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The Penang Digital Library

 PRESS STATEMENT BY CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG
ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE PENANG DIGITAL LIBRARY “BRINGING THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE INTO THE DIGITAL ERA”
2ND JUNE 2016 – KOMTAR LEVEL 28, 12.00 PM.

The Penang Digital Library, an initiative by the Penang State Government in collaboration with Keysight Technologies and E&O and supported by TIME, aims to use technology to learn new information that can help communities create, connect and communicate.

The Penang state government is pleased to announce Penang’s first “The Penang Digital Library”. This initiative is supported by the Penang state government in collaboration with Keysight Technologies and E&O and supported by TIME. The RM2.5Million Digital Library is located at the premises of the former Puspanita building located within the Penang Free School and this initiative is a PPP (Private Public Partnership).

Inspired by a similar initiative developed by Keysight Technologies for the Penang Science Café, the Penang Digital Library is the next phase in the evolution of libraries. It aims to redesign how we access information and curate knowledge; to channel this information to the people that need it most – when they need it most. It also aims to create an environment that will complement the more traditional methods of teaching and learning to elevate the education experience to be on par with today’s technological landscape.

This initiative is also a public private partnership where the state government provides both the existing heritage building and funds together with funds and expertise from the private sector. We stress that we are not abandoning old libraries but exploring new ones by using the latest technologies and invention. It aims to do this by being:

- A catalyst for the next phase of STEM development – There has been a marked increase in initiatives aimed at sparking an interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math); and the Penang Digital Library is the next step in this development chain. It will provide users structured access to information and knowledge – via the over 3,000 specially curated e-books, e-magazines and reference journals – that will fan the spark of interest into a flame of knowledge.

- A space for creativity and innovation to flourish – An idea will only remain an idea without the know-how of putting it into action. The Penang Digital Library aims to change this by leveraging various interactive informative displays to push the freshest content on technological concepts and revolutions to users. Latest tools, gadgets and features will be made available to instantly guide them to what they are searching for and to help them turn their ideas into reality.

- A platform to connect – Forgoing traditional concepts of cubicles, boxed up learning spaces and impersonal electronic devices, the Penang Digital Library aims to break down interaction barriers and bring the human touch back into collaborations. Driving more emphatic connections through infrastructure designed to encourage face-to-face discussions, sharing sessions and cross-discipline engagements, the Penang Digital Library will be a nucleus for collaborators to get connected, and to stay connected.

The Penang Digital Library is expected to be launched in August 2016. It will be accessible to the public free of charge. We hope that the Penang Digital Library will help Penangites to use technology to learn new information and knowledge that can help communities to create, connect and communicate. This exciting development will also allow parents and their kids a peek into the future – a brave new world of acquiring knowledge and learning through the magic of technology.

LIM GUAN ENG

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Drivers of the Penang Digital Library:

Penang State Government
The Penang state government is aggressively promoting the teachings of STEM amongst the young and the youths in Penang. Over the last 5 years, the state government has established the Penang Science Cluster and this initiative has been the catalyst for various projects such as the Penang Science Café and Tech Dome Penang which will be opened in July 2016 at Komtar Dome. The Penang Digital Library will be the first of its kind in Penang and also Malaysia and will open its doors in August 2016.
The Penang State Government has appointed Chief Minister of Penang Incorporated (CMI) to act on behalf of the Penang State for the development of the first Penang Digital Library. The role of CMI is to manage the library together with the Penang Public Library Corporation and Keysight Technologies. The organization will be responsible for preparing the platform, hiring and training the librarians, selecting e-books, contents and costs, developing system for membership access. This project requires a high speed internet access. As such, TIME dotCom has agreed to provide 100mbps for 24 months for the usage of the Digital Library as part of their CSR.

E&O
The Eastern & Oriental Group is the main contributor for building refurbishment works, including mechanical and electrical works, required to transform the existing state government building into Penang’s first Digital Library. E&O plays an important role in this landmark project and has indeed provided its highly esteemed construction and technical know-how to assist the state government in setting up this library. Besides being a major property developer in Penang, E&O continues to play its role in assisting the state in driving newer and better initiatives for the people of Penang.
According to the Eastern & Oriental Berhad (E&O) managing director Datuk Seri Terry Tham, “The E&O Group is honoured to have this opportunity to contribute to this landmark project by the Penang state government. We believe that the setting of such a public facility, the first of its kind in the state, will benefit the people of Penang and is a clear step towards turning Penang into an international city.”

“This is yet another corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative by the E&O Group in Penang and further cements our enduring presence on the island,” Tham said.

Keysight Technologies
Keysight Technologies has been instrumental in the development of the Penang Digital Library, from conceptualization to deployment. With its deep insights and expertise in enabling the technologies that drive the breakthroughs in today’s electronics world, Keysight has been vital in formulating the foundation, structure and content of the Penang Digital Library.

Keysight is also responsible for the development of the virtual infrastructure of the Penang Digital Library, including designing the database powering the library and the numerous web and mobile applications that curate the structured and effective flow of information to users.

Being a key advocate of STEM development, and having valuable experience from past projects including the Penang Science Cafes initiative, Keysight also played a vital role in helping mould the digital content for the library. Additionally, they provided strategic consultancy on designing the social collaboration spaces and the overall look-and-feel of the Penang Digital Library.

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