Rashid Al Kous and Noura Binhadyia share their knowledge and experience with international peers
Sharjah, September 6, 2017: The UAE has shared its expertise in publishing on the international stage with the recent visit of a delegation of senior literature industry figures to the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Poland. The trip to the conference hosted in Wroclaw - the largest city in western Poland – was aimed at enabling the representatives to exchange experiences with their peers and to gain new insights into the latest developments in the field of libraries and archiving.
Comprising HE Rashid Al Kous, Executive Director of the Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) and Noura Binhadyia, Manager of Knowledge without Borders (KwB), the Sharjah delegation visited the week-long event to participate in a series of workshops and seminars, as well as to network with their contemporaries to discuss areas of potential cooperation that could advance the arena of publishing to mutual benefit.
“Our attendance at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress was an invaluable opportunity to find out about the latest challenges and opportunities being identified in the global library field. In addition to gaining extremely important insights, we were able to establish new contacts who could help us extend our sphere of influence across borders and into new markets,” said Rashid Al Kous, Executive Director of EPA.
Included in the congress programme were sessions titled ‘Burning issues and emerging challenges in copyright,’ Storytelling for libraries’ and Understanding your library from the inside out.’ One workshop detailed how libraries were reaching out to people with autism, while another focused on how participants could become change agents in a changing world. A main aspect of the conference was how to bridge the gap from school to libraries, with best practices in this realm highlighted by representatives from international educational establishments that included University of Toronto, University of North Texas, Peking University and Finland College. An agenda of offsite excursions saw the congress attendees’ visit a number of libraries in the Wroclaw locality, as well as several located further afield.
“A main part of what KwB aspires to do is to use knowledge and culture to transcend borders and this visit has helped us bring our agenda to a new audience and to disseminate the KwB message further afield. It was an extremely rewarding reciprocal activity, as we have been able to see how other entities arrange their library services, and share with them KwB’s recent experience of successfully setting up 42,366 free home libraries across Sharjah,” said Noura Binhadyia, Manager of KwB.
EPA was established in 2009 under the patronage of Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, President of the EPA. It seeks to serve and develop the UAE’s publishing sector. It works to improve the conditions and laws relating to publishing in coordination with the related authorities concerned with publishing in the UAE and to enhance the role of publishers in the country by providing them with the most efficient training programmes.
KwB was launched in 2008 by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah and is closely supervised and supported by Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Head of KwB’s Organising Committee. The initiative seeks to promote a robust culture of reading in every Emirati household by establishing home libraries and supplying them with the best books of various genres that cover areas of knowledge suitable for all family members.