Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians



The Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians (CONSAL) was founded in Singapore in 1970 as the Conference of Southeast Asian Librarians.It was formed to provide a platform for librarians of Southeast Asian Nations to have dialogues and promote cooperation in the field of librarianship.

History
In 1969, a Conference on Southeast Asian Research Materials was held at Puntjak, near Jakarta, Indonesia, and was attended by eminent scholars, archivists and librarians. It was at this conference that the idea of forming a regional organisation for Southeast Asian Nations was conceived. The founders of CONSAL were said to have been librarians from five Asian countries—Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand—who had attended the conference.3


CONSAL was formally formed through the collaboration between the Library Associations of Singapore and Malaysia.
 Its initial members were from Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The first CONSAL was held in Singapore on 14–16 August 1970.4 CONSAL IV in 1978 saw it renamed as the Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians.5 Membership shrank with 1983’s CONSAL VI when membership was limited to the ASEAN countries—meaning the departure of Cambodia and Vietnam.6 Brunei joined as a member from CONSAL X in 1996 and Cambodia and Vietnam rejoined at CONSAL XI in 2000 along with Laos.7 Membership reached 10 countries when Myanmar joined the group at CONSAL XII in 2003.8

In 1999, the Library Association of Singapore launched CONSAL Web in Bangkok. With the formation of the CONSAL Secretariat in April 2000, the website was transferred to the Secretariat hosted by the National Library Board, Singapore, which has developed the website into a learning and networking portal for librarians in the region. The new CONSAL Web was launched on 24 April 2001 by David Lim, the then Minister of State for Defence and Information and the Arts, at Pan Pacific Hotel, Singapore.9

The CONSAL Secretariat was hosted by Singapore for a period of three years from 2000 onwards. The Secretariat is responsible for coordinating CONSAL approved projects. The first secretary-general of the CONSAL Secretariat was R. Ramachandran.10

Description
CONSAL members meet once every three years in each member’s country by turn.11 The CONSAL executive board comprises three national members from each member country and is responsible for accomplishing CONSAL’s objectives. These include tasks such as prioritising recommendations and resolutions presented to the board, maintaining the official and financial records of CONSAL, as well as conducting reviews of programmes, projects or activities undertaken by CONSAL.12

CONSAL receives financial support from international organisations, governments and firms within the Southeast Asian region and organisations outside the region, such as UNESCO, IFLA, the Commonwealth Foundation and the National Library of Australia. It also organises various fund-raising activities for further financial support.13

Among CONSAL’s completed regional projects are: Masterlist of Southeast Asian Microfilms, edited by Winarti Partaningrat (1978); Directory of Librarians in Southeast Asia, edited by Marina, G. Dayrit and Namnama P. Hidalgo (1980); and Southeast Asian Microfilms Newsletter, 1972-93, edited by Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.14

CONSAL’s objectives
CONSAL’s objectives are:


To establish and strengthen relations among librarians, libraries, library schools, library associations and related organisations in the region.

To promote cooperation in the development of librarianship, library and information sciences, documentation, information and related activities in the region.

To cooperate with other regional and international organisations, and other institutions in the support of common undertakings and interests of CONSAL.

To provide a platform for sharing and exchanging of information and experiences on issues in the field of librarianship, library and information sciences, documentation, information and related services in the region.15



Author
Heirwin Md Nasir



References
1. First Conference of Southeast Asian Librarians. (1971). Singapore Libraries, 1, 70-72. (Call no.: RSING 020.5 SL)
2. Khoo, S. M. (Ed.). (1996). Memorable journey: Commemorating 25 years of CONSAL (Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians), 1970–95. Kuala Lumpur: CONSAL X, p. 20. (Call no.: RSEA 020.623259 CON)
3. Khoo, S. M. (Ed.). (1996). Memorable journey: Commemorating 25 years of CONSAL (Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians), 1970–95. Kuala Lumpur: CONSAL X, p. 21. (Call no.: RSEA 020.623259 CON)
4. Lim, P. H. P.Lim, H. T., & Syed Ahmad, A. (1972). Proceedings of the first Conference of Southeast Asian Librarians : held at the University of Singapore on 14th-16th August 1970. (Call no.: RSING 021.00959 CON)
5. Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians. (1978). 4th Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians on regional co-operation for the development of national information systems, June 5-9, 1970. Bangkok, Thailand. (Call no.: RSING 021.650959 CON)
6. Congress of librarians may become Asean group. (1983, June 4). The Straits Times, p. 10. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. Khoo, S. M. (Ed.). (1996). Memorable journey: Commemorating 25 years of CONSAL (Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians), 1970–95. Kuala Lumpur: CONSAL X, p. 3. (Call no.: RSEA 020.623259 CON); Lee, V. (2000, June). CONSAL XI: an event for librarians, p. 10. NTU Library Bulletin, 9(2), 10-12. (Call no.: RSING 020.5 NTULB)
8. Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka Brunei. (2003). Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians (CONSAL XII): “information resources empowerment: enhancing knowledge heritage”: 20-23 October 2003, International Convention Centre (ICC), Berakas, Brunei Darussalam, p. 9. (Call no.: RSING 029.059 CON)
9. Website to link librarians in the region. (2001, April 25). The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; National Library Board Singapore. (2002). Annual report 2001/2002. Singapore: Author, p. 23. (Call no.: RCLOS 027.05957 SNLBAR-[AR]) ; Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts. (2001, April 24). Speech by Minister of State for Defence and Informations and the Arts, Mr David T. E. Lim at the Joint Celebration of Emerging Trends in Library & Archival Service (e-tlas), Asia International Book Fair (AIBF), International Library Expo (ILE), Publishing and Library Asia (PAL). Retrieved from National Archives of Singapore website: http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline
10. CONSAL. About CONSAL: History. Webpage archived on 2008, May 20. Retrieved from Web Archive Singapore via http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/webarchives/
11. CONSAL. About CONSAL: History. Webpage archived on 2008, May 20. Retrieved from Web Archive Singapore via http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/webarchives/
12. CONSAL. (2006). CONSAL constitution. Retrieved 2018, May 4 from Internet Archive Wayback Machine website (archived on 2013, October 5): https://web.archive.org/web/20131005214137/http://www.consal.org:80/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=72&Itemid=84
13. Le, T. D. (2008). A history of CONSAL. Retrieved 2018, May 4, from Internet Archive Wayback Machine website (archived 2013, October 5): https://web.archive.org/web/20131005220009/http://www.consal.org:80/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=70&Itemid=102
14. Khoo, S. M. (Ed.). (1996). Memorable journey: Commemorating 25 years of CONSAL (Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians), 1970–95. Kuala Lumpur: CONSAL X, p. 62. (Call no.: RSEA 020.623259 CON)
15. CONSAL. (2006). CONSAL constitution. Retrieved 2018, May 4 from Internet Archive Wayback Machine website (archived on 2013, October 5): https://web.archive.org/web/20131005214137/http://www.consal.org:80/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=72&Itemid=84

 

Subject
Singapore--History
Libraries--Singapore
Library cooperation--Singapore
Organisations>>Associations
Organisations
Science and technology>>Library and information science>>Library and information services