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Call for honing librarians' skills & keep them abreast of digital innovations at MetLib 2016.

Ailyn Agonia


QATAR National Library (QNL) Project Director Dr Claudia Lux underscored the importance of professional development and support to librarians and the information services industry to fully unleash their potential to be able to better serve and develop their respective communities.

Addressing the regional and international delegates at the opening of Metropolitan Libraries Conference (MetLib 2016 Qatar) held at Qatar National Convention Centre on Sunday, Lux highlighted the need to properly equip librarians to keep up with the ongoing developments in the industry brought about by the digital revolution, increased demand for community learning, continuous innovation in the library services and constant need for building effective collaborations.

She also mentioned the impact of hosting the annual conference organised by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) which is being held for the first time in the MENA region and hosted by QNL in Doha.

"The MetLib conference provides a unique platform for librarians and information professionals to exchange ideas, expertise and explore various innovative solutions. During this conference, public and metropolitan libraries from around the world will exchange ideas, share knowledge and address key opportunities and challenges facing the industry today. I believe that by having the privilege of hosting MetLib 2016 Qatar we have taken yet another important step forward towards the realisation of Qatar's vision," said Lux.

The MetLib 2016 Qatar gathered under one roof representatives from leading international and regional libraries and institutions. Among the delegates were experts from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and the UAE.

Corrado Di Tillio, IFLA Section on Metropolitan Libraries Standing Committee Chair, praised the initiative to bring the conference for the first time to this part of the world.

"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 Middle East and North Africa. In the conference's 48-year history this is the first time that it is being hosted in the region which is a location to focus on public libraries and the profession where cultural heritage and astonishment futuristic innovations coexist," Tillio said.

Tillio added,"IFLA aims to promote high standard delivery of library information services and we are honoured to collaborate with QNL. Its proposal to host this year's conference was immediately accepted as this institution has demonstrated that it sets the benchmark for exceptional delivery of library service and it is well on its way to be a knowledge hub in Qatar."

The opening also featured a panel discussion on the role of libraries in unleashing potential where Dr Hend al Muftah, vice president of Administration and Finance at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies (DI), mentioned the need for libraries in Qatar to focus more on continuous training and development process. She also urged local librarians to go beyond their traditional role of servicing the usual patrons of libraries and reach out even to children, women at home and elderly people.

Also present at the event were Engineer Saadi al Said, director of Administration and Planning at QNL, and Professor Rem Koolhas who designed the new QNL building which is still under construction.

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Publication:Qatar Tribune (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:7QATA
Date:Apr 25, 2016
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