‘American Shelf’ launched at UTB library

Lyna Mohamad

A total of 243 books covering diverse topics such as business and entrepreneurship, careers, innovation and technology, American history, and American-English Language resources were donated by the United States (US) Embassy in Brunei Darussalam to Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB).

The collection of books will be kept at the dedicated ‘American Shelf’ in the university’s library.

To mark the occasion, a launch ceremony took place at the UTB library yesterday. US Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Matthew J Matthews officiated the event.

The ambassador in his remarks said the goal of the American Shelf is to provide information and resources about the US through the collection of books on technology, business and careers, history, literature, and study opportunities at US universities donated by the embassy.

The shelf, the ambassador added, will also be a source for information on embassy exchange programmes such as Fulbright Fellowships and the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Programme.

United States Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Matthew J Matthews and Acting Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Teknologi Brunei Haji Ady Syarmin bin Haji Md Taib in a group photo at UTB library’s ‘American Shelf’. PHOTO: LYNA MOHAMAD

He said that he hopes the UTB faculty and students will consider applying for these programmes.

The US Ambassador pointed out that the shelf has particularly strong collections on technology, business, and careers.

“As you know, the US is a leader in many technical fields and is the home to prominent global companies,” Matthews said.

“A perfect example of these strengths is Professor Ayanna Howard of the Georgia Institute of Technology-Georgia Tech, who the embassy will bring to UTB in October.”

With her expertise in robotics as well as being a successful entrepreneur, the ambassador noted that Professor Howard will talk about spinning off university research into companies.

He added that the embassy is looking forward to continuing working with UTB to build ties with US scholars and universities.

“This American Shelf at UTB will suggest many possibilities for cooperation and understanding between the people of our two nations, and I look forward to watching our relationship develop.”

Yesterday’s launch began with the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah followed by welcoming remarks by UTB Acting Vice-Chancellor Haji Ady Syarmin bin Haji Md Taib, who said the books donated by the embassy are valuable additions to the UTB library collection which would be useful for its students and staff.

“I believe the American Shelf can contribute in our efforts to develop our students into global citizens who appreciate different cultures, viewpoints and sensitive to issues affecting the global community,” he said.

The UTB Acting Vice-Chancellor also shared that the UTB library has a modest collection of over 33,000 volumes of books and approximately 1,000 units of materials under its Media Collection, and recently invested money in acquiring two online databases – Scopus and Science Direct. “Science Direct gives our staff and students access to 4,127 journals and 29,106 ebooks. This enables them to be up-to-date with the latest high quality research publications from all over the world,” Haji Ady Syarmin said.

He also pointed out that even with the availability of campus-wide Wi-Fi and online resources, the library remains an important part of student life on campus and continues to attract more than 30,000 visitors each year.

Following the launch, the US ambassador took a brief tour around the campus.

Principal officers and staff from UTB as well as officers from the US Embassy were also present.