Sharjah Libraries Launches 21st Edition of ‘Sharjah Prize for Library Literature’
Themed ‘Libraries of the Future: An Outlook to the Post-digital Era’,
award is launched at Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival 2019
Eman Bushulaibi: The award aims to promote the role of libraries in the post-digital era
Sharjah, 20 April, 2019:Sharjah Libraries, a subsidiary of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), has launched the 21st edition of the ‘Sharjah Prize for Library Literature’ with the theme “Libraries of the Future: An Outlook to the Post-digital Era”.
The announcement came during a panel session they hosted at the ongoing Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival yesterday (Friday), titled ‘Future Cultural Planning Policies’.
Launched in the lead up to the official announcement of Sharjah assuming the UNESCO World Book Capital title that will be made this week on April 23, the award represents a new milestone in Sharjah’s cultural efforts over 40 years, with a specific focus on strengthening the role of libraries in the emirate and celebrating their achievements in adopting latest digital innovations and offering smart library services to engage more students, researchers, academics and members of society.
Panelists included Eman Bushulaibi, Director of Sharjah Libraries, and winners of the award’s 20th edition: Dr. Abdul Rahman Faraj, Dr. Nermine Ibrahim Al Labban and Dr. Ahmed Shehada. The session was moderated by and moderated by Dr. Omar Abdul Aziz.
Bushulaibi highlighted that the Sharjah Prize for Library Literature with its forward-thinking approach, envisions the changing role of libraries in the next 20 years, and based on it, seeks to promote their competencies in the era of open knowledge access.
She added: “The digital revolution is reshaping lives of individuals, especially in the way we consume and share knowledge. Libraries and information organisations too are witnessing massive transformations in this regard. The true purpose of library activities in the post-digital era will be fulfilled when information facilities and services are able to fully ensure that all individuals have equal access to knowledge.”
She also pointed out that the theme the 21st edition of the award sheds light on the need for a gradual transformation of libraries and information entities, so they can contribute to the creation of post-digital societies and feature more prominently on online knowledge platforms via knowledge-source archiving, information retrieval tools, and availability of more e-information services.
The six pillars the new edition of the award is based on are: Information and Knowledge Services in Libraries of the Future; Libraries of the Future as Platforms for Learning, Creativity and Innovation: Real Experiences; Information Services Engineering in the Digital Environment of Libraries of the Future; Security and Digital Rights Management in Libraries of the Future; Libraries of the Future and Knowledge Networks; and Technologies and Smart Applications for Libraries of the Future.
Presenting from his award-winning research paper, ‘Online Digital Arabic Content Available on Open (Free) Access Basis’, Dr. Abdul Rahman Farraj, Professor of Library and Information Science at Beni Suef University, noted that he is optimistic about the future of the open access model in the fields of publishing and information archiving in the Arab world.
He also highlighted the need for educating and sensitising researchers and leaders about the importance of ensuring access to scientific research and sources.
For his part, Ahmed Shehata, Professor, Department of Libraries and Information Science at the Minia University – Egypt, presented from his research titled, ‘Integration between Library and Information Science and other Sciences, and their Role in Creating New Knowledge Resources’. He stressed the importance of developing Arabic digital content in the library field as well as other multimedia disciplines.
“The labour market has become increasingly dependent on new professions and interdisciplinary sciences that are generated through cross sections of various disciplines. New education and training policies to introduce academic circles to these sciences must be implemented to facilitate training and education,” he said.
Dr. Nermeen Ibrahim El-Labban, Professor, Department of Libraries and Information Science at Alexandria University – Egypt, discussed her paper, ‘The Role of Partnerships: Nurturing the Value of Knowledge Generated by Heritage Digital Archiving Projects’.
She said that this global trend is encouraging community members, particularly children, to rely on documentation as a primary and neutral source of information, pointing out that documents are an instrumental source of knowledge and information.