To continue to update its knowledge and practical intelligence about global best practices, the Sharjah Public Library (SPL) – a Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) subsidiary – returned to the IFLA World Library and Information Congress (IFLA WLIC), again this year.
Held recently in Athens, Greece, from August 24–30, under the theme ‘Libraries: dialogue for change’, the 85th edition of the congress brought together participants from around the globe.
The entity presented Sharjah’s leading achievements in the literary and cultural fields, informed other participants of the initiatives the emirate is launching to promote reading and knowledge sharing through its yearlong programme as UNESCO World Book Capital 2019. It also gained key insights into latest developments and best practices in the library and information sectors globally.
SPL utilised this opportunity to continue talks with other leading international libraries, furthering their aim of enhancing library services in the emirate. They met librarians from Singapore, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Greece to discuss future collaborations, share expertise and explore opportunities for professional development.
Eman Bushulaibi, Director of SPL, said: “We are here to continue working on our objectives to strengthen relations with international cultural hubs and exchange ideas with library experts worldwide. The event was an ideal opportunity to explore international best practices in the industry and introduce the congress participants to our initiatives and programmes like the Sharjah Prize for Library Literature, which will launch its 21st edition in 2020.”
“We gained key information about the IFLA Strategy 2019–2024, which aims to strengthen the global voice of libraries and promote their role as one unified community that supports knowledge-based and inclusive societies. The global stand also allowed us to strengthen cultural relations with Europe’s oldest capital, Athens, which has played an instrumental role in shaping cultures worldwide. As World Book Capital 2019 and the Arab World’s leading cultural hub, Sharjah was a proud participant this year.”
SPL showcased its services, book collections and database. Through a presentation on libraries of the future, SPL highlighted the need for a gradual transformation to post-digital knowledge-based societies. The entity also showcased books written by HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and shared his vision to profile Sharjah as the capital of Arab and Islamic culture.
The SPL delegation included Eman Bushulaibi, Ahmed Al Mushtaghel, Fidaa Al Abed and Basma Al Mashaweh. They attended the Arab Libraries Meeting, as well as a series of panel discussions tackling latest technologies and services in library field, free access practices, automation and digitisation of resources and services.
An IFLA delegation represented by President Glòria Pérez-Salmerón; Secretary General Gerald Leitner; and Christine Mackenzie, IFLA President-elect for the next year, and a delegation from the Arab Federation for Libraries & Information (AFLI) visited the Sharjah Library stand and learnt about their latest services and offerings.