| Achong Tanjong |
THE Language and Literature Bureau (DBP) of Brunei Darussalam and the US Embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan yesterday launched Brunei’s first-ever “American Shelf”.
The event was jointly launched by Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Hamid bin Haji Mohd Jaafar, and Mark S Dieker, Charge d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Brunei Darussalam.
Also present were Director of Language and Literature Bureau, Hajah Aminah binti Haji Momin, Chief Librarian Haji Sahari bin Haji Nassar, librarians and invited guests.
The American Shelf is a collection of resources on American culture, education, and English-language programmes, which was donated to the National Library by the American Embassy. It is located in the youth section of the library and offers to the public the use of free books, magazines and electronic databases on topics related to the United States of America.
Charge d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Brunei Darussalam said, “We are delighted and honoured that the National Library of Brunei Darussalam has provided us with a section to showcase books representing the United States.
“The American Shelf exemplifythe US commitment to building bridges of mutual respect and understanding between the United States and Brunei. The establishment of the American Shelf is a great opportunity for those interested in the United States to learn more about the culture and educational programme.”
He said he hoped that students and professionals would find a comprehensive list of resources on undergraduate and graduate studies in America, as well as review books for admission tests such as the SAT, GRE and GMAT.
Sara Ziebell, a Regional Information Resources Officer based in Indonesia, said the American Shelves would provide a place for Bruneians and Americans to gather, exchange ideas and learn from one another.
It also offer spaces for people to obtain up-to-date and accurate information about US, both through printed materials as well as via eLibraryUSA, an online resource that contains access to around 20 world-class databases on such topics as English language learning, study and travel to the US, historical and cultural information, civil society, business and entrepreneurship, and science and technology.
It also acts as hub for people interested in improving their English as well as obtaining accurate information about opportunities for pursuing both US higher education and short-term exchanges, for example our Asean-focused Young South East Asian Leaders Initiative, she said.
The US Embassy and the National Library look forward to expanding the American Shelf as a space that will allow more people –to- people connections between Brunei and US through cultural programmes and open online courses.