Dr. Ralph Gabbard’s Recent Trip to Myanmar

Last July I had the opportunity to visit Myanmar. The purpose of the trip was to explore the possibility of establishing a librarian internship program. The program is a collaboration between Arizona State University Libraries and the University of Washington Libraries. Though still in the planning stages the focus of this internship will be on library services and management and would bring two librarians from Myanmar to both ASU and University of Washington for one month.

During my visit I had discussions with the head of the library at the American Center, the head librarian at Yangon University and the senior advisor of the Myanmar Library Association.  The Myanmar Library Association is eager to participate in the program and we will continue to discuss the program in the coming months.

Of course, I did a fair amount of sightseeing as well. In fact my first full day was the beginning of the Buddhist Lent and a public holiday. So I visited the Sule Pagoda and Botatung Pagoda which were crowded with worshippers. I also visited Chukhtatgyi Temple and the famous Shwedagon Pagoda and the Bogyoke Anung San Market during the rest of the week. The mistake I made was going to during the monsoon season so rain was my constant companion and limited to some extant my going around the city. Hopefully I can see much more during my next trip to Myanmar.