Authors urged to deposit books with Pustaka Negeri Sarawak to preserve written works for future generations

Fatimah (third right) in a photo-call with others at the KPWK office today (Oct 20, 2022).


KUCHING, Oct 20: Minister for Women, Childhood, and Community Wellbeing Development (KPWK) Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah encourages authors to deposit their books with the Sarawak State Library in order to preserve written works for future generations.

Fatimah stated this today during her visit to the Sarawak State Library here in relation to the Sarawak Authors Festival (SAF), which will take place from Oct 24 to 29.

“The number of books deposited with the Sarawak State Library was an issue that piqued my interest. In terms of numbers, there are only 200 this year.

“According to the benchmark, the number of books published per million population in developed countries is 1,000.

“Therefore, as a developing country, we still have a long way to go in terms of book deposits at our State Library,” she said.

She said that numerous authors write books but do not submit them to the Sarawak State Library.

Fatimah added that there is much which could be written about personality, heritage, or anything else that exists in the context of Sarawak but has yet to be written.

“So we’re looking into it and will propose to the Sarawak State Library and the general public ways to increase the number of books published and then deposited in the State Library,” she said.

She also stated that depositing books in the State Library is important because what is documented will be Sarawak’s heritage and become reference material for both present and future generations.

Meanwhile, according to a press release, the Sarawak State Library will host the SAF (Festival Penulis-Penulis Sarawak) in accordance with its mandate as the Legal Deposit under the Sarawak State Library Ordinance, 1999.

The primary objective of the programme is to foster creativity in writing among local authors in order to preserve Sarawak’s literary heritage.

The State Library Sarawak will host the fourth edition of the SAF programme from Oct 24 to 29, with the theme “Legacy”, following hosting similar events in 2017, 2018, and 2020.

The theme was chosen to focus on inheritance, relics, or the effect of writing as seen from the author’s past to the present, and beyond into the future.

This year’s SAF2022 programme will be held concurrently at the three Sarawak State Library campuses in Kuching, Sibu, and Miri, and will present various programmes and interesting activities that will be held under new norms in accordance with the country’s transition to the endemic phase of Covid-19 as declared by the government on April 1, 2022.

Programmes and activities will be held in a hybrid format, either physically or online, and will be led by local writers and publishers who will share their knowledge and experience in the production of their work, which will then be presented to the public.

Programmes include workshops, lectures, forums, seminars, knowledge sharing, a Book Talk, Sarawak Authors Highlight, dance performances, performances of local songs by Sarawak buskers, exhibitions, and book sales, among others.

The highlight is the upcoming SAF2022 Healthy Day Programme, which will be hosted by DJ Fir Affandi and DJ Elya who are well-known Era Sarawak presenters.

There will also be the sharing of health tips during Normah Medical Specialist Centre’s “Makanan Sihat Minda Cerdas” programme while Kuching Skills College will hold a healthy food demo, and Fit Aerobics and Dance Academy will host an Aeromixthon.

The programme will also feature a special performance by local entertainer Winnie Albert as one of its highlights.

In addition, the Sarawak Authors Gala Night will be held at Pullman Hotel in Kuching to honour Sarawak writers and publishers.

This year’s SAF will be launched by Fatimah, on behalf of the Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

On that night, guests in attendance will be able to witness the presentation of two major awards in conjunction with SAF2022: the Appreciation Award to Writers and Publishers who have submitted their written works through Legal Deposit, Sarawak State Library Ordinance, 1999, and the “Anugerah Perpustakaan Awam Premier Sarawak 2022”.

Moreover, a Book Launching will be held to highlight the publication of new books by local writers.

This year, local authors and publishers will release up to seven books.

For further information, please call 082-440488/082-442000 or email statedepository@sarawak.gov.my. — DayakDaily