HH Sheikha Moza Selected as Person of the Year for Her Support for Libraries and Information

Doha, November 19 (QNA) – The Arab Federation for Libraries and Information has selected HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, the Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, as Person of the Year for her support for libraries and information.
 The President of the Arab Federation of Libraries and Information Dr Hassan Awad Alsereihy handed over the Federation’s shield to Her Highness, asserting in a brief speech on the occasion that the Federation has the honor to grant this award to Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser in recognition of her role in the service of culture and libraries. He lauded Her Highness’s vision that supports cultural and educational affairs on both national and Arab levels.
 This came on the sidelines of the inauguration ceremony of the Qatar National Library Project, which was held at the at the Student Center at Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development on Monday evening. (QNA)

HH Sheikha Moza Launches Qatar National Library Project

November, November 19 (QNA) – Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) has officially launched the project to build the new Qatar National Library (QNL).
 The announcement was made by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, the Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, at a prestigious multi-media event held at the Student Center of Hamad Bin Khalifa University this evening, in the presence of the QNL project team and a number of distinguished international guests. 
 Designed by the world famous architect Rem Koolhaas, the new QNL will officially open in late 2014 and will instantly become one of the most important and iconic landmarks in Qatar and the region. Its singular design will help users feel relaxed, creating a perfect atmosphere for studying and learning.
 The launch of QNL coincides with the 50th anniversary of Dar-al-Kutub, the Gulf Region s first national library, which opened in Doha in 1962.
As a national resource, the library will preserve the rich archival heritage of Qatar and the cultural legacy of the Arab World accumulated over the past centuries. Yet, while embracing the country s tradition and heritage, the QNL will provide a bridge to the nation s future as a knowledge economy, in line with Qatar National Vision 2030.
 As a founding partner of the World Digital Library, QNL will provide innovative facilities for exploring interaction between devices and human beings to promote new ways of learning.
 QNL will operate a Qatar Reference Service and provide access to over 60 online databases and websites and will have over 300 public computers, wifi and multi-media production studios.
 QNL will partner with British Library to digitize 500.000 records relating to Qatar. An  eHub  will make millions of electronic books and documents accessible at the touch of a fingertip, and it will not even be necessary to visit the library in person, as the archive will be accessible remotely through a mobile phone or other handheld device.
 Dr. Claudia Lux, QNL Project Director said, “Under the visionary leadership and inspiring direction of Her Highness Sheikha Moza, we are proud to announce the development of a project of globally unique scope and breadth in its field to bridge the gap between past and future and enable a true modern renaissance of Arab culture, education and scientific discovery.
 The Qatar National Library of tomorrow will be created to be a place between home and work, where all Qataris can meet friends, enjoy moments with their families and spend leisure and creative time in their personal journey in search of knowledge and cultural experiences. However, this journey will begin soon as a strong digital library and a virtual reference desk are key services the Qatar National Library will provide before the new building officially opens.”
 In addition to providing access to the significant digital heritage collection about Qatar, QNL will also introduce the Gulf and Arab Science online portal, which is being developed in co-operation with prestigious international partners.
 The platform will be launched using digitized material from the British Library s Indian Office Archive, as well as its famous oriental manuscripts. Once complete, the portal will become a key cultural asset of Qatar, open to researchers from around the world, students of all classes, and Qatari families researching their own rich cultural histories.

On the occasion of the announcement of the project, HH Sheikha Moza bint  Nasser said : “It is my pleasure to launch today the  Qatar National Library project with international standards to become a beacon of cultural in Qatar and the region,”  . HH Sheikha Moza  noted  that the vision establishing in the library is based on building bridges of knowledge between Qatar’s rich heritage and promising future, as well as the pivotal role that the Library is expected to play within framework of Qatar Foundation’s efforts to launch human capabilities and contribute to building knowledge economies.

On a panel discussions themed : In the age of technologies and i-pads? Where information can be downloaded from home, what is the point of libraries? held on the occasion  the QNL project launching, HH Sheikha Moza  said:
 “It is true that the services such as the internet,  facebook, twitter, wikis means  that libraries no longer own a monopoly on access to knowledge.
 But libraries have understood this and are responding to this challenge. The proof of that is that the number of visitors to libraries across the world is on the increase”. 

 HH Sheikha Moza  said : I recently visited the public library in Amsterdam and was struck by how vibrant and dynamic the place was. I was told that up to 5000 people visited the library every day and I can see why! From kids playing and running around on the lower ground floor, to a whole floor dedicated to music and film downloads, to quiet areas for research and noisy areas for food and discussion it was clear that all aspects and segments of Amsterdam society were present, Her Highness added.

 HH Sheikha Moza noted that Libraries are changing. We are no longer talking about books. We are talking about content. If libraries are to remain attractive and relevant they must keep in touch. They must offer a high quality selection of relevant e-content   journals, e-books, music downloads, films, computer games. And they must offer all this 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Simple!
  HH Sheikha Moza  added: Dialogue has become key. Libraries need to be interactive. Libraries are being defined by how they interact with their users. The old perception of beginning, middle and end is changing. Young people approach content in a much more dynamic form. Instead of thinking about communication we now need to think about dialogue. We no longer have one way or even two way conversation. We now have network communication. Interactivity has become vital and libraries need to be interactive or they will be irrelevant.
 They can no longer base their existence on providing access to information. They now need to help the user to assimilate it and exploit it. In today s age, libraries need to offer a full service   From collection to connection, She noted. 
  Her Highness said : In the same way that we can be online everywhere, so should libraries. The library does not stop once the user has left the physical building.  Whether on the web, in the home, at work, in kindergartens, schools and universities, the library exists where people actually are. 
 A library should not count its success by the number of physical visitors or by the number of books borrowed. On the contrary, more and more people are using physical libraries without in fact borrowing anything. In future libraries may well halve their collections and double their visitors.
 The library space should be a medium for people, young and old, to meet. In other words for people the library should be the  third space  after the home and work, HH said.   
For his part, HE Minister of Culture, Arts and heritage Dr. Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kuwari said the  launching of the  Qatar National Library is the culmination of the prominent cultural role of  the Qatari Dar Al Kutub  in highlighting the  heritage and history of Qatar. He also added that this project was a dream for intellectuals in Qatar and has now become reality thanks to the patronage of HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani,  and HH the Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani  for  various  cultural  fields as well as  the keenness of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint  Nasser Chairperson of  Foundation Qatar for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) to support culture and education where  achievements were made and  scientific and cultural institutions were established  to place  Qatar in the ranks of developed nations worldwide, HE the Minister Dr. Al Kuwari added.(qna)

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