Heere I am in the public library of Pangkalan Bun. It is a very small library compared with western libraries. It is spread over 2 buildings. The first building includes the main adult collection, some study tables, some lounges, newspapers, magazines and a front desk. Within the last month they have begun to transfer their collection onto a computerised system and it is still being completed. Can you see the old catalogue drawers?
The staff at the front desk are incredibly friendly and as soon as I sat down to start writing my blog, I was immediately interrupted by one of the senior library officials as he was so excited to see a westerner visiting their library! He proudly told me that he recently had the opportunity to spend 10 days in Qld to learn more about Australian libraries which included a visit to Toowomba to see the School of The Air (Distance Education) library and also the Gold Coast! One of the things that made an impression on him was the cleanliness of the Brisbane River! As a result of his tour, several changes have been made at the Pangkalan Bun Library and one of which was adding colour to the library.
The blue furniture and walls certainly make it bright and more open. The collections of non fiction and fiction materials are very modest however the books are impressively modern and new, unlike the books available at other Indonesian libraries I have visited. I would love to borrow some of the books they have in their collection here! Maybe when I get back after my trip to Sumatra next week. There are also several magazines available for loan displayed in the cupboard just inside the back door. What are the differences between Indonesian magazines and western magazines other than the obvious language differences?
Through the back doors is another building. In there are several offices, a computer area for children and a childrens library. The children’s library is also brightly painted with health education posters displayed on the wall.
Bu Arfa explained that at the beginning and end of each working day, all office workers gather together so give the leadership an opportunity to make any announcements. Sort of like a mini meeting although I am not sure why it needs to be outside!
After the ‘apel’ they all happily gathered on the verandah so that I could photograph them all. Can you see the crossed timber at the top of the roof line? It is always found on traditional buildings here!