American Univesity of Beirut

New Book Release: “Library and Information Science in the Middle East and North Africa”, a timely book about Library and Information Science education

​As part of the “Global Studies in Libraries and Information Series”, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and De Gruyter have partnered to publish a timely new book entitled: “Library and Information Science in the Middle East and North Africa”.

The book, edited by Amanda B. Click, Sumayya Ahmed, Jacob Hill and John D. Martin III (Eds), covers topics related to information literacy, intellectual property, library and information science education, research, publishing and more.

It offers up-to-date perceptions about the current status of libraries and of information science (LIS) in the MENA region, providing much needed research and insight about a region that is experiencing a lot of changes. The book tells the story of library science in a part of the world where it is not always accentuated. It features case studies from different countries and institutions in the MENA region.

AUB’s University Librarian, Dr. Lokman I. Meho had contributed to this work with a chapter entitled “Education for Library and Information Science in the Arab States”. The chapter, which is co-authored with Evelyn H. Daniel and Barbara M. Moran, both former deans at Syracuse University and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, introduces LIS education in the Arab world, researching each country and collecting information about their LIS higher education and curricula, exploring their strengths, weaknesses, challenges and opportunities.

When asked about the importance of this publication and its content, Dr. Meho said “it is the first of its kind that provides a comprehensive overview of LIS education in the Arab world and the first to identify and discuss all the 77 college-level programs that have been founded in the region since the early 1950s. The chapter discusses why some programs shut down, the challenges that the great majority of the remaining 71 programs continue to encounter, and in most cases their failure to develop and produce the kind of high quality professional library workforce desperately needed by local markets. The chapter ends with a series of practical recommendations that would both enhance the status of LIS education and the field and improve the employability of the students graduating from the LIS programs.

Commenting on the future of LIS education in the region, Dr. Meho said that “like in most other professions, the demand for graduates with advanced skills and knowledge in library and information fields is and will remain high for many years to come. In response to this, four LIS schools were founded in the region in the past five years and 22 in the past 15 years. The challenge is for these LIS schools to seize the opportunity by improving their curricula in order to be able to supply the market with the needed highly qualified professionals. Local academic and research libraries as well as LIS schools, especially in Lebanon and the Gulf countries continue to rely heavily on individuals with library and information science graduate degrees from the US and the UK.

About the Book

Edited by: Amanda B. Click, Sumayya Ahmed, Jacob Hill and John D. Martin III
Berlin/Munich: De Gruyter Saur, 2016
ISBN 978-3-11-034172-0

About the Publication Series

Global Studies in Libraries and Information Series: The complex processes involved in the international dissemination of information and knowledge, and the roles of libraries and related information agencies in facilitating access, offer fascinating scope for scholarly study and research. At the same time, the global nature of these processes requires practicing librarians and information workers to be aware of opportunities and challenges that arise internationally. This English language monograph series serves as a vehicle for professional and scholarly communication in the rapidly evolving field of global studies in libraries and information. Volumes are peer-reviewed and authored by leading professionals and scholars from across the world.

About IFLA

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. It is the global voice of the library and information profession. Founded in Edinburgh, Scotland, on 30 September 1927 at an international conference, we celebrated our 75th birthday at our conference in Glasgow, Scotland in 2002. We now have over 1300 Members in approximately 140 countries around the world. IFLA was registered in the Netherlands in 1971. The Royal Library, the national library of the Netherlands, in The Hague, generously provides the facilities for our headquarters.​

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