THE first Penang Digital Library in the central Seberang Prai district is expected to be ready by 2024.
To be known as Bukit Mertajam Digital Library, it will be part of the three-storey building of Jit Sin School Union Bukit Mertajam in Jalan Sri Bukit.
Renovation works will start next year for the project which is a collaboration between Penang government through Chief Minister Incorporated (CMI) and Jit Sin School Union Bukit Mertajam, with the former allocating a special grant of RM300,000 to the latter.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who attended the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two parties, said the digital library would benefit students and those living in the area.
“It will be a community-accessible platform for information and technologies as well as a space to connect and interact.
“It is an excellent example of community engagement by the school which approached us on this project,” he said at the signing ceremony at the Jit Sin School Union building.
Chow said the digital library in Bukit Mertajam would be the sixth in the state.
“We hope all digital libraries will continue to carry out the state government’s initiatives to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) teaching and learning to position Penang as one of the leading centres of excellence in this field.
“Jit Sin School Union will have many tasks to complete to realise this vision.
“I urge the people in Bukit Mertajam to provide their full support, including financial assistance, so that Jit Sin School Union can succeed.
“This project will drive forward a smart and technologically-advanced ecosystem,” Chow told Buletin Mutiara.
At the ceremony, CMI was represented by its deputy general manager Bharathi Suppiah while Jit Sin School Union Bukit Mertajam was represented by its Bukit Mertajam digital library committee chairman Datuk Ng Wah Sim.
Bharathi said the MOU was executed following an understanding that CMI would provide technical assistance in establishing the library.
“Our support covers copyright, licence, grant, access, loyalty fees on software, ebooks, database and ecard.
“CMI will continuously provide advice on day-to-day operations of the library,” she said.
Ng said Jit Sin School Union was committed to the partnership and would strive to provide whatever was needed to make it a success.
“Since the Bukit Mertajam Digital Library will be on our premises, we will need to obtain permits and approval to upgrade and refurbish the place,” he said.
Also present were Penang community development committee chairman Chong Eng, Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim, Berapit assemblyman Heng Lee Lee and Jit Sin School Union Bukit Mertajam chairman Ng Cheng Teik.