The 20th Annual Conference & Exhibition of the Special Libraries Association organized by Qatar University (QU) began with an opening ribbon-cutting by QU President Prof Sheikha Abdulla Al Misnad in the presence of Qatar Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage HE Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kuwari, QU leaders, and local and regional representatives of libraries and information centers. The SLA-Arabian Gulf Chapter (SLA-AGC) is sponsored by QU Library.
The three-day conference titled ‘Promoting Digital Knowledge Community with Information’ discussed several issues related to libraries, and shared information on ways to take advantage of digital content. It included a number of sessions devoted to issues such as Arabic content enrichment on the internet, the role of librarians in building knowledge-based societies, and open access publishing.
The conference also featured a state-of-the-art exhibition which included 57 exhibitors representing international major publishers, e-content developers, information-solution providers for libraries, and information centers.
In her remarks, Prof Al Misnad, said, “This academic event is very important to any information-based community to highlight the role played by specialized libraries in supporting scientific research”. She added that the style and role of today’s libraries are totally different from what they were in the past as a result of the digital revolution and the possibility to produce and exchange knowledge and information. Pointing to Qatar National Vision’s human development objective for an information-based economy.” she added, “Education and qualified scientific research are so important to achieve our goals in line with QNV. Qatar is interested in cultural and scientific initiatives and research; hence, this conference is an effective tool for us all to exchange in-depth ideas on these important aspects.”
A welcoming speech by SLA-AGC president Mr Mohamed Ghali Mubarak was followed by remarks from QU ITS department Section Head Ms Asma Al Buainain who was named to the presidency of the Association for two years. She emphasized the importance of hosting this conference, adding, “Qatar University is proud to host this important forum which discusses many issues related to digital information and the role of information in creating a knowledge- based economy.”
CEO of Q-science Arend Kuster discussed the publication of SLA-AGC proceedings in Q-science and the development of a new app for the conference delegates, while Press Reader president Mark Ritchel talked about the evolution in the world of information and the applications developed by Press Reader which contain the world largest online newspapers platform.
Prior to the conference, the library hosted a 3-day workshop program organized by Knowledge E that addressed different themed related to working in library and information centers. The workshops were presented by well-known specialists in the field and served to promote and develop the capacities of QU library staff and other participants from Qatar and abroad.
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Judith Bennett Henry