Saturday, July 17, 2010

State Library Enactment

The State Library Enactment 1988 (amended in 2007) should interest all writers in Sabah. I have been vaguely aware of this enactment and when my book was published, I visited the official website of the State Library (SL).

This was what I found:

The SL has a State Despository. Among its objectives are to preserve and make accessible (to the public) library resources published in Sabah. It also creates standard bibliographic record of library resources published in Sabah.

Library resources are

(A) printed resources: books, manuscripts, theses, conference papers, seminar papers, pamphlets, serials, maps and posters.

(B) non-printed resources: cinematographs films, microfilms, phonorecords, video and audio recordings and other electronic media.

How does the Library Enactment affect Sabahan writers?

"The author or publisher of every printed library resources published in Sabah shall, within one month of its publication, deliver to the SL, at his own expense, such number of copies as are prescribed in the First Schedule and the best copies of the library resources as are prescribed in the Second Schedule."

Okay, without the legal gibberish: if you published (A) such as a book, you need to send three good (not torn, not soiled, not cover-less, not cannibalized) copies to the SL. If you fail to deliver your copies within the stipulated time, you will be deemed as having committed an offence and you will have to pay a fine.

Pay a fine? What fine? Read on...

"Any author or publisher who fails to deliver any library resources which he is required to deliver under this section commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding three thousand ringgit."

Unless you earn big bucks as a writer, go deliver your three copies fast!

When you send your book to the State Depository, it will be there for posterity. In fact, one copy will be kept under lock and key in Keningau! The other two copies will be reference materials at the SL Headquarters in KK and will never leave the building.

NB It is interesting to note that although my book is not "library resources published in Sabah" -- it was published by MPH in KL and I did point this out -- I still had to send the required number of copies. Methinks the SL enactment is due for another review/amendment. Just my humble opinion, people. And stop rolling your eyes before you turn froggy-eyed!

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