The Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) has announced that registration is now open for individuals and organisations working in the library sector, to participate in its first ever joint conference with the American Library Association (ALA), which is set to take place in November 2014. Scheduled to take place from the 11th to the 13th of November, in concurrence with the 2014 edition of SIBF, the SIBF/ALA Conference will be dedicated to discussing issues related to library science with the participation of Arab and foreign experts from all over the world.
The announcement follows the conclusion of SIBF’s successful participation in the Annual Conference and Exhibition of the American Library Association (ALA Las Vegas), which was held recently in Las Vegas in the United States of America, during which the organisation of the SIBF/ALA Conference was finalised.
SIBF announced that registration is open for participation in the conference. Attendance in the conference is free of charge but preregistration is required. Libraries, organisations, and individuals interested in attending the conference can request more information by visiting http://www.sibf.com or www.ala.org/sibf
Speaking about the conference, SIBF Director Ahmed Al Ameri remarked, “In line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, this will be the first time that a conference of this magnitude, dedicated to library science, will be held in the Middle East and we are looking forward to the immensely positive impact it is sure to have on spurring growth in the region’s library sector. Our aim is to support the amazing work that by this region’s librarians are already doing and give them the opportunity to expand their skills and broaden their experience, which is why attendance of the conference will be free of charge.”
Al Ameri urges all librarians in the region, whether they are working in public, academic, school, government, or special libraries to make use of this opportunity to get their finger on the pulse of the latest developments in library science, as well as to get the chance to network and share best practices with library experts from all around the world, and visit the upcoming edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF 2014), which will take place from the 5th to the 15th of November 2014.
The SIBF Director went on to state that the response to the upcoming conference has been overwhelmingly positive, remarking, “Following a number of meetings held with major stakeholders in the library and book sector during the Las Vegas conference we are thrilled to report that sponsorship opportunities in the SIBF/ALA Conference are almost completely sold out.”
Salim Omar Salim, Head of Sales and Marketing at SIBF, said, “We have also succeeded in bringing on board more than 25 leading companies to take part in the conference’s Librarian’s Lounge – a dedicated space where librarians and educators will have the chance collect information on goods and services for libraries from leading vendors from across the globe.”
He added that securing support and creating awareness for the new conference was a key focus point of the SIBF delegation’s visit to Las Vegas during which they capitalised on the opportunity to meet with a number of key players in the book and library industry. In addition to meeting with a team from ALA to further solidify and expand the SIBF/ALA Conference programme.
The SIBF delegation also met with and extended invitation to attend the SIBF/ALA conference, the SIBF, and its Professional Programme to Jim Neal Vice, President for Information Services and University Librarian at Columbia University, as well as Roger Rosen, CEO, and Tricia Bauer, Vice President, Special Markets, at the leading educational publisher Rosen Publishing. Mr Rosen accepted the invitation to attend the Professional Programme, indicating his interest to acquire the rights to Arabic content books.
The SIBF delegation furthermore met with representatives of the publishing distribution giant Ingram, which has taken on the role as main sponsor of the conference’s Librarian’s Lounge, in addition to meeting with Michael Walmsley, Vice President of Global Sale at Baker & Taylor, held to be the largest the largest library distributor in the USA, also with the aim of inviting them to support the conference as well as the book fair.
Being held for the first time ever in the Middle East, two-day library conference will offer free concurrent programmes on a wide range of library science topics, drawing on the expertise of librarians in the region, as well as from the US and other countries.
In addition taking part in the discussion and workshop sessions and making use of the Librarians’ Lounge, attending librarians will also have the opportunity to submit a proposal to provide a poster session during the conference, outlining a relevant topic of their choosing. Up to 25 posters will be selected, with the deadline for poster submittals set to be on September 10th, 2014. Furthermore, librarians who will spend a minimum of 10,000$ purchasing books and other materials at the Sharjah International Book Fair will be offered three nights free hotel accommodation as an incentive.
The American Library Association (ALA), the oldest and largest library association in the world, provides leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all. Its 58,000 members are primarily librarians, but also trustees, publishers and others who support the work of the association.
True to its motto “For Love of the Written Word”, the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) is one of the largest book fairs in the world, the most prestigious in the Arab world, and the most exciting literary event in the region. With over 1000 publishers participating from 53 countries, the 11-day event has become a literary carnival, attracting over 1,000,000 visitors.