Registration now open for the 2017 Sharjah International Book Fair(SIBF)/American Library Association (ALA) Library Conference

For Immediate Release
Wed, 05/31/2017


Michael Dowling

Director, International Relations Office

International Relations Office

Registration is open for the 2017 Sharjah International Book Fair(SIBF)/American Library Association (ALA) Library Conference at The Library Conference is at the heart of an ongoing collaboration between the two organizations, and is ALA’s most ambitious international professional development collaboration to date. The 2017 conference—the fourth annual event—will take place at the Sharjah Expo Centre, November 7th-9th, and includes a day of preconferences and a full roster of presentations by regional and international presenters.

Incoming ALA President Jim Neal and Dr. Sohair Wastawy, Executive Director of the Qatar National Library, will headline the 2017 conference. Neal’s keynote is titled "Libraries Transform—Libraries Lead— Libraries Fight."  Wastawy maps out the road ahead with “Libraries in the MENA Region Moving Forward: From Tradition to Transformation.” The full preliminary program is at

The conference offers librarians from all types of libraries (academic, school, public, and special libraries) two days of productive continuing education, networking with local and international colleagues, and sharing ideas in both formal and informal settings. It offers the opportunity to learn from international experts from the MENA region as well as from the U.S. Topics are selected to keep attendees on top of trends, increase their expertise, help inspire innovation, and share successful practices that they can replicate in their home institutions. All sessions are presented in Arabic or English with simultaneous translation.

Other conference highlights include poster sessions, co-location with the 36th Sharjah International Book Fair so attendees can combine their professional development with exploring and acquiring materials for their libraries, and access to the Librarians’ Lounge (sponsored by SIBF and library-related companies) for informal networking and information about new products and services. In 2016, around 350 librarians attended from the UAE and countries throughout the Persian Gulf, Middle East, and North Africa (MENA). Check for information about past conferences.

The conference is managed by SIBF, ALA International Relations Office, and Combined Book Exhibit (sponsor liaison). SIBF representatives including Sharjah Book Authority Chairman Ahmed Al-Ameri have strengthened the exchange by attending ALA conferences to offer information and resources to U.S. libraries that showcase UAE culture and libraries and help build related collections of materials.

Register now at .

The American Library Association (ALA) provides leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

The Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) is one of the largest book fairs in the world, the most prestigious in the Arab world and home to the most exciting literary event in the region. “For love of the written word” is its inspiration, passion, and reason for being. 

The Combined Book Exhibit collaborates with ALA and SIBF to manage the conference and is the sponsor liaison and support.