On November 23-24, 2021, the CKS Library hosted a two-day workshop “The Role of Libraries in the Digital Era” at the CKS Conference Hall in Siem Reap. The workshop featured three keynotes speakers, Ms. Margaret Bywater, Librarian Specialist at the Parliamentary Centre of Asia, Mr. Khiev Sopheaktra, Co-founder and Operational Manager at Library Solution Cambodia and Mr. Net Wanna, Deputy Director of the Hun Sen Library who gave presentations on different facets of e-libraries.The three guest speakers were followed by presentations from six leading Cambodian libraries, including the CKS Library, Pannasastra University of Cambodia’s Library, American Corner University Library, Legal Documentation Center relating to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, École Française d’Extrême-Orient, and Royal University of Law and Economics concerning the impact of digital transformation on their libraries and the concomitant challenges and opportunities. Librarians from several Cambodian universities and organizations including: the National Library, National Archives, National Museum, Tuol Sleng Museum, Sosoro Museum, Legal Documentation Centre relating to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (LDC), Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center, CDRI Library, RUFA, RUPP, RULE, Pannasastra University/American Corner PP, American Corner Battambang, American Corner Siem Reap, University of Southeast Asia Library, Siem Reap, Angkor University Library, Siem Reap, Build Bright University Library, Siem Reap, Preah Norodom Sihanouk-Angkor Museum, APSARA Authority, Asian Traditional Textiles Museum, APSARA Authority, Ecole Française d’Extrême-Orient Library, Siem Reap, Battambang University Library American Intercon School presented in this workshop. In addition, CKS was honored to have the participation of Dr. Peo Thonevath, retired library expert, and the virtual participation of Dr. Gina de Alwise, librarian specialist and an independent researcher from Singapore.
The event occured at a propitious time as traditional libraries in Cambodia are facing challenges caused by the rapid evolution of technology and the Covid-19 pandemic. Participants expressed their appreciation for the workshop and that CKS will hold these types of workshops in the future so that they can continue to strengthen their knowledge and expertise in digital library resources and technologies, noting that such opportunities are available in Cambodia.
The workshop is part of a larger CKS project to increase digital library resources and development in Cambodia through collaboration and training programs with other local and regional libraries.