Aceh Center for Studies to Strengthen Literacy in Disasters: National Library

At the National Library there are many manuscripts that explain the disasters

Jakarta (ANTARA) – The National Library (Perpusnas) has said it is supporting the National Archives of Indonesia (ANRI), which has built a disaster archives study center in Aceh.

“This study center aims to provide the community with educational facilities related to disaster literacy. Its presence will encourage many parties to prepare disaster-related references and knowledge,” said the head of Perpusnas Muhammad Syarif Bando in a written statement received here on Saturday.

The archive center was opened as part of efforts to educate the public about potential disasters, which can serve as a global lesson, he added.

“At the National Library, there are many manuscripts that explain disasters,” he informed.

However, he stressed, the most important thing is how the public can learn about the signs of impending natural disasters.

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The disaster-related library materials consist of several collections, such as manuscripts, rare books, e-books, articles and journals, Bando said.

Some of them are in Bugi (Kutika), Malay and Javanese (Palilindon, Pararaton, Babad Momana and Sengkala) scripts and contain stories about disasters that have happened in the past, he informed.

Raising awareness by writing or recording every disaster is crucial, he noted.

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“Writing about the natural signs that occur adds a lot of references. It is still difficult to find qualified books in the field, ”he explained.

He said there are few books related to the nation’s ability to prepare equipment to mitigate disasters.

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Meanwhile, ANRI chief Imam Gunarto said the inauguration of the study center was carried out in collaboration with the National Library, the National Civil Service Agency (BKN), the ‘Syiah Kuala University (USK) and the Aceh Regional Government.

“We already have the archives, the sources, the political support, the funding, the equipment and the building. Then we have to build a common awareness around the world,” Gunarto said.

He added that he hoped the study center would have an impact on the social and tourism sector, with many people visiting it to learn about disasters.

“Because we are a nation that easily forgets, this study center is an effort to prolong our memories of disasters,” he noted.

Bima Haria, who became the Coordinator of the Aceh Nias Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Master Plan in 2004-2009, shared his experiences in preserving archives after the tsunami.

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“I also helped ANRI save the archives that were (swept away) by the tsunami. Especially the most important,” recalls Haria.

He revealed that the idea to build the Center for Disaster Studies has been around since 2005. The community needs to receive disaster-related information to understand the signs and react quickly when a disaster strikes, he explained.

“This center for disaster studies is a vibrant one where people around the world can understand, access and learn, because there are also accessible digital archives,” he added.

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