The Doha Institute for Graduate Studies hosted on Thursday, 8 October, 2020, The Fifth Annual Forum for the Library and Information Association in Qatar (LIA-Q), under the title "Innovation in Libraries," which was held through Zoom in collaboration with UCL Qatar.
In the opening speech, HE Minister of State and President of the Qatar National Library Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kuwari said that libraries today, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, have been extended to homes more than before thanks to the digital shift, indicating that the process of harnessing technology to enhance the digitization of library content has become an ongoing bet to build bridges with the readers.
Stressing that relying on human capital is important in developing libraries and that having human capabilities that have creative thinking is a prerequisite for the library's survival in a rapidly changing environment.
Dr Hend Al Muftah, the Chair of the Founding Committee of the Library and Information Association in Qatar, pointed out that despite the delay in its registration and its official declaration, the association members have managed to organize four different forums during the past years, noting that the number of its members has increased to 200.
She explained that the association's biggest achievement is its registration as a member of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), highlighting the close relationship between the association, cultural and academic institutions.
Dr. Frederick Nesta, Associate Professor and Coordinator of a Master's Degree in Library and Information Studies at UCL Qatar, talked about the role that the college played in developing and qualifying library and information specialists over ten years.
IFLA President Christine Mackenzie addressed the history of the IFLA since its establishment in 1927 and its role to support the library sector in the world.
The forum witnessed a number of presentations, where Dr Nouf Khashman, Library Director at the Doha Institute delivered a presentation on "When Patrons are in Charge: Demand-driven Acquisition at the Doha Institute Library," Fidelity Phiri and Samuel Effah, who both work at Hamad Bin Khalifa University Library discussed "Providing Innovative Library Service to Children. Further, Eiman Al Shammari and Maryam Al Khalosi spoke about "The Support Provided to Information Professionals at the Qatar National Library and its Impact on Providing Innovative Services." Another presentation delivered by Huda Al Yafai, librarian at Qatar Academy – Sidra on "There are no Limits to Communication and Creativity in School Libraries." At the end, Hazem Jamjoum, who works at the British Library - UK, talked about "Developing Audio Collections in Qatar's Libraries: The Qatar Digital Library as Model."
The forum recommended that leading institutions in the State of Qatar, such as the National Library, adopt immediate plans to support library specialists by providing an internationally accredited academic program for postgraduate studies in the specialization of libraries and information.