National Assembly Library of Vietnam focuses on digital transformation and improving information quality

Sunday, 2021-05-16 15:03:07
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National Assembly Library of Vietnam provides scientific, independent and critical information.
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NDO – With its specific nature as a parliamentary library, since its establishment in 2013, with many efforts, the National Assembly Library of Vietnam (NALV) has contributed significantly to the overall success of the activities of the highest legislative body in the country while actively supporting the activities of those who represent the voice of the Vietnamese people.

In an interview granted to Nhan Dan (People) Weekly Newspaper, Director of the NALV Le Hoang Anh, who is a Member of the Secretariat of the General Secretary of the National Assembly (NA), shared about the activities of the NALV.

Always face challenges and pressure

Q: As a place that provides information with a high level of synthesis and distillation, serving the activities of the country's highest authority, can you talk about the difference in functions and tasks of the NALV?

A: In addition to the function of normal libraries, including building, processing, storing, preserving, connecting and developing suitable information resources for library users, such as books, newspapers, magazines, publications and documents, the NALV also serves a similar function as the parliamentary library system of many countries in the world, with high specificity.

However, unlike traditional libraries, the NALV is responsible for organising activities to provide information to support activities of NA deputies and NA agencies.

This function of the Library of Congress is reflected in the following three tasks.

The first task is organising research to provide forecast information, meaning the Library of Congress actively researches, provides specialised reports, investigations, surveys, synthesis and translation on the basis of the annual programme of activities of the NA, and forecasts the information needs of the NA deputies.

The second is organising research and providing information at the request of NA deputies; the NALV will receive and respond to requests or questions from the NA deputies and NA agencies, both inside and outside the National Assembly session time, to serve law making and deciding on important national issues and supreme supervision.

And thirdly, the NALV is responsible for organising the appraisal of the content of information and reference documents, provided by the relevant agencies, to advise and assist the NA General Secretary to consider and decide on before providing it to the NA deputies at NA sessions. Information provided to NA deputies must be scientific, objective, independent, critical, neutral and timely in order to support NA deputies and NA agencies in having more multi-dimensional views before making decision.

Q: Meeting those requirements is not easy, especially when the requests for information are often topical, but require deep expertise.

A: Indeed, this is a huge challenge, especially while human resources, information resources and security conditions have been invested, but there are still certain limitations and difficulties. The NALV always faces great challenges and pressures. Information provided to serve the NA deputies must be accurate and reliable, which are major issues not only in the country but also abroad, but must also be very brief, concise, specific and with evidence.

The requirements for providing information of NA deputies are always diverse and short-term, that can be a problem that needs to be studied or a problem that needs to be compiled, synthesised and analysed; meanwhile, data sources are limited and translating foreign documents, especially laws, is extremely difficult.

And the important thing that creates high pressure on the NALV is to always be ready to meet the diverse and in-depth requirements of the NA deputies.

In order to solve the above difficulties and challenges, the NALV has been implementing a scientific, reasonable and procedural organisation of work, both in closely following the programme of activities of the NA and in surveying. The NALV has also grasped the demands of the NA deputies, flexibly handling when there are changes; and balancing between forecast information and on-demand information.

Along with that, the NALV has enhanced the connection and addition of domestic and foreign databases; building a team of experts and collaborators; expanding international cooperation, including the system of parliamentary libraries in Southeast Asia, Asia, Europe, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK).

Top priorities: quality and reliability

Q: How did the NA deputies evaluate the quality of the provided contents?

A: With great efforts, the NALV essentially meets the requirements of information for the NA deputies; in which, providing information at the request of the NA deputies reached 100%, with 95% on time.

The content provided on NA deputies' request was well appreciated by the NA deputies, meeting the correct content and deadlines. The requirements to be synthesised, compiled, researched and analysed are short, with good quality, reliable data, and cited sources. The providing information on NA deputies' request is continuously improved. With the above results, the NALV was praised by the Chairman of the National Assembly.

Q: With the increasing innovation requirements of legislative activities, it can be seen that technology is being actively applied in providing information to NA deputies. In the future, will that trend grow stronger?

A: It can be said that the NALV has been one of the leading units in the NA Office in the application of information technology (IT) to professional activities. The software and IT systems of the NALV are equipped to meet current requirements and are regularly upgraded.

Currently, the NALV is managing and operating a website of the NALV, six library software and providing online information to support NA deputies, namely: the traditional library system and digital library; centralised search software; software to borrow and return digital documents; pages for collecting people's opinions on draft laws and ordinances; and a system on providing information at the request.

In order to implement the Party's Resolution, the Government's National Digital Transformation Programme and the Digital transforming programme of library sector to 2025 with a vision to 2030 of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the NALV has been preparing and developing a plan to implement the digital transformation programme of library sector; developing a project to modernise and automate basic activities of the library while strengthening the exploitation and sharing of digital data sources with agencies outside the NA Office.

Promoting the application of IT in library activities is one of the priority tasks of the NALV. Accordingly, the NALV focuses on digitisation and building a digital archive for the purpose of building a complete, modern digital library to meet readers' reference needs and save costs.

At the same time, the library has modernised the management of its publications and documents with codes and barcodes to protect publications; modernising the management of readers through a system of smart library cards and automatic loan and return devices.

I believe that, with the attention of the leaders of the National Assembly, the NA General Secretary - the Chairman of the NA Office, the relentless efforts of civil servants and public employees, the NALV will increasingly modernise and automate, continuing to be at the forefront of IT application, digital transformation, improving research quality and providing information, to meet the increasing requirements of the NA and the NA deputies.

Thank you so much!

During the 14th tenure of the NA, the NALV received nearly 2,500 requests for information, of which about 400 requests required organisation of synthesis, research, and translation; and 2,100 questions requested exploitation of the NALV database, along with domestic and international data. The NALV has also organised synthesis, research, translation, sociological investigation to provide information on more than 200 topics to the NA deputies; researching reports, foreign law translation documents. The library has implemented 21 survey reports, social surveys to serve 19 seminars, forums, scientific talks; and has appraised and provided 527 book titles, paper references and nearly 6,000 copies of electronic documents.