Since its inception, Qatar National Library (QNL), a member of Qatar Foundation (QF), has sought to connect Qatar's and the Arab and Islamic world’s heritage and future.
The first goal requires positive engagement with QNL's local community, while the latter is a vision that must be bolstered by prominent advancement of QNL prestige on an international level.
QNL recently took two bold steps forward in this regard following its participation in the 81st IFLA [International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions] World Library and Information Congress in South Africa, where the QF member showcased Qatar’s array of state-of-the-art information services.
The Congress, considered a flagship professional and trade event for the library and information services sector, is organized by IFLA, which represents the global voice of the library and information profession.
During the event, QNL was honored by the announcement that it had been recognized as the Regional Arabic Speaking Preservation and Conservation Centre (PAC) of IFLA. Through this role, QNL will represent the 25 Arabic speaking countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
“Being an IFLA PAC puts the hosting organization at the forefront of preservation and conservation,” stated Dr Claudia Lux, Project Director, QNL.
“It enables QNL to participate in a worldwide network, and offers opportunities to participate in the wide preservation and conservation activities of IFLA, such as IFLA’s work with international partners.”
Stephane Ipert, Head of Preservation and Conservation, QNL, echoed Dr Lux’s statements, adding that the alignment of values between QNL and IFLA made for a great partnership.
“This honor helps QNL support QF’s vision of protecting and preserving the region’s heritage and culture, and making it accessible for future generations,” he said.
“And the values of QNL and IFLA align as regards ensuring open access to knowledge for the public. We feel it's important that heritage is not locked away from the public, unavailable to them.”
QNL’s honor means that it will become a hub for the region’s heritage, and utilize state-of-the-art technologies at its laboratories aimed at preserving precious heritage and culture archive materials available in Qatar and the wider region.
Prior to the announcement, QNL’s presence at the event was already receiving “overwhelming support”, according to Khaled Al Yezeedi, Head of Administration and Finance, QNL, who represented the QF member at the event. In addition to exchanging ideas and expertise with information services professionals at the conference, QNL’s Qatari staff networked and took part in lively workshops throughout the conference, and presented a poster presentation devoted to the Qatar Digital Library (QDL).
The presentation demonstrated how Qatar has become the center of Arabian Gulf history studies in recent years, with the main focus of the presentation detailing the role QDL and QNL’s other initiatives have played in this regard.
“Led by QNL, Qatar’s recent achievements in the field of library and information services are unmatched on the global stage, which places Qatar as one of the most sought-after destinations for information sciences professionals,” said Al Yezeedi as he reflected on the conference.
“Therefore, these international events provide us with a unique opportunity to showcase our progress, learn from other stakeholders, and broaden the library’s network globally for future collaborations.”