Sharjah Book Authority Fosters Global Library Collaboration at ALA Conference

The Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) solidified its position as a bridge between cultures at the recent American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference & Exhibition. As the sole representative of the Arab world at the event, the SBA delegation actively participated in discussions and fostered partnerships aimed at strengthening libraries on a global scale.

Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, CEO of SBA, led the delegation's efforts. He met with key figures including Tracie D. Hall, Executive Director of ALA, to explore avenues for enhanced collaboration between the two organizations. A central focus of their discussions was the upcoming 10th edition of the Sharjah International Library Conference, held annually in partnership with ALA. This prestigious event, taking place on the sidelines of the 42nd Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) in November 2023, stands as the only professional library conference organized by ALA outside the United States. This unique collaboration underscores Sharjah's commitment to fostering knowledge exchange and propelling the library industry forward.

Beyond its leadership role, the SBA delegation actively participated in various conference sessions. Discussions centered on navigating the evolving library landscape, with a focus on building resilience and ensuring sustainable growth. The delegation also highlighted Sharjah's ongoing efforts to establish itself as a global center for knowledge and culture. Sharjah's dedication to promoting literacy through its extensive network of libraries and its annual book fair, renowned as the largest in the Arab world, resonated strongly with conference attendees.

The participation at the ALA conference aligns with the SBA's vision of promoting cross-cultural understanding and creating a more inclusive global library community. Sharjah's commitment to this vision extends beyond its physical borders. The upcoming Sharjah International Library Conference, with its hybrid format offering both in-person and virtual attendance options, provides a platform for librarians worldwide to connect, share best practices, and collectively address the challenges and opportunities facing libraries today. Through its active engagement with international library organizations like the ALA, the Sharjah Book Authority is well-positioned to play a leading role in shaping the future of libraries and ensuring their continued relevance in the digital age.

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