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KUALA TERENGGANU, April 23 -- As soon as you step into the Terengganu Public Library Corporation (PPAT), located in Padang Hiliran, Kuala Terengganu, you will be transported to an interactive and sophisticated complex like no other.
The feeling of excitement and admiration must be felt by all visitors to the PPAT deck due to several sophisticated facilities provided in the building, where tens of thousands of treasures of knowledge are being carefully stored.
PPAT Local Collection and Digitisation Unit head Majidah Che Ali said that various transformations have been carried out in the PPAT building recently, in line with current developments, so that it always has a place among the people of Terengganu to make it the number one knowledge reference institution.
“Facilities such as an e-games room, surau, special children's room equipped with various games as well as a breastfeeding room for mothers, do not overwhelm the real function of PPAT as a knowledge information centre - instead all these facilities succeed in making PPAT a very user-friendly public library.
“All these facilities have proven successful in helping visitors to spend more time at PPAT, especially for families who are here because PPAT provides a special space suitable for all ages from children to adults,” she said when met by Bernama here recently.
It is not surprising if PPAT has always been the focus of the people of Terengganu, because it offers interactive and sophisticated facilities, and recorded the arrival of 226,589 visitors in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country.
Apart from physical facilities, PPAT is also up to date in its efforts to strengthen its role in accessing more comprehensive and latest information through the process of digitising books to preserve the library collection, so that it can remain as a treasure of intellectual heritage.
The digitisation process, which started in 2013, is a process of converting library resources, such as manuscripts and books, from printed to digital form so that they can be accessed online.
Majidah said that collections such as the old manuscripts had a very valuable historical value, and they needed to be preserved for future generations.
“Thus far, we have received material from 11 Terengganu-born outstanding individuals, who have contributed various historical collections covering many branches of knowledge, including the history of Islamic civilisation, Terengganu civilisation, law and politics since the early 19th century.
“However, the process has not been easy because some of the collections have been eaten by termites. There are also old Jawi and Arabic handwriting manuscripts that need to be translated first for us to understand the contents, before being turned into books for general reference,” she said.
To ensure the collection can be turned into books perfectly, PPAT also seeks advice from the National Archives and the Terengganu Museum Board.
Recognising the importance of cultivating an interest in reading for the younger generation, PPAT has been actively promoting several new segments in the building, including the Infaq Books section, which allows anyone to donate their book collection to be picked up by the needy.
Apart from that, the Terengganu Writers Gallery corner also gathers a collection of books published by Terengganu-born writers, including the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs), Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri.
In conjunction with the World Book and Copyright Day 2021 celebration today, PPAT has organised various programmes and activities, including the Let's Read Programme, Family Library Creative Video Competition, 'Selfie Wefie' Competition and 'Abang Bomba Sayang Kamu' reading session.