Program K-Sharing “21st. Century Readers” by Nazrinda A.Samah, 16 May 2019

Around 72 staff and students of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia participated in the Let’s Read Together for 10 Minutes Programme which was organised by Perpustakaan UTM on 23 April 2019 at Perpustakaan Raja Zarith Sofiah Building. This annual programme was initiated by Majlis Pengarah-Pengarah Perpustakaan Awam Se-Malaysia (MPAM) back in 2014 and held concurrently in all states throughout the country.

The aim of the programme is to cultivate a reading culture among Malaysians. Based on the reading profile study on Malaysians done by the National Library revealed in 2005 that citizens only read two books a year. As such, aggressive approach, effort and encouragement must be carried out to attract more of the community to value and love the world of reading. Libraries for instance should play a part in creating a vibrant and sustainable reading environment to encourage reading for pleasure. It may be just 10 minutes that a reader has to spare, but he or she spends reading a book at least once a day.

In a similar vein, Perpustakaan UTM also organised a Knowledge Sharing Programme where issues about 21st century readers were discussed by Dr. Nurul Farhana Mohd Noordin, senior lecturer at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities. She opined that in the twenty-first century, reading is no longer confined to printed materials. A reader has an abundance opportunity to obtain information through digital devices such as smart phones, tablets and laptop computers. She also pointed out that to get people to read again is by working with technology not against it. Online resources, digital tools and applications can be applied to improve students’ experiences with reading or helping them search information to fulfill their academic requirements.