SHARJAH: Sharjah Public Library has won the “Best Symphony Library in the Middle East 2016,” an award presented by the Arabian Advanced Systems “Naseej”. The awarding of the library operating under the umbrella of Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), marks another important achievement for Sharjah’s literary and library sphere.
The awarding ceremony took place in the presence of a group of librarians from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries at the closing ceremony of the 22nd Annual Conference and Exhibition of the Special Libraries Association – Arabian Gulf Chapter, which was held in Kuwait. The theme for this year’s conference was: “Future Challenges of Library and information Profession.”
Ahmed Bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA said; “We are delighted to have been bestowed this important award that recognises Sharjah Library’s superior level of services. It is a testament to Sharjah Book Authority’s continuous efforts to ensure that the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Muhammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, which seeks to enhance the pillars of knowledge, intellect and culture upon which the humans can build their future, becomes a reality. It also reflects the unlimited support that Sharjah provides to students and researchers through establishing libraries from which they can acquire knowledge in all fields.”
Al Ameri added; “Sharjah Book Authority is committed to ensuring that Sharjah Public Library provides the best library practices and book-related services to its valued clients. We have been using the Symphony Management System for years and are dedicated to applying Arab and International Index standards in its operations.”
Al Ameri pointed out that SBA’s keenness to contribute to the advancement of libraries was the driving force behind its organisation of the Joint Conference for Libraries, which was conceived in 2014. Held annually on the side-lines of the Sharjah International Book Fair and the American Library Association, the forum discusses topics of concern for librarians in academic, school, public and private libraries.
The criteria for the Best Symphony Library Award is based on a set of factors to be evaluated and reviewed annually. These include the best practices in system application, best technical practices and best classification of groups. The award takes into consideration the library’s creative use of technology, its ability to reach all parts of society, its ability to develop services and its programmes that enhance its role as a gateway for every citizen to access knowledge and information sources.
Sharjah Library will be participating at the forthcoming International User Conference of Symphony; (Customers of SirsiDynix International) COSI for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The facility will be submitting a working paper to the conference which highlights its aspects of excellence and the measures it took to achieve its award recognition.
Sharjah Library was founded by Sheikh Sultan Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, in 1925 under the name “Al Qasimiyah Library,” with the facility initially serving as his private archive. Its location has changed several times over the years, moving from Al Hisn (Sharjah Fort) in Bait Al Gharbi under the Mudeef Building to Sharjah City Municipality, then to Africa Hall and then to Sharjah Cultural Centre and Sharjah University City. In May 2011, Sheikh Sultan, inaugurated the new building of the library at the Cultural Palace Square, its current location under the title Sharjah Public Library. The new facility contains approximately half a million books in multiple languages across a numerous fields, including science, humanities, art and literature.