Librarians and senior staff from Qatar National Library shared their expertise and experiences with their international peers at the 85th World Library and Information Congress from 24 – 30 August, in Athens, Greece.
The librarians, from several different disciplines, discussed best practices and the latest innovations in information services in a series of workshops, meetings and panel sessions with their counterparts from more than 100 countries. The conference was sponsored by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.
The theme of this year’s congress, “Dialogue for Change,” prompted discussions about re-interpreting the role of libraries as promoters of change and how libraries are responding to the constantly changing needs of their audiences. This context was particularly appropriate following the Library’s success since its official opening in April 2018—in that time, the Library has welcomed more than 738,000 visitors and had more than 21,000 registered attendees for its popular program of events.
Hind Al-Khulaifi, Manager of the Children's and Young Adults' Library, and Virgilio Medina, Information Services Librarian, offered their perspective in a presentation, “Qatar National Library as a Hub for Community Engagement for Young Learners: What Have We Achieved so Far as a New Public Library?”
“I was proud to share with fellow librarians how the community in Qatar has embraced the Library as a public space to engage in learning. We are especially proud of cultivating our younger readers, and the congress was an opportunity to exchange valuable ideas on how to continue doing so,” said Al-Khulaifi.
Ahmed Al-Malki, Information Services Librarian at the Library, showcased his poster presentation, “Transforming Qatar National Library Young Learners into Lifelong Learners Through Collaborative Efforts and Partnerships.”
Eiman Al Shamari, Information Services Librarian, shared insights about the cultural diversity at the Library and its important role in promoting excellence and innovation. Al Shamari said: “Through networking and the exchange of ideas and new developments in the field, I was not only able to grow as a librarian, but I was also able to help my colleagues and contribute to the profession by sharing my own experiences in Qatar. I’m really looking forward to putting what I’ve learned into practice.”
Dr. Sohair Wastawy, Executive Director of the Library, who also attended the congress, said: “Our team at the Library is eager to continue developing professionally, and especially to learn new ideas and skills that we can share with our visitors and our colleagues. This was an excellent opportunity for our young librarians to experience different aspects of librarianship and learn from the experiences of practitioners from across the world.”