The 17th Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians (CONSAL XVII) in Naypyitaw, Myanmar

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From May 2-5, 2018, the 17th Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians (CONSAL XVII), hosted by the National Library of Myanmar in cooperation with the Myanmar Library Association, was held in Naypyitaw, Myanmar with the theme "Next Generation Libraries: Collaborate and Connect".

Held every three years, CONSAL is the largest and most prestigious scientific forum in Southeast Asia in the field of Information – Library, where member countries have the opportunity to learn, grasp the new trend of development, research, exchange and share experience, participate in joint projects and explore opportunities for collaboration with other libraries in the region and the world.

Attending the CONSAL XVII Congress were more than 650 delegates and observers, including about 200 international delegates from 26 countries in the world, with 40 delegates from Viet Nam. At the Opening and Closing ceremonies of the Congress, keynote speeches of the State Counsellor of Myanmar, Vice President of Myanmar, Minister of Religious Affairs and Culture, IFLA President-elect all affirmed the big role of library for the sustainable development of society, strongly supported the library culture and activity of promoting lifelong reading habits; it also emphasized the theme of the CONSAL XVII that focussed on real-time collaboration and connection due to rapid change of the library industry, no nation or library can stand alone in dissemination of information and knowledge. It is time for librarians throughout Southeast Asia to work together on strategic alliances, new partnerships and capacities, and training issues for the library and information industry.

In parallel sessions, a total of 94 presentations by delegates from ASEAN and other countries were selected, of which eight presentations of the National Library and Vietnamese libraries cover such topics as: library marketing, preservation of Han Nom documents, digitization, copyright issues, human resources development, library alliances, and library modernization. The presentations at the congress agreed to reach consensus on preservation of culture and heritage, information distribution, wide use of materials, and increased sharing of experiences among libraries should be carried out regularly.

At the closing ceremony, the CONSAL XVII Outstanding Librarian Award included 1 Gold Prize and 4 Silver Prizes were presented to representatives from the Philippines, Viet Nam, Thailand, Myanmar and Indonesia; CONSAL XVIII flag was transferred to representatives of the Library Association and the National Library of Cambodia for the next 3-year term from 2019 to 2021 in the presence of numerous participants of the congress.

Besides the plenary session, the NLV delegation led by Ms. Kieu Thuy Nga, director of the NLV, attended two conferences, namely, The 3rd meeting of CONSAL XVII Executive Board members and The 26th Conference of Directors of National Libraries in Asia and Oceania (CDNLAO). Especially on this occasion, the NLV has had an exhibition booth introducing the country, people, cultural products and documents written about Viet Nam within the CONSAL XVII exhibition hall, drawing interest and attention of numerous of delegates and international colleagues. On the sidelines of the Conference, the NLV’s leaders had meetings with IFLA President-elect, Directors of National Libraries and leaders of Regional Library Associations to propose document exchange activities, delegation visits, regional conferences, seminars as well as bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

Photos of the same event:

The opening ceremony of CONSAL XVII

The State Counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi delivering speech at the Opening ceremony of CONSAL XVII

and Vice President of Myanmar U Myint Swe delivering speech at the Closing ceremonyof CONSAL XVII

The Closing ceremony of CONSAL XVII

Mr. Pham The Khang, Former President of Vietnamese Library Association, Former Director of the NLV receiving Silver prize for CONSAL XVII Outstanding Librarian Award

The 3rd Meeting of CONSAL XVII Executive Board

The 26th Conference of Directors of National Libraries in Asia and Oceania (CDNLAO)


Exhibition space of the National Library of Viet Nam at the CONSAL XVII

Representatives of the CONSAL XVII Executive Board taking souvenir photos

Vietnamese delegation attending the CONSAL XVII taking souvenir photos


News and photos: Bui Thi Thuy