8th Sharjah International Library Conference to focus on new technologies, skills and services that will shape the sector’s future 

  • The hybrid event from Nov 9 – 11 is part ofthe SIBF 2021 professional programme
  • Packed two-day conference to be preceded by a full day of preconference workshops 
  • Held in partnership with the American Library Association, SILC will feature an international roster of library professionals and experts
  • Impact of Covid-19 on libraries worldwide; role of libraries in fostering diversity; enhancing library services for the visually impaired; and digitising collections, among key discussion topics

For immediate release
Sharjah, November3, 2021

Librarians from the region as well as around the world will convene at the eighth edition of the Sharjah International Library Conference (SILC) to be held in collaboration with the American Library Association (ALA) from November 9-11. The annual conference will discuss new trends and technologies, establish collaborations and networks, enhance leadership skills, and develop and promote new services for their respective communities.

Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) has announced that the Preconference Workshops and the two-day conference agenda will take place in a hybrid format on the sidelines of the 2021 edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) at Expo Centre Sharjah, offering both in-person learning and networking experiences alongside the opportunity to participate virtually.

Individuals and organisations keen on participating in the educational conference agenda can register at the Librarians’ Lounge at the lobby of Expo Centre, Sharjah, or register online atsibfala

HE Ahmed Al Ameri, chairman of SBA, said: “Libraries are critical infrastructure in the cultural and educational ecosystem. Sharjah’s dedication to developing libraries and expanding their expertise through such key events to remain on top of the rapidly evolving library and information sciencesaligns with its objectives to promote a knowledge-based society. At the same time, it seeks to empower librarians through professional programming that facilitates the adoption of new tools and strategies to remain relevant to the young generations and aid them in their quest for knowledge.”

“The conference emphasises the effectiveness of collaboration between cultural entities around the world, and offers a unique opportunity to learn from the expertise and experiences of global publishing industry professionals. We are certain that SILC, in collaboration with ALA, will provide a crucial platform for developing strategies that will not only ensure a sustainable future for libraries, but also contributeeffectively to the development projects in the UAE and the world,” he added.

For his part, Mansour Al Hassani, Head of Sales Department at SBA and General Coordinator of the SILC, said that this year’s edition of the conference will see the participation of experts from the world’s leading libraries and serve as a window into the future for librarians across the Arab region. He noted that the event being held after a pandemic that had been a pivotal time for libraries and the communities they served, would play a key role in sharing outcomes and best practices that would help entities face such challenges in future.

International roster of experts for two-day Conference programme

On November 10, the 8th edition of SILC will kick off with a welcome address by HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA, followed by an opening keynote byDr. Carla Hayden,Librarian of Congress, who is the first woman and the first African American to lead the national library of the United States.

Dr. Hassan A. Alsereihy, Department of Information Science, King Abdulaziz Universityin Saudi Arabia, and President of the Arab Federation for Libraries & Information (AFLI), will facilitatea discussion on‘Libraries in the MENA Region During Covid and Beyond’;Dr. Huda Abbas, Director of Library and Research, King’s Academy, Jordan, will discuss ways of ‘Helping Students Cope and Recover through Bibliotherapy’; andTracie Hall, Executive Director, American Library Association will lead the session titled“..Go Together!” — The Critical Role of Libraries in Fostering Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and Closing the Information and Digital Divide.

Recipient of the 2021 School Librarian of the Year Award, organised by the Emirates Literature Foundation, Sonia Alnahawi, will discuss how to create successful school library programmesinSchool Librarians of the Year: Sharing Stories, Lessons, and Keys to Successes.

Stuart Hamilton,Head of Libraries Development at the Local Government Management Agency, Ireland, will presentLibraries and Skill Auditsto identify the gaps in knowledge and set out a road map for libraries.

Serving the Visually Impaired will be led by Dr. Fatma Elzahraa Mohamed Abdo,Library and Assistive Technology consultant, American University in Cairo, Egypt; while Cataloging in Arabic with the new RDA by Rania Osman,Head of Library of the Future Section, Innovation, Research, and Technology Directorate, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt, will enhance participants’ cataloguing skills.

Kara Jones,University Librarian, American University of Sharjah, will delve into the concept of Library as Place and Space: Adjusting during Covid and Beyond;while Abeer Al Kuwari,Director, Research & Learning Services, Qatar National Library, will share strategies for engaging with the community in Public Engagement During the Pandemic: Challenges and Opportunities.

Day 2 highlights

Amongst the highlights of the conference agenda on Day 2 is a keynote address by Patty Wong,ALA President Director, Santa Monica Public Library, California, USA, while at theKnowledge Café, registered participants will havethe opportunity for one-on-one as well as group discussions with experts and colleagues on the different issues and challenges going on in libraries. 

The conference agenda on November 11 begins with a session by Michael Stöpel,
User Services Librarian for the American University of Paris, on Faculty-Librarian Collaborations: Integrating the Information Literacy Framework into Disciplinary Courses.

Kadijah Ali Al-Saeed,School Librarian, Nadeen International School, Bahrain, will offer unique perspectives on Creating Globally Aware Students to Face the Challenges Ahead; Mohamed Farghaly, Technical Technical Services, King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, Ithra Library, Saudi Aramco, KSA, will lead a session titled: Public e-Library Challenges and Initiatives: Ithra Library Practical Experience;andRebecca L. Mugridge,Dean of University Libraries, University at Albany, New York, will spotlight successful initiatives in Telling the Technical Services Story: Communicating Value.

Salma Alrezaiqi,Branch Libraries Manager, Abu Dhabi Department for Culture and Tourism, and Juma Al Dhaheri,Manager Zayed Central Library in Al Ain, Department of Culture and Tourism, will discuss proactive approaches and the importance of how Strategic Partnerships Move Libraries Forward; whileJulius Jefferson, Jr., Immediate Past-President, ALA, will share his views on Government Libraries- Vital Resources.

Amed Demirhan,General Manager/Director Barzani National Memorial Erbil, Kurdistan Federal Region, Iraq, and Ryder Kouba,Librarian and Archivist, American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR), Amman, Jordan, will co-presentprocedures and tools for Digitising Your Valuable Collections for the World: Creating, Teaching, and Promoting Heritage and Community Collections.

Interactive pre-conference workshops to improve library services

In the lead up to the two-day Sharjah International Library Conference, two Pre-conference Workshops will be held on Tuesday, November 9, from 9am to 4pm.

The interactive workshop, Project Outcome for Academic and Research Libraries: Measuring the True Value of Your Library, will enable all librarians, library staff, and library administrators identify challenges and effective means of implementing outcome measurement to improve library services and advocacy and will be led by Tiffany Garrett, Assistant Library Director, Nevada State College Member of ACRL Project Outcome Editorial Board.

Facilitated bySherine Eid, Head of International Library Projects Unit, Library Sector at Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt, the second workshop titled, How to Successfully Market Your Library, will build on and elaborate various marketing concepts and applications for librariesto reach out and connect with their communities and authorities in new ways.


1- HE Ahmed Al Ameri, chairman of SBA

2- Mansour Al Hassani, Head of Sales Department at SBA and General Coordinator of the SILC

3- ALA logo

4- Archived image from previous editions