Dubai: The impact of digital libraries in shaping communities and economies cannot be undermined and there is an urgent need to organise and integrate resources from different sources to maximise their benefits, speakers at a special session on the role of digital libraries at the Knowledge Summit in Dubai said on Wednesday.
Dr Khalid Abdul Fattah Mohammad, director of Dubai Digital Library (DDL), said the library, which aims to provide an advanced electronic platform for learning, has been working on developing not just smart content but also smart applications and services in order to benefit individuals, organisations and the government.
He said, “DDL’s Smart Knowledge Hub revolves round seven elements that include knowledge consumption, sharing, empowerment, production, organisation and finally a knowledge industry and economy.”
Dr Abdulla Al Hefeiti, library dean at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, said the collaboration of three local institutes under the unified umbrella of Khalifa University has helped achieve spectacular results.
“Among the areas we collaborated on were library management, development of electronic resources and database, institutional repository, information literacy programme and library portal and online services.
“In the last five years alone, the university has published 6,729 scholarly articles and the field weighted citation impact (FWCI) is 34 per cent higher than the world average,” he said.
Dr Saud Al Salahi, director-general of the Saudi Digital Library, who opened the session, stressed on the need to utilise knowledge for the betterment of society.
He said, “Digital libraries collect, organise and curate knowledge. The challenge before us is to use this knowledge to facilitate our lives, build healthy communities and drive the industry and economy forward.”
Dr Detlef Klomfass, executive director of a private firm, JTM Professional and Management Development Training, said, “Knowledge is power but it is critical to adapt to change, collaborate and innovate. A learning shift is happening now, but what is important is that the learner should leave the learning environment with a positive feeling. For this to happen, we cannot just throw in content. ”
Husam Al Olama of UAE University moderated the session.