Conference: The ALA Library Conference at the Sharjah International Book Fair

7.27.16 –  The ALA Library Conference at the Sharjah International Book Fair
Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

(Taken from the American Libraries article by Patricia Wand, 7.14.16)

Plans are under way for the third American Library Association (ALA) Library Conference at the 35th Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), to be held November 8–10, 2016, at the Expo Center in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. The conference will offer programs, in-depth preconference institutes, and a poster session on a wide range of topics for librarians from academic, public, school, government, and special libraries.

The roster of keynote speakers includes ALA President Julie B. Todaro, who will focus on “The Expert in the Library,” and Center for the Future of Libraries Director Miguel Figueroa, who will discuss societal trends and managing change in libraries.

But what happens when you transplant an ALA conference into an Arabic country? The answer: Conversations about reading, technology, children’s services, faculty research, user services, and library architecture become enriched by multinational perspectives. Diverse, lively exchanges are the best way to describe the ambiance of this event.

SIBF is emerging as the largest book fair in the Gulf. Sharjah Book Authority Chairman Ahmed Al Ameri is eager to provide professional development opportunities to library workers in the region and raise the visibility of libraries. He rightfully envisions the event as an innovative complement to the ever-growing book fair. “Our ongoing collaboration with ALA is helping us in our efforts to be an international leader among regional book fairs and allows us to promote our shared commitment to the love of the written word and its creation,” Al Ameri said in his welcome to conference attendees.

Registration is now open for the 2016 ALA Conference in Sharjah, and there is still time to submit a proposal for a poster session (the deadline is September 22). If you go, be sure to take advantage of the Librarians’ Lounge, a relaxing space to meet colleagues, hold small meetings, and take a break. ALA members will need their ALA ID numbers to register and get the member discount. If you are not an ALA member, email Delin Guerra at dguerra@ala.org to get a special number. Include your first name, last name, email address, and street address in the email.

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