Books through e-parcel and courier service
Published on: Thursday, November 28, 2013
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Kota Kinabalu: Sabahans will no longer be confined to within the four walls of a library as books can now be easily accessed through e-parcel and courier services, said Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) chairman, Dato' Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi.Apart from that, Sabahans now have access to book drops (Gelongsor Buku) which would enable them to return books within the U-Pustaka consortium without going to a library counter and is an alternative to the e-parcel and courier services, he added. "There are now two U-Pustaka machines in Sabah and since its first launch at the Penampang library on April 16, 2013, about 100,236 U-Pustaka members have been recorded."

Head officer of support and services unit from MCMC, Tengku Zaib Raja Ahmad read his speech at the second U-Pustaka launch which took place at the State library, here.

Recently, at the Connect Asia Pacific 2013 which was held in Bangkok, a seaweed entrepreneur from Kunak, Sabah - Kabilah Hassan won an award for her achievements in acquiring more customers through online business.

This is proof that the Internet is capable of changing people's lives economically and assisting them in entering the global market, he said.

In relation to this, Sharil hoped more Sabahans would be able to benefit from this. Through this realisation, MCMC came up with the U-Pustaka initiative with the assistance of eight libraries in Malaysia under a consortium called "Penyedia Perkhidmatan Maklumat (Information Service Providers) and adapted seven public and non public organisations as their strategic partners.

"About 1.8 million books were collected from these eight libraries.

So far, U-Pustaka has carried out more than 16,000 book transactions for Malaysians in rural and urban areas." Since its launch on March 31, 2011, its members have reached more than 300,000. Visitors from 127 countries have surfed the U-Pustaka portal which involves 1,157 cities.

It is a historical moment for Sabahans as it opens the gateway for us to acquire broader knowledge, said Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister, Datuk Jainab Ahmad.

She said she supported efforts by the State library towards realising the government's vision in shaping people who are more knowledgeable and are keen on reading by year 2020.

"My ministry will always be involved directly in programmes offered by the State library to get people into the habit of reading," emphasised Jainab.

Her speech was read by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Datuk Siti Sapoo Hj Ahok.

"Lifelong learning is the government's aim for the people as knowledge/ information contributes to the development of our country and at the same time improves our economy.

"Informal education is also focused upon which can be obtained through services provided by libraries all over Malaysia.

"As a Minister in charge of the State library, I am proud of their achievements throughout the years. Its involvement in the U-Pustaka consortium is important to people here."

Apart from the educational benefits which it can provide, consortium members will be able to build connections with one another and foster good relations.

U-Pustaka is basically a kiosk where users can surf the U-Pustaka portal, borrow/return books and pay for their fines.

"I hope that this service will be used by Sabahans."

In relation to this, she highlighted on new development plans for year 2014.

According to her, the State government has approved the development of a new building in Tanjung Aru which costs RM40 million.

The project will be managed through the Corporate Social Responsibilities of Lahad Datu Water Supply Sdn Bhd and Sabah Development Bank.

The State Library will also be replacing ten buildings of Desa libraries and acquire four units of mobile libraries (buses).

According to her, the Federal government through the national library has also approved the development of a new library in Kinabatangan which costs RM7.5 million and is expected to begin in 2014.

She thanked the federal government through the MCMC and the Ministry of Communication and Multimedia for contributing 1,404 netbooks to the State library.

Meanwhile, during a press conference, the Technical Adviser for the Strategic Engagement Department (U-Pustaka), Associate Prof. Indahsah Hj Sidek said U stands for ubiquitous which also means omnipresent -the library is with you no matter where you are, no matter where you go.

"This is possible because of broadband connectivity."

When asked about the delay in launching U-Pustaka in Sabah, she said that it was done in stages and this year was time for it to be launched in Sabah.

Charges will apply to e-parcels and courier services.

However, to borrow books is free of charge, said Indahsah.


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