22 December 2020
Iraqi Library Association + IFLA Strategy: where education and planning meet
Closely aligned to the IFLA Key Initiative 3.4 “Provide targeted learning and professional development” the Iraqi Association for Information, Libraries and Documentation Specialists has made significant progress in supporting education in the field on a national level.
Within the framework of supporting the IFLA Strategy and inspired by IFLA guidance on national planning and implementing the United Nations 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, the Iraqi Association for Information, Libraries and Documentation Specialists stepped up.
In December 2019, the Association set up a workshop at the Al-Mustansyria University in Baghdad. This workshop was for all librarians in Iraq who work in university libraries, ministry libraries, other institutions and those working in the library sector in general.
The aim of the workshop was to provide targeted learning and professional development, by familiarising librarians with the UN 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals and to raise awareness of the IFLA Strategy.
Many academic librarians working in library and information departments at Iraqi universities, as well as a large number of librarians in other governmental institutions participated at this workshop. During this workshop, drawing on what they had learned, the 55 participants worked together to propose activities and initiatives for implementation and integration in Iraqi National Library Plan.
Here are two more examples that show the way of working closely aligned to the IFLA Key Initiative 3.4, through providing a variety of learning opportunities that update current practices in the library field.
- In May 2020, the Iraqi Library Association for Information, Libraries and Documentation Specialists presented a webinar to introduce the Iraqi Electronic Union Library to librarians from all parts of Iraq. The Iraqi Electronic Union Library is an electronic platform for knowledge services and is being implemented within the framework of a project managed by the Arabic Union Catalogue Centre located at the King Abdul-Aziz University in Saudi Arabia which consists a large database of many Arabic libraries’ content. The project is based on cooperation and sharing of information resources, therefore later on the Iraqi national plan will be linked to the Arabic Union Catalogue.
Dr. Faiza Al-Bayati, President of the Iraqi Association for Information, Libraries and Documentation Specialists underlined:
In order for all Iraqi university central libraries to be linked with the Arabic Union Catalogue, our association established a national electronic portal, called the Iraqi Electronic Union Library. This national portal includes the collections of all central university libraries in Iraq. Our association in cooperation with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, gave 8 training workshops to 250 cataloguers from all university central libraries, who after the training uploaded their library contents to this national portal. Currently, this portal contains approximately 250,000 book records, and it has been made available on the network for feedback purposes.
We, as an association, are always aiming to support education and free access to information, and so get inspiration from the IFLA Strategy and will continue our efforts to support it in the coming years.”
- On another very interesting front, the Library and House of Manuscripts of Al-Abbas Holy Shrine in Iraq took on their responsibility to lead the development process and communicate with national institutions as a partner to achieve the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The did this through launching programmes in the field of supporting Iraqi libraries and developing their human resources, thus contributing to the support of the academic education movement in the field of information and libraries.
Actions taken to achieve this included:
- The Cataloguing and Information Systems Center at the Abbasid Holy Shrine Manuscripts Library and House updated the study curricula at the Department of Information and Libraries at the College of Arts, Al-Mustansiriya University as a first step to introduce the rules of modern cataloguing (RDA) according to modern automatic systems and programmes.
- They trained Iraqi library professionals on modern cataloguing systems, qualifying them to work to rehabilitate Iraqi libraries, which have begun to recover from the effects of years of crisis. 30 training courses, both theoretical and practical, have been held so far and more than 270 employees from various Iraqi libraries have been trained.
The training course on cataloguing and classifying information sources according to MARC21 system, using RDA rules
The training course on the electronic archive and D Space system
Read more about the Iraqi library sector
Read more about the IFLA Strategy 2019-2024
How is your library or library association engaging with the IFLA Strategy? Let us know! Post on your social media, using the hashtag #IFLAStrategy and #WeAreIFLA or send an email to Despina Gerasimidou, IFLA’s Strategic Development Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.