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Digital Libraries in Indonesia
Supporting open data and open government

How can specialist libraries transform themselves in order to serve the communities better? On the importance of open data and making information available.

By Madiareni Sulaiman

The Center for Scientific Data and Documentation at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (PDDI-LIPI) focuses on the management of data, information and scientific and non-scientific documentation. PDDI-LIPI is categorised as a government-specific library that shares some of the functions of a data lab. Data labs can also refer to GLAM Labs (Gallery, Library, Archive and Museum Labs) in certain fields. The data lab is one of element of the data centre, owned by almost all organisations in the special library environment of government and private agencies, on behalf of data and information centres (Pusdatin). Data labs are an element of a specialised library that focuses on the institution's repository. PDDI-LIPI started using scientific repositories in 2014 that can be categorised as having elements of data labs. It has initiated open data and open government movements in line with the global Plan S programme, promoting open-access science publishing. 

The idea of collections as data is a concept present through the Santa Barbara statement in support of the Institute of Museum and Library Services programme: ‘Always Already Computational: Collections as Data’, (Padilla et al., 2017). Specialised libraries with various backgrounds such as those of government institutions, private institutions, law firms, and hospitals often have diverse approaches to library collection management. Over time, knowledge management has become the key way of managing an institution's library collection. This may be motivated by the efforts of a dedicated library community to preserve the knowledge it possesses. 

If you look at the collection as data, then the concept can be seen from the production side of digital data collection. The process of utilising library collections can also be diverse and complex when interpreting them into complementary practices, such as text mining, data visualisation, mapping, image analysis, audio analysis and network analysis. The resulting digital data can be used and reused through special analysis with open access. In this case, the ethical side of information disclosure becomes important because the results of the analysis provided need to be widely accessed by the public. The library is a data and information centre (Pusdatin), which naturally collects data when viewed from its business processes. However, with more and more information, it is not easy to manage data with limited time and resources, so the library data labs in UK libraries are a way of supporting librarians and the public to be able to analyse the available data (Burke et al., 2018).

The use of complex data disclosure or open data will help to provide better services for the public by converting complex data into information that can be better understood and acted upon. Surely the implementation of open data and open government will give more value to its political, social, economic, and cultural activities and its managing institutions (Abella et al., 2019). However, unfortunately not all elements of the organisation realise the value of the data openness as well as the potential it has.

The use of complex data disclosure or open data will help to provide better services for the public by converting complex data into information that can be better understood and acted upon.

Madiareni Sulaiman

The need for specialist libraries to transform themselves in order to keep up with the times is undeniable. The transformation needs to be accompanied by additional capacity among information professionals to be able to manage the information and data. In addition, if focused on government agencies, then in accordance with the mandate of Law No. 11 of 2019 of the National System of Science and Technology (Article 40 related to R&D Data Deposit), Presidential Regulation No. 39/2019 on One Data Indonesia and Law No. 14/2008 regarding Public Information Disclosure (National System of Science and Technology, 2019; Presidential regulations. Satu Data Indonesia, 2019; Public Information Disclosure, 2008), the transformation of specialised libraries, which in general are closely related to data and information centres in government agencies, is essential.

Open data and open government could form the basis of policy for the National Library of Indonesia on developing the librarians of government and non-governmental agencies in order to increase capacity, promote innovation and support open-access to data and transparency of government.


Abella, A., Ortiz-de-Urbina-Criado, M., & De-Pablos-Heredero, C. (2019). The Process of Open Data Publication and Reuse. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 70(3), 296–300. https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.24116

Burke, S., MacIntyre, R., & Stone, G. (2018). Library data labs: using an agile approach to develop library analytics in UK higher education. Information and Learning Science, 119(1–2), 5–15. https://doi.org/10.1108/ILS-05-2017-0035

Padilla, T., Allen, L., Varner, S., Potvin, S., Roke, E. R., & Frost, H. (2017). The Santa Barbara Statement on Collections as Data • Always Already Computational - Collections as Data. https://collectionsasdata.github.io/statement/

Keterbukaan Informasi Publik, Pub. L. No. 14 (2008).

Serah Simpan Karya Cetak dan Karya Rekam, Pub. L. No. 13 (2018).

Peraturan Presiden. Satu Data Indonesia, (2019).

Sistem Nasional Ilmu Pengetahuan dan Teknologi, Pub. L. No. 11 (2019).