From March 11-13, the Embassy’s Lincoln Resource Center and the Kelantan State Public Library’s Lincoln Corner jointly hosted the annual Lincoln Corners Librarians’ workshop in Kota Bharu, Kelantan, March 11-13. Via Skype, Public Affairs Officer Bonnie S Gutman enthusiastically committed to the further development of the Lincoln Corners in Malaysia. PAO Gutman thanked the Director and staff of the Kelantan State Public Library for hosting the 2014 workshop, and expressed appreciation to all participants for the “wonderful” work they had done over the past year. She also emphasized the importance of the Corners and the individual roles each participant plays in expanding people-to people connections and U.S.-Malaysia relations via the Corners’ programs and services to the public. PAO Gutman also assured them of continued support for acquiring American library materials and accessing programming resources for all the Corners.
Other key presentations at the Workshop led by Public Diplomacy Officer Angie Mizeur, Information Resources Officer Myra M. Brown, EducationUSA advisers Doreen John and Barbara Nichols (from the Malaysian American Commission on Educational Exchange) and the Lincoln Resource Center team focused on the importance of reporting, planning and programming; new standards, including five core public diplomacy programs, and how to effectively incorporate educational advising at the Corners. Participants shared their best practices and planned a robust year of programs in 2014, harnessing the strengths of Fulbright English Teaching Assistants, other Fulbright program participants, EducationUSA, and exchange alumni, among other resources. In addition, they candidly addressed challenges they had encountered over the past year, and found solutions collectively to resolve some of the problems.
The workshop participants gave highly positive feedback in unison. Participants were enthusiastic learning about the new initiatives from Washington’s Office of American Spaces which will help them enhance Public Diplomacy programs and bring the best and newest library materials, including technology, to serve the Malaysian communities which frequent the Lincoln Corners all across Malaysia.