[A2k] Instant e-libraries for Myanmar universities

Teresa Hackett teresa.hackett at eifl.net
Thu Apr 3 03:35:47 PDT 2014

BBC News has featured an in-depth profile of EIFL's eLibrary Myanmar
project in their Knowledge Economy series.

In the story, Instant e-libraries for Myanmar universities, BBC
education correspondent Sean Coughlan describes how, after decades of
isolation, Myanmar's universities are catching up with the rest of the
world by making hundreds of thousands of e-books, e-journals and
databases available to faculty and students.

The University of Yangon and the University of Mandalay have switched
on these instant library collections, which represent another sign of
how the country - also known as Burma - is opening up to outside

"We can't go back, we want to go forward," says Prof Kyaw Naing,
Pro-Rector of the University of Yangon in the article.

As part of recent reforms, Sean Coughlan writes that universities in
Myanmar have been given greater freedoms, and young students have now
returned to rejuvenate neglected campuses.

"Online resources were the obvious way to go," said EIFL-Licensing
Programme Manager Susanna Lob, who is managing the project and who was
also featured in the story. "As well as giving instant access to such
a wide range of resources, a digital library allows unlimited numbers
of students to use the same book or journal at the same time."

Susanna Lob also noted that the new students are hungry to learn and
the e-library will give them the range of materials they would expect
from a modern university. As well as books, magazines, newspaper
collections and research archives are also available.

Read the full story on the BBC website,


Through the eLibrary Myanmar project, academics and students will
benefit from direct access to a comprehensive range of high quality
e-resources including journals, books, and reference information.

During the first phase of the project, EIFL will focus on helping
librarians and academic staff at the University of Yangon and the
University of Mandalay to provide effective support for education and
research across programmes and departments.

An intensive training programme is also planned to ensure that
awareness and usage is maximized, and that e-resources are embedded in
teaching and learning, in order to improve research excellence, output
and dissemination in the longer term.

Opportunities to roll out the project and to improve access to
knowledge more widely across universities in Myanmar will also be
explored as part of the first phase.

For example, the EIFL-IP programme will follow legal developments so
that the copyright law supports education and research, and maximizes
access to knowledge through libraries. In addition, the EIFL-OA
programme will explore ways of making local research visible online.

The eLibrary Myanmar project, which is being implemented by EIFL, is
funded by the Open Society Foundations' Higher Education Support
Program and has the support of the Ministry of Education in Myanmar.


Through the EIFL Licensing programme, we have negotiated affordable
access to over 65 commercial e-resources from more than 30 vendors.
Resources include e-journals, e-books, reference works and aggregated
databases covering a broad range of subject areas.

In 2012, we achieved estimated savings of more than US$215 million for
libraries in our network - an average discount of over 97%.

We also work with libraries to promote awareness and usage of
e-resources, and full text downloads from EIFL-licensed resources
increased by almost 50% in 2012 to 7 million.

Teresa Hackett
EIFL-IP Programme Manager

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