When a 16-year old Moi Malala started work at the Administrative College library in 1975 she could not have imagined the incredible technological revolution that was to come.
There have been many changes at the Administrative College over the years – it was renamed to the PNG Institute of Public Administration and then, in 2018, to the Pacific Institute of Leadership and Governance (PILAG).
The rise and rise of information technology has also made changes and irreversibly altered Moi’s profession and the way information is accessed around the world.
The revitalised PILAG remains committed to the development of public service leaders by providing vocational training to meet the nation’s needs and is looking to an increasingly digital approach to information management.
In June, the Institute opened its new library to the public. Its construction was supported by the Papua New Guinea – Australia Partnership through the Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct.
Its digital library system has enhanced the way staff, students and the public can utilise information, access learning resources and conduct research.
The new library will bring great benefits to the education of Papua New Guinea’s future leaders, not to mention Moi and her seven colleagues, who previously managed nearly 40,000 items manually.
“I am looking forward to using the new system – I’m happy to be part of the change and the new technology,” she said.
“It will save a lot of time – quicker processing of the books, and managing the library and for reporting purposes as well.”
The system has been introduced at PILAG and University of Papua New Guinea, both core institutions of the Precinct – a partnership between PNG and Australia that is supporting the development of ethical, capable public sector leaders. It includes access to global online databases and digitised local collections.
The PILAG Library also has a BookEye Scanner, a specialised device for the digitising rare and fragile books and other historic documents.
The V-shaped scanning device cradles documents naturally to avoid damage during the scanning process.
Chief librarian Eric Nandoma said the scanner and online cataloguing are part of a broader digitisation plan.
“The scanner will assist staff to digitise our rare and fragile resources – most of these are historical PNG materials and government policy documents,” he said.
“The PNG Collection holds information on PNG which cannot be found at any other library in the country.
“They have become old and fragile and the BookEye Scanner will help restore and preserve them for generations to use for research and study,” Mr Nandoma continued.
“Once scanned, the images will be catalogued and stored online for access by staff, students and the public.”
Change always presents some challenges, but Moi, Eric and the rest of the PILAG library team aren’t interested in being stuck in the past and have embraced the new technology.
“I am happy with the new system,” Moi said.
“It might take some time for us to get used to working with the computer setup, but I’m a librarian – I know how a library works.”