Malaysian Scholar Visits OHIO Libraries – OHIO University Libraries

Malaysian Scholar Visits OHIO Libraries

Ohio University Libraries is proud to call itself home to a multitude of rich and special resources and collections that not only appeal to the OHIO community, but also to scholars and researchers around the world.

Such scholars include Nafisah Ahmad, director general of the National Library of Malaysia, who visited the Libraries’ Malaysian Resource Center in August.

Nafisah Ahmad, director general of the National Library of Malaysia. (Image courtesy of the National Library of Malaysia website)
Nafisah Ahmad, director general of the National Library of Malaysia. (Image courtesy of the National Library of Malaysia website)

Established in 1987, the Malaysian Resource Center was founded to provide specialized information, teaching materials, and generally inform people in North America about Malaysia. The Center, located on the first floor of Alden, is the official United States depository for books, government documents, and other materials related to its culture and history.

Over the years, the Center has proven to be an important tool for students, faculty and researchers, such as Dr. Harry Aveling, adjunct professor of Asian Studies at La Trobe University in Australia, who spoke of the significance of the library materials found at the Malaysian Resource Center.

“These provide a unique resource, unmatched elsewhere in the United States and indeed, most of the rest of the world… These complete and extensive resources are absolutely necessary for advanced scholarly work,” said Aveling.

Dr. Animesh Rathore, a recent graduate of the doctoral program in mass communication, credits the presence of the Center for being an important part of his decision to enroll in the University. During his educational journey, he utilized the resources found at the Center for research and thesis writing.

“I first came to Ohio University as a student in the Southeast Asian Studies Program,” said Rathore. “The key factors that helped me choose this program were the faculty expertise and the presence of the Malaysian Resource Center. While completing my thesis writing, I utilized the library materials and expertise available …of the well-seasoned librarians who work at the Center.”

Every year, the National Library of Malaysia gathers and ships resources and materials to the Malaysian Resource Center, which are then made available to students, faculty and researchers.

“The visit by Director General Nafisah Ahmad is clear recognition of the long-standing and productive relationship between Ohio University Libraries and the National Library of Malaysia,” said Jeff Ferrier, curator of International Collections. “Since 1987, the government of Malaysia has been providing important library resources to assist the faculty and students in OHIO conducting research on Malaysia.”

Ahmad will travel to Athens, following the 2016 International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Conference, to visit the Center and to view the Libraries’ Southeast Asian Collection.

IFLA is an international organization for professional networking and development in the library information services sector, and the organization has more than 120 member countries and 3,500 participants worldwide. This year, the IFLA Conference was held in Columbus, Ohio from August 13-19.

Ahmad has served as the Director General of the National Library of Malaysia since 2014. She received her bachelor’s from the National University of Malaysia and a post-graduate diploma in library science from the MARA University of Technology, Malaysia.

After graduating, Ahmad worked at the National Library of Malaysia for 28 years, holding key positions in multiple departments, such as Digital Library Services, Documentation, Collection Development and Malaysian National Bibliography.

Throughout the years, she has also been a part of several projects, such as the Ubiquitous Library Project, National Digital Library Project, Malaysian National Union Catalogue Project, and the National Data Dictionary for Public Sector.

Ohio University Libraries extended a warm welcome to Nafisah Ahmad!