Meet the Court: Mr. Chanthy Em, Library Assistant, Court Management Section

The Meet the Court series of the Public Affairs Section continues to highlight and celebrate the diverse stories and backgrounds of the people who contribute their knowledge and skills to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

Today we are pleased to feature Mr. Chanthy Em, Library Assistant under the Records and Archives Unit of the Court Management Section here at the ECCC.

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1. What is your academic and professional background?

I hold a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Chamroeun University of Polytechnology. I have been a Library Assistant here at the ECCC since 2008. I worked for the Department of Media & Communication at the Royal University of Phnom Penh for nearly a year before joining the hybrid tribunal. Prior to this, I worked at the Department of Books and Reading as a government official before eventually moving to the National Library of Cambodia in 1998.

2. Briefly explain your work here at the court.

I am responsible for providing direction and instructions to all library clients. In this library, we have 1,126 books – 146 copies are in Khmer, 812 copies are in English, and 168 copies are in French. All of these resources can be used by all ECCC staff and interns. I am also in charge of developing and maintaining the court's library collection, assisting staff and interns in finding articles for their references, and cataloguing and processing all the library materials and other publications that we have, among other things.

3. How can someone borrow a book here at the library?

All ECCC staff and interns who have a valid ECCC ID card for at least 14 days can borrow 6 books at a time for two weeks. If an item has not been reserved by other clients, then a user may extend the borrowing period for another 14 days. If during the extension the borrowed item suddenly becomes in demand, then it must be returned to the library immediately.

4. How can someone research for an article here at the library?

It's actually easy. Just go to the ECCC Intranet page, click the Staff Utilities tab, and then click the ECCC Library. Of course clients can always go to me for further assistance.

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5. What makes you fulfilled in your current job?

I feel so rewarded every time I get to help the ECCC staff and interns to obtain the resources that they need to do their work. For instance, there are many articles requested by my clients that the ECCC has not yet subscribed to, but fortunately, I can find and obtain these items for them in a few days most of the time. I also feel fulfilled whenever I get to communicate and collaborate with other library staff members from all over the world, which usually happens when there’s a lack of resources here for our patrons. I already got a chance to work with people from the United Nations Office at Geneva Library and the Peace Palace Library in The Hague, The Netherlands. I am most grateful for their help, most especially to Irina, Niels and other colleagues who have been just very patient and welcoming!

6. What other things do you like about working here at the ECCC?

I appreciate the fact that my work here as a librarian matches my academic and professional skills. I also feel so glad to see all library users from the different sections of the court. I would like to say that I am very happy to have this chance of meeting people from around the world who either work here as a staff or as an intern. Different languages, diverse academic and professional backgrounds... wow, it’s just amazing!

7. What is your message to those who want to build their respective careers in a hybrid tribunal or international criminal court?

My message to those who want to build their respective careers in a hybrid tribunal is for them to gain enough knowledge and professional experience. You can apply for an internship here at the ECCC so you can enhance your knowledge and skills and be familiar with the work flow. I wish everyone all the best, and I am looking forward to the possibility of working with all of you!


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