American Library Association announces collaboration with Sharjah International Book Fair

For Immediate Release
Fri, 09/27/2013

Contact:

Michael P. Dowling
Director
Office of International Relations (IRO)
1-800-545-2433 ext. 3200
mdowling@ala.org

CHICAGO — Building on its global theme, “Partnering to build stronger libraries worldwide, the American Library Association (ALA) is delighted to announce a new collaboration with Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF).

The collaboration between ALA and SIBF offers the opportunity to establish improved delivery of ALA’s face-to-face, digital and print products and services to the region in locally and culturally appropriate formats. Activities carried out together will also help raise the visibility and use of libraries in Sharjah and the region.

“We’re looking forward to a long-term relationship that will help ALA meet its global mission,” said ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels. “We are eager to work together on the development of related professional activities, seminars, and forums, and to extending the opportunities for current members in the region to participate in and benefit from engagement with ALA.”

“Sharjah International Book Fair is pleased to embark on this collaboration which helps us in our efforts to be an international leader among regional book fairs, to promote the love of the printed word and its creation, and to help showcase the culture of the United Arab Emirates,” said Ahmed Al Ameri, director of Sharjah International Book Fair. “And it helps in implementation of the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to build solid relations with book industry leaders around the world. We also consider this an excellent opportunity to bring new and improved delivery of appropriate products, services, and opportunities to audiences throughout the region – especially training and professional development.”

SIBF representatives also plan to continue attending ALA conferences after a successful first exhibit experience as part of the Combined Book Exhibit at 2013 ALA Annual Conference, where they offered information and resources to U.S. libraries to help showcase UAE culture and libraries, and build related collections of materials.

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The American Library Association (ALA), the oldest and largest library association in the world, 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 activities of ALA International Relations Office include supporting official ALA delegations to international events such as book fairs and congresses; promoting international library exchanges and partnerships; recruiting international librarians to become members of ALA and attend ALA conferences; liaising with international organizations such as IFLA; and providing support for the ALA International Relations Committee (IRC) and the International Relations Round Table (IRRT).

Sharjah International Book Fair 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. It offers readers their favorite literature at great prices, and is also a perfect platform for authors and publishers to meet, discuss, and collaborate. “For the love of the written word” is its inspiration, passion and reason for being. SIBF has been spreading the written word since 1982 when it was started by the Department of Culture & Information of the Government of Sharjah, under the patronage of Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, the Ruler of Sharjah. The 11-day event has become a literary carnival with over 900 publishers participating from 62 countries and attracting over 600,000 visitors, helping elevate the Emirate as the cultural capital of the region.

American Library Association