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Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman ofSharjah Book Authority, and CILIP President Professor Judith Broady-Preston sign the agreement Image Credit:

SHARJAH: The Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), representing its subsidiary, Sharjah Public Libraries (SPL), has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the UK-based Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).

Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority, and CILIP President Professor Judith Broady-Preston signed the agreement in the presence of Nick Poole, CEO, CILIP; Rawdha Al Otaiba, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of UAE in the UK; Ayub Khan MBE, Chair, working internationally for the libraries project; Sue Williamson, Director Libraries, Arts Council England; and Marcie Hopkins, Head of International Office, The British Library.

CILIP, a UK-based library and information association, is dedicated to uniting, supporting and advocating for information professionals and librarians.

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Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri and other officials

Under the MoA, both the entities will work together to promote best practices in the development of library professional standards and accreditation; exchange ideas and information on related professional conferences; and contribute to the enhancement and development of their respective professional experience and knowledge.

The MoA will also foster cooperation for the advancement of knowledge and access to information as a human right in pursuance of the development agenda of the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals that highlights the need to ensure ‘inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all’.

SPL and CILIP have also agreed to discuss and exchange ideas and information on creating and distributing best practice content and exploring potential publishing partnership.

Al Ameri, said: “SPL is delighted to have established a strong partnership with CILIP to fulfil our commitment of providing access to knowledge and learning opportunities and to develop the critical skill of information literacy in our community. This significant collaboration is in line with the vision of HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah, to create a competitive knowledge-based economy underpinned by literacy and access to information.”

He added: “Libraries are a leading and powerful force in developing information literacy as it provides the essential resources for children, youth and adults to facilitate meaningful learning, thereby promoting an inclusive reading culture that helps in the creation of a literate society. Through our international partnerships, Sharjah Public Libraries seeks to adopt best industry practices in the field of library science, identify current shortcomings, and address them to enhance its offerings to the communities it serves.”

Broady-Preston said, “I am proud to be forging this new partnership with Sharjah Public Libraries. The global community of library and information professionals is strong and vibrant, and by learning from and supporting one another today we are ensuring that our profession will continue to be the cornerstone of communities in the future.”

Eman Bushulaibi, Director of Sharjah Public Library, said: “Sharjah Public Libraries adopts a straightforward strategy in forging partnerships with different education and knowledge centres worldwide. At the heart of these collaborations lie our ambition to multiply information sources, and also continue on our mission to bring more libraries and scientific institutions as well as their valuable information archives, into our partnership folds. This significant new agreement with CILIP will strongly supplement the academic and professional journeys of readers, scholars and researchers in the UAE and Arab World. This is also a significant step forward in enhancing the knowledge and capabilities of our library professionals in the fields of archiving, indexing and management”.