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Over 30 Librarians from GCC and Turkey Convene for ‘UAE eFada’ Summit in Abu Dhabi

Discussions Focus on Global Best Practices Relevant for Regional Adoption at Event Hosted by Masdar Institute and Springer Science

Abu Dhabi-UAE: 01 October, 2013 – More than 30 library directors from across the UAE, other GCC countries and Turkey convened for a one-day summit in Abu Dhabi to discuss ways to adopt global best practices in the print and e-resources sector relevant to the region.

Organized jointly by Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, and Springer Science + Business Media, the summit was themed ‘UAE eFada’. Held at the Masdar Institute campus, the summit aimed to build and start a library consortium in the UAE.

Officials from leading libraries across the GCC and Turkey focused on issues including sharing of electronic information resources, library services marketing, and challenges faced by academic libraries. Keynote speakers included Dr. Bandar Al Mubarak, Saudi Digital Library (SDL), and Dr. Ertugrul Cimen, Anatolian University Libraries Consortium (ANKOS).

ANKOS has 170 member universities and research institutes and a team of 50 volunteer librarians, while SDL has 24 partner institutions. With a rich library tradition going back several centuries, Turkey that established the first printing house in the year 1729 has a wealth of manuscripts and scrolls. Library services are also being provided by 59 mobile libraries to 763 areas in 81 provinces across Turkey.

One of the largest in the Arab world, the SDL that was launched in November 2010 holds more than 114,000 e-Books and reference works, spanning various academic disciplines. All 114,000 volumes are available in both full text and multimedia formats.

Dr. Abdulla Al Hefeiti, Library Director, Masdar Institute, said: “With their emphasis on education, the UAE’s leadership continues to provide resources required for knowledge and human capital development. The hosting of ‘UAE eFada’ in collaboration with Springer in Abu Dhabi was an example of this commitment. The meeting of librarians from the GCC and Turkey proved to be a productive forum for discussing challenges faced by today’s digital-era libraries. We hope the sharing of experience helped librarians to learn from each other.”

During the summit, Dr. Abdulla highlighted the library services offered at Masdar Institute and the ties with other academic libraries in the UAE. The services and collections aim to support the Masdar Institute community of faculty, researchers, students, and administrates. Requests for accessing the e-resources are also accepted from external researchers and postgraduates students.

A UAE-led project, ‘eFada’ is a consortium of libraries under the umbrella of Ankabut, the UAE’s Advanced Network for Research and Education. It is expected to offer all students and faculty in the country access to large electronic resources collection through a single platform.

Springer Science + Business Media is a leading global scientific, technical and medical publisher, providing researchers in academia, scientific institutions and corporate R & D departments with quality content via innovative information products and services. It also hosts a number of scientific databases, including SpringerLink, SpringerProtocols and SpringerImages. Book publications include major reference works, textbooks, monographs and book series, as well as more than 37,000 titles as e-books in 13 subject collections.

Serving as a key pillar of innovation and human capital, Masdar Institute remains fundamental to Masdar’s core objectives of developing Abu Dhabi’s knowledge economy and finding solutions to humanity’s toughest challenges such as climate change.

Established as an on-going 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 through education and research.

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