Emirates News Agency – National Libraries Summit explores strategic steps to advance sector at SIBF 2022

SHARJAH, 6th November, 2022 (WAM) — The second edition of the two-day National Library Summit, organized by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) in partnership with the American Library Association (ALA), kicked off on Sunday.

The event brings together an international group of librarians and experts representing diverse libraries in the United States and countries around the world to exchange visions and expertise, and deliberate solutions to overcome the challenges facing the sector. .

The two-day summit is organized in collaboration with the Section of National Libraries of IFLA and the Arab Federation of Libraries and Information (AFLI).

In his keynote address, Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, President of the SBA, said, “Since the dawn of time, libraries have served as beacons of knowledge. However, when we talk about national libraries, their roles and responsibilities are doubled and central to the growth of society, and therefore, the second edition of this summit has been launched to deliberate on the key pillars to advance the role of libraries. national governments and provide solutions for the challenges they face.

The SBA Chairman added: “The National Libraries have been one of the main pillars of Sharjah’s cultural and development project, based on the vision of His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. For two days, we will discuss the strategies and efforts needed to ensure that national libraries achieve their goals and missions. We will discuss tools and mechanisms for protecting copyright in the digital age and explore partnership opportunities to develop and advance national library operations.

Al Ameri emphasized that the SBA believes in investing in public libraries because it directly impacts creative industries around the world and enables communities to move forward and forge a better future.

Liisa Savolainen, Deputy Director of the National Library of Finland and Chair of IFLA’s National Libraries Section, said: “I am happy to be here at this international cultural gathering. We have several programs and goals that we want to share and explore to advance national libraries in accordance with the best global standards and practices.

She added, “It is essential that we come together and work together to advance our operations and strengthen the role of libraries in our communities, especially at a time of significant challenges. I am convinced that this summit will be filled with successful experiences that we can all share together.

Hassan Alsereihy, President of the Arab Federation of Librarians and Information (AFLI), said, “This summit provides a unique opportunity to deliberate on the critical issues facing the sector. We hope to build on the success of the results of the inaugural edition as the number of participants in this edition increases.

He noted that AFLI published the Arabic Standard for National Libraries in cooperation with the UAE National Library and Archives, which is considered a milestone in the development of national library mechanisms and systems.

The summit included two sessions on the inaugural day. The first, “Strategy and Staffing for Success,” featured Ng Cher Pong, CEO, National Library Board, Singapore; Lisa Savolainen, Deputy Director, National Library of Finland and Chair of IFLA National Libraries Section.

During the session, Pong briefed the attendees on the National Library Board of Singapore and the changes being made during the pandemic.

He also discussed how the right hiring strategies can usher in change and transformation in addition to developing human resources in libraries.

Savolainen briefed attendees on the National Library of Finland and discussed the role of leadership, technology and agile solutions in creating needed change and advancement.

Following the first session, a series of networking sessions were organised. The participants shared their experiences and visions to solve the main challenges affecting national libraries, in particular the challenges of post-pandemic and digital transformation.

Under the title “Legal deposit and copyright in the digital age”, the second session brought together Sara Lammens, Director General, Royal Library of Belgium; Lars Ishammar, Assistant National Librarian, National Library of Sweden; and Dr Mina Ramzy, Head of the Egyptian National Library, Egypt.

Panelists discussed mechanisms for safeguarding intellectual property and publication rights in light of technological advances and the rise of artificial intelligence.

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