The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. It is the global voice of the library and information profession.

Founded in 1927 in Edinburgh, Scotland at an international conference, we celebrated our 90th birthday in 2017. We now have more than 1,400 Members in over 140 countries around the world. IFLA was registered in the Netherlands in 1971. The Royal Library, the national library of the Netherlands, in The Hague, generously provides the facilities for our headquarters.

For more information about IFLA click here. [https://www.ifla.org/about/more]

IFLA SATELLITE MEETING 2018 : Indigenous Matters Section

The Section's main purpose is to support the provision of culturally responsive and effective services to indigenous communities throughout the world. Its main objectives are to promote international cooperation in the fields of library, culture, knowledge and information services to indigenous communities that meet their intergenerational, community, cultural and language needs, and to encourage indigenous leadership within the sector, exchange of experience, education and training and research in all aspects of this subject.

The Section seeks to connect, collaborate and work in cooperation with other IFLA Sections; national indigenous library, culture, knowledge and information associations/groups; as well as the International Indigenous Librarians’ Forum (IILF). For more information on the Indigenous Matter Information access their link here. [https://www.ifla.org/indigenous-matters]

About Host Organisation - Sarawak State Library (Pustaka Negeri Sarawak)

Sarawak State Library is conceived in 2000, as a major information resource centre and as the hub of information services for the public and private sectors. It will link with libraries, archives and information centers elsewhere in Sarawak and throughout Malaysia. It will also provide a gateway into and from publicly accessible international information centres.

Its complex will serve as a community centre of knowledge and cultural enlightenment, where Malaysians in Sarawak can not only access a vast store of information, in the form of both printed and electronic media, but also gather for educational and cultural exchanges, programmes and participate in many other regularly conducted activities.

Currently there are three campuses of the Sarawak State Library, two in Kuching and one in Miri. Another one coming up soon will be located in Sibu.


  • Sylvester Jusem

    Universiti Malaysia Sarawak

  • Dr. Yakup Mohd. Rafee

    Universiti Malaysia Sarawak

  • Dr. Madeline Berma

    Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (Consultancy)

  • Camille Callison

    University of Manitoba



This article aims to discuss an alternative system to organize information in the context of visual ethnography study particularly on the documentation of diminishing traditional ornaments worn by the remaining Ring Ladies of Embhan Community, the only community in Sarawak who are still practicing this culture. The system was developed based on problems faced by the researcher when visual and data collected during the investigation has difficulty with storage due to the lack of a systematic compilation method. Thus, it is a challenge for the researcher to identify or retrieve the information, especially relating to visual data on the cultural objects. Through visual ethnography method, visual information related to cultural objects of Bidayuh Embhan associated particularly with the Ring Ladies was collected and analyzed. Hence, an alternative system in organizing visual information relating to the cultural object called, Digital Ethnographic Organizer (e-Divo) was created using Adobe InDesign and published in a Flash format. It is hoped that this system can be developed further as an information seeking tool that can be used in the context of cultural objects and ethnography exhibition, especially in the galleries or museums.


This paper discusses the challenges and opportunities in preserving and disseminating traditional knowledge in general and Orang Asal (indigenous communities) knowledge in particular. As Malaysia shifted from an agriculture towards production- and the knowledge-based economy (K-Economy), there was a tendency to emphasize on the preservation and management of recorded scientific knowledge at the expense of unrecorded traditional knowledge. Many studies have shown that traditional knowledge is a priceless asset and valuable resources for any country as it plays a vital role in nation building, development planning and implementation including transforming society. It is therefore imperative to preserve this knowledge and save them for the future Malaysians. While there is a growing realisation on the importance of preserving and disseminating traditional knowledge, there is a threat of Orang Asal traditional knowledge extinction. Also, there is lack of respect, promotion, communition and usage of Orang Asal traditional knowledge in Malaysia. This paper discusses critically the challenges and opportunities to the collection, preservation and dissemination of Orang Asal traditional knowledge. It uggest measures that can be taken by the Government, libraries and librarians to alleviate the challenges and ensure that the benefits of cumulative innovation associated with Orang Asal traditional knowledge accrue to its holders while enhancing socioeconomic development.

Time Programme
1225 Participant gathered at the Lobby of Sarawak State Library
1230 Depart from Sarawak State Library to Sarawak Biodiversity Centre
  • Arrival at the Sarawak Biodiversity Centre
  • Photo taking session
  • Lunch at the Lecture Theatre
1400 Welcoming remarks & Introduction on SBC (Slide presentation)
1430 Tour at SBC’s Facilities and Laila Taib Ethnobotanical Garden
1545 Tour at SBC’s Gallery
1630 Depart from Sarawak Biodiversity to Kuching City centre
1720 Arrival at Kuching City

**Notes: All participants are advised to wear comfortable clothes & shoes for this tour

About SBC

In 1997, the Sarawak State Government enacted the Sarawak Biodiversity Centre Ordinance and set up the Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC) the following year to initiate programmes for the conservation, utilization, protection and sustainable development of biodiversity in the State.


