenged due to IT services continually changing in the region, especially in relation to procurement systems and procedures, all of which takes up time and money training the staff and library users. Noor says: ‘Human resources are our main problem as the world of the library is continually developing in the area of IT and services.’

Working with ProQuest

The relationship between ProQuest and Brawijaya University Library has been in place since 2006. ProQuest assists the university in providing research content across the full academic spectrum as well as in specialist fields. The resources the university is now able to provide include the sought-after business research database ABI Inform Global and the comprehensive healthcare package Health and Medical Complete.

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global enables students and researchers at the university library to cross-search graduate works from other universities with scholarly material from the library’s own online service to further develop their research.

Andrew Ding, regional sales manager for ProQuest in South East Asia, said: ‘The digital age has globalised education and learning and pushes beyond language and border where teaching is no longer confined to local text books. We are proud to work closely with Brawijaya University Library to expand their library resources and provide access to much needed electronic resources with scholarly contents from around the world – making it easier for the students and faculties to find and use materials that meet their research needs.’