DOHA: Library and information services professionals from 37 countries convened at Qatar National Library last week, as part of the Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL) General Assembly 2018, to discuss ways of improving access to knowledge in developing and transitional economies.
EIFL works with libraries to promote knowledge-sharing and library consortiums, and to build continuing education networks worldwide. Qatar National Library is the newest national library in the 21st Century to host this major event, with the aim of supporting access to knowledge, research and learning.
During the three-day event, representatives of EIFL partner consortia shared achievements, challenges and developments from across the global library sector. Attendees also explored ways to develop the required skillset for digital research and data collection to measure impact of research in the field.
Dr Sohair Wastawy, Executive Director of Qatar National Library, said: ‘Increasing access to quality information, and providing a wealth of information resources, is one of our prime objectives at the Library. The EIFL General Assembly provided a valuable opportunity for our library professionals to meet leading experts from other countries, share information and expand their networks.’
Experts at the annual meeting shed light on the challenges that people in developing countries face in accessing information and publishing their scholarly work online. The challenges include high subscription costs of electronic scholarly content, and legal barriers impeding free access, the sharing of information and access to technology.
‘We have made remarkable progress in enhancing open access to information at the Library, illustrated by our recent announcement of a new award to recognize individuals who have made notable contributions to the worldwide promotion of open access. The Library’s Open Access Fund covers article processing charges for open access publications, for authors wishing to publish on open access books and articles,’ Dr. Wastawy added.
Rima Kupryte, Director of Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL), said: ‘I am delighted about the partnership we have with Qatar National Library and about EIFL’s 19th General Assembly being hosted in Qatar. Here we have people from 37 countries present, from Africa, Asia and Europe, and I would like to thank the Library for enriching our event by sharing the beauty of this Library with us. Our gathering this year in Qatar is another important step in EIFL’s ongoing work with libraries in developing and transitional economies to bring access to knowledge for researchers, students, and anybody else with limited, or no access to information.’