SHARJAH, 29th June, 2022 (WAM) — As the sole representative of the Arab world at the 2022 edition of the American Library Association Annual Conference & Exhibition, the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) has opened the doors for major Arab libraries and cultural institutions to enhance cooperation and forge partnerships with their international counterparts.
The world’s largest library event, held between 23rd-28th June in Washington D.C. this year, was a meeting point for librarians, educators, authors, publishers, trustees, exhibitors, and special guests from around the world to engage and discuss the latest trends, legislations and policies that are impacting the ongoing transformation of libraries.
During his visit, Ahmed Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA, met with Dr. Carla Hayden, President of the American Library of Congress, to discuss cooperation opportunities and build on the strengths of Sharjah’s position as a renowned knowledge city and its conscious efforts in activating the role of libraries to achieve inclusive sustainable development, and the global status of the American Library of Congress as the home of more than 170 million items containing more than 39 million catalogued books and other printed materials in 470 languages.
SBA also met with the organisers of the exhibition to discuss the 9th edition of the Sharjah International Library Conference, held annually in collaboration with the American Library Association (ALA) and which will be organised on the sidelines of the 41st edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) in November this year.
The SBA delegation also met with American and international publishers to explore cooperation opportunities in translation from English and French to Arabic and vice versa, in addition to discussing the participation of American publishers in the upcoming edition of SIBF.
The SBA pavilion at the ALA exhibition witnessed a remarkable turnout of publishers, cultural entities, and guests who showed keen interest in the works of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and the varied titles of Kalimat Group. The visitors were also briefed on the Authority’s ongoing efforts to enhance the presence of Arabic literature in international publishing markets, support the translation movement, and build partnerships with leading international libraries.
Al Ameri said, “SBA’s participation in international events aligns with the vision of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, to bolster constructive and fruitful communication with cultural entities in the region and across the world, support literacy and publishing, and further the contribution of libraries to social and intellectual development at the local and regional levels. His Highness the ruler of Sharjah has always emphasised the central role libraries play in any inclusive cultural project and believes in the intrinsic value of libraries as sustainable sources of knowledge and in creating the building blocks of human development.”
“The discussions at the ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition that explored the realities of libraries worldwide, reflect the keenness on protecting libraries and the human and cultural legacy they represent. Libraries and books play an instrumental role in the development and progress of all communities. We are dedicated to supporting these global efforts, and our participation was an opportunity to meet with the publishing ecosystem stakeholders to share expertise, experiences, and best practices, in line with our quest to achieve inclusive progress for Arabic publishers and cultural entities and open new windows for sustainable cross-cultural communication with other cultures.”