UTM – Academic Library

An academic library is a library that is attached to academic institutions above the secondary level, serving the teaching and research needs of students and staff. These libraries serve two complementary purposes: to support the school’s curriculum, and to support the research of the university faculty and students.

The support of teaching requires material for class readings and for student papers. In the past, the material for class readings, intended to supplement lectures as prescribed by the instructor, has been called reserves. In the period before electronic resources became available, the reserves were supplied as actual books or as photocopies of appropriate journal articles. Traditionally, one copy of a book was made available for each 10 students — this is practical for large classes only if paperback copies are available, and the books reused from term to term.

Academic libraries must decide what focus they take in collecting materials since no single library can supply everything. When there are particular areas of specialization in academic libraries these are often referred to as niche collections. These collections are often the basis of a special collection department and may include original papers, artwork, and artifacts written or created by a single author or about a specific subject.

Perpustakaan Sultanah Zanariah (PSZ) occupies a central location at the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) main campus in Skudai. It has a branch at the UTM City Campus, Kuala Lumpur and also branches at several faculties, learning centres and Centres of Excellence. PSZ was officiated by Her Majesty Sultanah Zanariah, the Chancellor of University Teknologi Malaysia on 3rd February 1991.

The library is a four-storey building with a seating capacity of 3,422 and a collection of nearly half a million volumes. It has a total of 179 staff.

As an integral component of the academic programme, PSZ supports the university’s teaching, learning, research, consultancy and publication activities. Its services and collection development activities are geared towards fulfilling the need for library materials and information in the university’s core area of Science and Technology. Nevertheless, PSZ also has a good Humanities and Social Science collection to support courses in these areas which are offered by several faculties.

The process of library automation at PSZ started in 1986. Today most of the library’s operations and services are computerised. All processes including materials acquisition, indexing, circulation and information searching are conducted through the Computerised Library System known as SirsiDynix (Workflows 3.3.1J). Information on all materials available at PSZ can be accessed through LESTARI (Library Electronic SysTem And Research Information) at http://www.library.utm.my:8080/rooms/

Apart from information search of printed materials, other facilities available to library patrons include electronic information search through CD-ROM databases as well as online searches. With the advancement in Internet technology, PSZ has made these facilities accessible via personal computers (PC), Multimedia, VCD and laser discs are also available to library patrons for teaching, learning, research, consultancy and publication activities.

The services PSZ provide to the UTM community are also made available to industry and corporate sectors. In doing so, these sectors are able to use the facilities available at PSZ to support their research and development activities. The professional staff at PSZ also provide assistance to encourage all users to become familiar with LESTARI (Library Electronic SysTem And Research Information) the Library catalogue search engine for the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and also to explore the wealth of materials available in the library collection.

Being awarded the MS ISO 9002:1994 Quality Certification by SIRIM in May 1998, is a testimony of the efficient service PSZ provides. Further evidence of this is the successful upgrading of its quality service when PSZ was awarded the MS ISO 9001:2000 Certification in 2002.

In recognition for excellence in management and service, PSZ emerged the winner of the 1st Vice-Chancellor’s Quality Award in 1999. In 2005, PSZ was declared the winner of the Excellent Library Award by the Librarians Association of Malaysia for its excellence in providing excellent service and in educating library users and community service.

PSZ was also the first runner up (Technical Group) in the 1st UTM Innovative & Creative Circle. On December 2006, PSZ was second place in Best Counter Service Competition in conjunction with UTM’s Quality Week.

10th July 2007 marked a significant date when UTM became the first Malaysian Public University to implement the “Open Access Policy” for it’s intellectual materials through PSZ. While on 13 November 2007, PSZ came out as First Runner Up of the 2007 Focus Learning Service Challenge Award and recently PSZ secured the Best Counter Service Competition in conjunction with UTM’s Quality Week.

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