General Manager of the National Library of Kuwait and elected President for the Special Library Associations – Arabic Gulf Chapter, Kamel Al Abduljaleel attended the 48th Metropolitan Libraries (MetLib) Conference, hosted by Qatar National Library (QNL) in Doha, Qatar from 23 to 28 April.
During the conference, QNL and the National Library of Kuwait signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), providing a framework for cooperation between the two institutions in areas of culture and information. The MoU outlines the transfer of expertise through the exchange of books, visits, collaborative seminars and workshops.
Mr. Al Abduljaleel said: “The Qatar National Library’s hosting of MetLib for the first time in the Middle East is a key milestone for Qatar. It reflects the growing cultural status and position of Qatar in the MENA region as epitomised by Qatar Foundation which sets the perfect example for the Arab world through its research and development achievements and cultural progress.”
“The importance of MetLib 2016 lies in its ability to provide references for delegates from internationally and regionally renowned libraries and the means to enhance cooperation, develop mutual relations, exchange views, experiences and ideas. It also provides us with the opportunity to discuss new developments in the practice of library services and digital information to raise the role of library at a higher level, ensuring that the community’s needs are met,” he added.
MetLib 2016 Qatar brought together leading industry professionals and librarians to explore key trends and challenges within the information services sector.
Under the overarching theme of ‘Pearls In The Desert: Unleashing Potential’, QNL, a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), welcomed regional delegates from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to the conference for the first time since its inception.
MetLib 2016 Qatar explored vital topics related to librarianship through a series of insightful presentations and discussions. Areas of focus included furthering innovation in library services, enhancing community learning, developing the future through children and teen services, and the importance of building partnerships for the continued development of the information services sector.
In her opening remarks, QNL’s Project Director, Dr Claudia Lux, said: “We are honoured that Qatar National Library has been chosen to host MetLib 2016 Qatar. It presents an extraordinary opportunity for the region’s information service industry and its progress towards nurturing innovation and creativity. This conference serves as an important platform for public and metropolitan libraries from around the world to exchange ideas, share knowledge and address key challenges facing the industry today.”
Dr. Lux continued: “The library and information services industry is undergoing tremendous change, and with change comes opportunities. Libraries should start providing professional development opportunities for their staff to fully unlock their potential towards better serving and developing their communities.”
Engineer Saadi Al Said, Director of Administration and Planning at QNL, said: “Qatar National Library hosting MetLib 2016 Qatar is a true indication of Qatar and the wider region’s desire and ability to become a key contributor to the global information services industry. MetLib 2016 Qatar is fully aligned with the nation’s commitment to develop a state-of-the-art library sector that offers innovative services to the local population.”
“For the first time in the history of MetLib, we are honoured to welcome colleagues and representatives from libraries in the Gulf region, namely from Kuwait, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain,” Al Said concluded.
Senior representatives from the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), which represents the global voice of the library and information services professions, also attended the conference.
Corrado Di Tillo, Standing Committee Chair of the Metropolitan Libraries Section in IFLA, said: “Qatar National Library has demonstrated an exceptional delivery of information services and is on its way to becoming a knowledge hub in Qatar and the region. In the conference’s 48 _ year history, this is the first time that it is being hosted in the MENA region, where cultural heritage and astonishing futuristic innovation co-exist. MetLib 2016 Qatar marks a very special year for the conference and IFLA, as it expands its global representation, ushering in a new era for libraries in the Middle East.”
Through hosting MetLib 2016 Qatar, Qatar National Library supports Qatar Foundation’s aim to unlock human potential for the benefit of Qatar and the world by fostering a progressive society in line with the nation’s priorities.