Librarians are indispensable members of the professional community in promoting education in Cambodia.
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has developed several school libraries to meet the learning and teaching needs of students and teachers. Amidst this effort the word “librarian” is taken lightly and is not so well known in Cambodia. Some people misunderstood that librarians are just people who arrange books on the shelves and do not need any in-depth knowledge. However, this is a misconception because to analyze each document and classify it on a particular subject, librarians are required to have a specialized course in Library Science and general knowledge in education.
Librarians are responsible for collecting, organizing, classifying and issuing resources such as books, films, e-resources and audio files. They work in a range of settings including public libraries, schools, and museums. Their duties include issuing resources, cataloging books, and conducting regular audits. In short, a librarian is the focal person of the library.
The librarians are also educators who work with students to encourage good reading habits, provide techniques in searching for the right books. Librarians are also responsible for book maintenance and repair, book loan services and providing library training courses for students who want to know the skills related to the library.
Schools that have a well-functioned library, usually have students who are generally more courageous, polite, disciplined, and better-educated compared to schools that do not have a library or take the library for granted. There are more needed efforts to change the perception about librarians and there are more works to do in order to improve libraries in Cambodia. We can begin to realize this change in our own school.
-By Socheata Sou