Masdar Institute Library Director Dr. Abdullah Al Hefeiti Leads Discussions on Further Developing Libraries in UAE
Abu Dhabi-UAE: 17 November, 2011 – Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, today announced it hosted the 11th meeting of the UAE Academic and Research Library Directors at its campus.
A total of 18 directors of libraries representing the academic and research institutions gathered for the first time at the Masdar Institute campus, renowned for its sustainable and smart buildings.
Masdar Institute officials including Dr. Joe Cecchi, Provost, and Dr. Abdullah Al Hefeiti, Library Director, welcomed the guests at the Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) station. Alighting from the PRT pod cars, they took the spiral staircase to the Courtyard where they viewed the 45-meter high Windtower. Later, they visited the Earth Observation and Environmental Remote Sensing lab and the Interactive Artificial Intelligence lab.
The meeting at the functionally-designed Knowledge Center was led by Dr. Abdullah Al Hefeiti, Chairman of the UAE Academic and Research Library consortium and Library Director at Masdar Institute. The participants focused on developing a strategy for the consortium of academic research libraries in the UAE, sharing of experience, training development for librarians and creating a website for the committee of librarians.
The guests included Ali Abdullah from UAE University, Vanessa Middleton, Head Librarian at the Petroleum Institute, Dr. Dorothy Furber Byers, Head of Libraries at Khalifa University of Science, Technology & Research (KUSTAR), Dr. Hassan A. Momani, UAE Federation Library Director from the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR), and Rashed Abdulrahman from Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage. The two attendees from Zayed University included Alecia Perkins, Learning Enhancement Centre (LEC) Coordinator and Interim Dubai Campus Librarian, and Mary Sengati-Zimba, Abu Dhabi Campus Librarian.
The directors also discussed several measures for identifying the strengths, challenges and opportunities for further developing academic libraries in the UAE to make them on par with other world-class libraries in universities. The participants additionally focused on the vision and mission of a library, delivery of information services, availability of electronic resources, number of professionals and support staff, as well as the time they may remain open during special events.
Dr. Joe Cecchi said: “We are privileged to host the 11th meeting of the UAE Academic and Research Library Directors. These custodians of knowledge, with their expertise and resources, play a dynamic role in nurturing the student community. Libraries are knowledge treasure troves that are waiting to be discovered by students and we are confident the decisions taken at this meeting will productively impact the academic community in general.”
Dr. Al Hefeiti said: “The library directors meeting serves as a forum to discuss cooperation building measures among the institutions to share resources, advance research in the country and to promote networking amongst the participants. This meeting assumes special significance because it is held in our sustainable campus that is powered entirely by renewable energy. Masdar Institute is keen to expand its contribution to the academic and research communities in general.”
Mandated to promote inter-library cooperation in resource-sharing and exchange of experience and experts, the UAE Academic and Research Library Directors committee aims to meet the challenges of new technologies, and cost of acquisitions to warrant excellence in providing high-quality services for the end-users.
Established in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Masdar Institute integrates theory and practice to incubate a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, working to develop the critical thinkers and leaders of tomorrow. With its world-class faculty and top-tier students, the Institute is committed to finding
solutions to the challenges of clean energy and climate change.