Wednesday August 5th, 2005 was the first day when we stamped our feet on the new library’s floor. We still had no phone line neither computer connection at that time. But it didn’t reduce our exhilaration with the feeling like we just enter our new house. The smell of painting, new carpet-it was still covered with plastic-, and also smell of the dust were welcoming us to start our new life in this new building. The moving company has helped us with the packing, moving and unpacking our materials. We excitingly set up our collection on the new shelves, unpacking our belongings and tidying it up at our desk. We glad to have our working space together in one place not split like we had last time with the second floor for processing the materials. Well….having heard the plan of build a new library few years ago, we have been so enthusiastic and feel challenging with this moving experience. Watching the outside library building one morning suddenly dragged me to 15 years ago when I started working in Secondary Library.
It was Monday February 14th, 1994 when I started my days working in this library. The library was the one we had previously, with very less of books, magazines, shelves, chairs and tables. It has no windows at that time at the ground floor, and second floor’s windows were covered with dark blue curtains. It was a dark library, I thought. Upstairs was used for keeping the old newspaper, and old magazines, which only few titles we subscribed to. It was not bad as the Secondary school just opened in September 1993 with Year 7- 10 for the first classes. We had our first IB graduation in 1997.
We have been having Maggie Trewavas, Helen Robarts, Marion Causton, Val Bale, Stuart Crouch, Monica Meyer and Stefany Anne Brown who rule the libraries during these times. I’d like also mentioning ibu Erna Wattimena who has starting working in the school when I was still in Junior High School and retired in 2003 who was the first librarian who set up the library since BIS still was in Permata Hijau. The plan to build a new library building has been started during Stuart Crouch’s time. After that, in Monica Mayer’s time, so many meetings attended with many people involved, until a blue print of the building approved and the project finish this year.
In fact, the library is growing in line with the demand of information needed by students, teachers and the rest of school community. It is not only the collection and the ICT, but also its program and services. The library now is not only a place to where we keep the class text books, a dark area and a ‘serious’ place which excluded the recreation and fun activities inside. It’s role has changed to be a place where students not only searching information to complete their coursework but the library now is the hub place of learning. The place that play an important role to support school’s mission in preparing students to be critical thinkers, life long learners and responsible citizens as part of BIS core values.
Being part of Indonesian population, BIS Libraries has also supported the development of local school libraries. The library has been a host of several meetings of school librarians not only in Jakarta and the area around but also at national level. This can be seen when BIS became one of the main sponsors of an international workshop on information literacy run by local association called APISI (Association of Indonesian School Professionals) with fully funded by International Federation of Library Association/Action for Development through Libraries Programme Core Activity (IFLA/ALP) in 2008. The result of the workshop was a proposal from 50 participants from 15 provinces in Indonesia to the Indonesian Ministry of Education to promote how important information literacy to be adopted in Indonesian schools.
The colourful, vibrant and cozy new library would be a place to where learning is fun. Knowledge is accessible easily, and learning process is become part of one’s life style. The school community should be proud being part of BIS school ethos, as one said, that ‘What a school thinks about its library is a measure of what it thinks about education (Harold Howe, Former US Commissioner of Education).
Note: This writing is prepared for the Official Opening Ceremony of The Dickens Library on October 14th, 2009. Also can be accessed in BIS Jombang Magazine October 2009 edition.