Welcome to the first newsletter of the newly reconstituted Asian Library Resources of Australia (ALRA)! As of late 2015, members of the East Asian Library Resources Group of Australia decided to expand the focus of the organisation to include a wider geographical region, recognising the growing importance of regions such as Southeast Asia and South Asia vis-a-vis Australia, and their under-representation in the Australian library resources landscape. It is also an attempt to address the difficulty in garnering support from a significantly small cohort of Asian Studies scholars and librarians in Australia, and thus, endeavours to sustain into the future a united voice for Asian Studies and its resources nationwide.
As the new President, I am very pleased to introduce the new Committee members. The composition of this new Committee is a testament of the broader regional focus ALRA has taken on. Both myself and Secretary, Dr. Aline Scott-Maxwell are Southeast Asian specialists with experience in the broader Asian region. While not forgetting ALRA’s recent past, Rebecca Wong takes on the important role of Treasurer and Darrell Dorrington as the newsletter’s editor. Both have experiences in China resources. Jung-sim Kim, our Korean specialist, continues in her role as web manager. To ensure well-rounded representation across university and research libraries, the Committee has instituted a special committee member position and this is taken up by Di Pin Ouyang. From time to time and as deemed necessary, members of the organisation will be invited to be part of the Committee when each new term begins.
One of our goals this term is to establish a stronger relationship with Asian Studies scholars. We seek to engage them in a dialogue to share information and knowledge, in particular, a necessary conversation on new directions and projections in a fast-developing technologically-based information world. We strive to learn the new directions and scope Asian Studies scholarship in Australia has undertaken and, we believe we have important information and technical know-how to offer in this discussion.
Another one of our goals is to build and maintain a strong network of Asian Studies librarians and a strong knowledge base of Asian library resources nationally. We hope to achieve this through our established means of communication the ALRA Newsletter, mailing list, website and a database of Asian library resources (previously an Asian Libraries in Melbourne (ALIM) project). As part of this endeavour, we welcome anyone who is interested to be part of this community whether you work directly or indirectly with Asian library resources or archival material, or if you are merely interested in keeping in touch with what’s new, or you have specific research needs.
Dr. Amy Chan