Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) has participated in the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Boston, USA, this month which included participation of more than 3,466 organisations and institutions concerned with library management.
The event saw the attendance of more than 7,171 library specialists, librarians and interested parties from around the world.
On the first day of the conference, HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority, met with officials from the American Library Association, and discussed the proposed plans relating to the launch of the third edition of the joint conference between the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) and ALA to be held during the 35th Sharjah International Book Fair in November 2016. The meeting also discussed the key topics that will feature at the conference.
HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri said, “Our participation in the mid-winter ALA comes as part of the continued efforts of the Sharjah Book Authority to implement the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. It is a vision aimed at enhancing the presence of the Emirate of Sharjah in cultural forums regionally and internationally, and making Sharjah a source of cultural activity and a bridge between East and West. His Highness hopes that cultural understanding can deepen the bonds of brotherhood and humanity among them. We consider our participation in global forums as a cornerstone in the process of spreading and promoting awareness and knowledge between members of the community.”
Al Ameri added, “We are pleased to participate here in Boston, a city that has cultural features similar to Sharjah. Boston is one of the main scientific and cultural centers in the United States, and is home to Harvard University, one of the most prestigious universities in the world, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in addition to a large number of cultural, literary, and scientific institutions. It is also a city characterized by the fact that its economy is mainly dependent on higher education, research, and technology.”
Al Ameri noted that, in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, who made 2016 a year for reading in the UAE, they discussed a proposal to implement a joint training program for trustees of school libraries in the UAE.
He said: “In line with the direction of our wise leadership in making 2016 the year of reading, and our belief in the importance of the role of school libraries in promoting a culture of reading and learning, it was agreed to implement a joint program with the American Library Association, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education in the UAE, to be held during the 35th Sharjah International Book Fair. The program targets trustees of school libraries, with the aim of strengthening their role.”
Al Ameri spoke about the success of the previous joint conferences held in Sharjah, highlighting the implementation of the Sharjah Libraries Digital Repository Project, the next generation of digital libraries which was announced during the ALA/SIBF conference 2015. He said it is the first of its kind in the Arab world, and aims to provide scientific and intellectual content on the Internet with no limitations or obstacles and without prejudice to the intellectual property rights of its respective authors.
The Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) was established in December 2014 by Emiri decree issued by His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. SBA is tasked with encouraging investment in creative industries and offering a platform for the exchange of knowledge and ideas between people from different countries and cultures.