Rural public library network: Rural public libraries development in Malaysia and Australia / Roziya Abu

Abu, Roziya (2013) Rural public library network: Rural public libraries development in Malaysia and Australia / Roziya Abu. Voice of Academia (VOA), 8 (1). p. 12. ISSN 2682-7840

Official URL:


The Malaysian government has invested in public libraries with the intention
of promoting development, particularly in rural areas. Despite the
increasing number of rural public libraries being built throughout Malaysia,
providing users with many services, activities and programs, previous
research indicates that they are underutilised. This research aimed to
explore relationships between rural public libraries and their communities
in both Malaysia and Australia, with particular attention to empowerment
and community development processes. This study adopted a multiple case
study methodology with a purposive sample of six rural public libraries,
three in Malaysia and three in Australia. Qualitative methods were used,
including personal interviews, observations of group meetings, group
discussions, and document review. The research found that in the Malaysian
rural public library services included in this study, activities and programs
are standardised and limited mostly to children, taking little account of local
community information needs. Participants indicated that the materials and
resources are frequently out-dated, and they perceived the library services
as being mainly for children. The Australian rural public libraries included
in this study facilitate greater community participation and involvement and
are more responsive to the needs of local communities, providing support
and assistance for lifelong learning and access to information literacy. It is
suggested that development activities will have greater impact if local communities
are involved and have a sense of ownership of the activities. The
study proposes a framework for the development of more responsive rural
public library services in developing countries such as Malaysia. Particular
strategies are suggested, including locally-focussed collection development,
consultation regarding local information needs, the development of
local partnerships, and the development of Rural Public Library Networks.


Item Type: Article
Email / ID Num.
Abu, Roziya
Subjects: Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Village libraries. Rural libraries
Divisions: Universiti Teknologi MARA, Kedah > Sg Petani Campus > Research Management Institute (RMI), UiTM Cawangan Kedah
Journal or Publication Title: Voice of Academia (VOA)
UiTM Journal Collections: UiTM Journal > Voice of Academia (VOA)
ISSN: 2682-7840
Volume: 8
Number: 1
Page Range: p. 12
Keywords: Rural Public Library; Rural Community; Community Development; Empowerment
Date: 2013
Edit Item
Edit Item


[thumbnail of AJ_ROZIYA ABU VOA K 13.pdf] Text

Download (2MB)

ID Number




Statistic details