First Sharjah International Book Fair/ALA Library Conference set for November 2014

For Immediate Release
Tue, 04/22/2014


Michael Dowling

Director, International Relations Office

International Relations Office

American Library Association

CHICAGO -- The first Sharjah International Book Fair/ALA Library Conference is set to take place Nov. 11-13, 2014 at the Expo Centre in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, during the 33rd Sharjah International Book Fair. The two-day library conference will offer free concurrent programs on a wide range of topics for librarians from public, academic, school, government and special libraries.  The programs will draw on the expertise of librarians in the region as well as from the U.S. and other countries, and the key topics have been identified through meetings, focus groups and a regional survey. The conference will also offer an important opportunity for librarians from across the region to network and share best practices, as well as visit the Book Fair.

Topics likely to be on the conference program include:

  • new trends and technologies;
  • eResources and managing virtual libraries;
  • effective information literacy;
  • open access;
  • leadership and management;
  • staff development/continuing education;
  • student learning and the library;
  • outreach and promotion—increasing use of library services, engaging the community;
  • collection development;
  • cataloging and classification with RDA: Resource Description and Access;
  • increasing literacy and reading;
  • proving the value of the library.

There is no fee for librarians to attend the conference and the Book Fair, but preregistration is required for the conference. Those planning to attend can get more information and sign up at  Program details and related opportunities will be confirmed soon. The conference is part of a wider ALA collaboration with SIBF, in keeping with ALA’s global mission to help build stronger libraries worldwide.

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. “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 900,000 visitors, helping elevate the Emirate as the cultural capital of the region.