Challenging the norms, decolonizing our practice and Indigenizing our services by adapting the social justice framework to reach Indigenous users can facilitate respectful relationships with Indigenous communities thereby activating reconciliation in libraries, archives and cultural memory institutions. Evolving understandings and current examples of critical practice and their adaptations will be discussed.

Time Programme
1030 Participant gathered at the Lobby
Tour Flow:
  • Multimedia Gallery
  • Makerspace
  • American Corner
  • Information Resource Centre
  • Special Collection Room
  • Bastin Room
Photo taking session


Pustaka Negeri Sarawak
Sarawak State Library

Pustaka Negeri Sarawak


Pustaka Negeri Sarawak
Jalan Pustaka, Off Jalan Stadium,
Petrajaya 93050 Kuching
7.9 km from Kuching


About Kuching

Sarawak is located on the island of Borneo, the third largest island in the world, north of the Equator. With its beautiful blue skies and tropical breezes you can bathe in the sandy beaches and palm-fringed state of Sarawak. Tropical showers cool the land with heavier rainfalls during the monsoon months from November to March.

Kuching, the capital of Sarawak, is simply unique. No other city in Malaysia has such a romantic and unlikely history, nor displays its charms with such an easy grace. The residents of Kuching (pop. 650,000 approx.) enjoy living here, and take great pride in their fascinating city, which is reflected in their attitude to visitors. Kuching welcomes visitors warmly, but it does not put on an act for them. Instead it goes about its own business in a relaxed manner that hasn’t changed in 160 years.

Like all towns and cities in Borneo, the focal point of Kuching and the reason for its existence is the river. Hiring a sampan to meander slowly up and down the Sarawak River is the best way to get your first impression of Kuching. From the river you will see picturesque Malay villages (kampungs), a golden-domed mosque, a Victorian fort, a whole street of 19th century Chinese shophouses and an imposing wooden-roofed palace, all set against a background of distant mountains.

Kuching’s city centre is well preserved and very compact; virtually everything that is worth seeing can be reached on foot or by sampan. The narrow, bustling streets are crammed with shops selling all manner of goods, from the mundane to the exotic. There are ornate Chinese temples, many fine examples of colonial-style architecture, a beautiful waterfront and a number of interesting museums, including the historic Sarawak Museum. There is an excellent range of accommodation, from luxury via boutique to budget, good restaurants, and nightlife to suit most tastes and pockets. You can try local delicacies such as deer meat and jungle fern, drink a glass or two of tuak (local rice wine), or feast on a vast array of seafood dishes Kuching has an unusual name – the word means “cat” in Malay. There are a number of stories as to how this name came about, but it is unlikely that it has anything to do with cats. The two more likely explanations are that it derives from the Chinese word kochin, meaning “harbour,” or that it is named after the mata kuching or “cat’s eye” fruit, a close relative of the lychee that grows widely here.

For further information visit the Sarawak Tourism website: https://sarawaktourism.com/kuching/

Journey Information

Traveling from Kuala Lumpur

Travel to Kuching
Travel to Kuching, Sarawak which is located on the Island of Borneo can easily be done by air, land and sea from neighbouring countries and states. International Travellers to Sarawak have to take a connecting flight from either Kuala Lumpur, Brunei, Singapore or Pontianak in Indonesia.

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and budget airlines such as AirAsia provide frequent flights between Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri. The rural air service is operated by MASWings, which took over the network from FlyAsian Express (FAX) in 2007. Flights use Fokkers and Twin Otter aircraft. Fokker flight cover Kuching, Sibu, Miri, Limbang and Mulu National Park while Twin Otter planes link Kuching, Sibu, Miri and Lawas with rural towns and longhouses like Mukah, Marudi and various settlements in the Kelabit Highlands like Bario, Bakelalan, Long Seridan, Long Lellang, Long Banga and Long Akah.

For further information visit the Sarawak Tourism website: https://sarawaktourism.com/kuching/


All conference delegates must arrange for their own accommodation. There are many more hotels and accommodation option around the conference venue. For more information, click links as below.


GrabCar is your preferred app-based car with driver service, powered by the Grab mobile application to complement Grab’s current service offerings by fulfilling unmet demand during peak hours. GrabCar and GrabCar+ is a convenient alternative to the standard taxis and adhere to the highest safety standard that is synonymous with Grab. For further information visit grab website: https://www.grab.com/my/

Public Transport are available but is considered a non-active city at night, therefore public transportion after 7 pm may be limited to certain locations within Kuching or outside. For further information visit grab website: https://www.smartertravel.com/2017/02/12/kuching-transportation-taxi-train-bus-airport-tips/

Taxis are available 24 hours but also limited to those who used to travel at night and have a place to book for oncall taxi or rent a car at reasonable rate. For further information visit the taxi Kuching website: https://www.taxikuching.com/

Rent Car is also available since all tourist spots in Kuching area is located quite far from one to another, therefore rent a car for convenience, visitors will be able to visit more places. Unlike Kuala Lumpur City, Kuching serves without Train, no LRT, no commuter except for Bus/Water taxis (Sampan).

For further information visit the Sarawak Tourism website: https://sarawaktourism.com/kuching/