Depok, West Java (ANTARA) - Deputy Rector of the University of Indonesia (UI) Prof. Abdul Haris has said that the UI Library as a major academic supporting facility for learning, teaching and research activities, has a vision of becoming a world-class research university library.

"Since last year, libraries have restricted almost all their physical services and have turned most of them into online-based services," Abdul Haris said in a statement here on Sunday.

He predicted that the challenges faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 will grow bigger than the previous year.

"The UI library wants to explore trends and issues facing university libraries in general, and in Southeast Asia in particular, and what can be done to overcome these problems," he said.

On March 17, the UI Library organized an international webinar entitled "Trends and Issues in Southeast Asian Academic Libraries 2021" which discussed several best practices in the management of academic libraries, including their book and material collections, various library services, the use of information technology and other innovations that can be applied during and after a pandemic.

"This webinar is expected to provide mutual input and inspiration for higher education library services to boost their role and function in supporting the distance learning process," he noted.

The Director General of Higher Education, Prof. Nizam, said that librarians play a role in helping students and academics to navigate in the sea of information. Collaboration between libraries is very important to develop, especially in a pandemic like this time.

"This webinar fosters new ideas, new innovations, new collaborations, strengthen existing collaborations, and strengthen regional library networks," he said.

Head of the UI Library Utami Budi Rahayu Hariyadi said changes in user services and library operational activities must be carried out in response to the prolonged pandemic situation.

On the one hand, libraries must increase the development of electronic resources and online-based technology services, but on the other hand, there is a reduction in budgets due to economic factors.

Under these conditions, the UI Library wanted to explore further, what trends and issues are faced by higher education libraries in the world in general, Southeast Asia in particular, and what is being done to overcome these problems.

Ths webinar provided input and inspiration for higher education library services to increase their role and function in supporting the distance learning process.

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Translator: Feru L, Fardah
Editor: Gusti Nur Cahya Aryani
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