Gulf News

Role of dig­i­tal li­braries in shap­ing fu­ture high­lighted

- BY SHARMILA DHAL Chief Re­porter

The im­pact of dig­i­tal li­braries in shap­ing com­mu­ni­ties and economies can­not be un­der­mined and there is an ur­gent need to or­gan­ise and in­te­grate re­sources from dif­fer­ent sources to max­imise their ben­e­fits, speak­ers at a spe­cial ses­sion on the role of dig­i­tal li­braries at the Knowl­edge Sum­mit in Dubai said yes­ter­day.

Dr Khalid Ab­dul Fat­tah Mo­ham­mad, di­rec­tor of the Dubai Dig­i­tal Li­brary (DDL), said the li­brary, which aims to pro­vide an ad­vanced elec­tronic plat­form for learn­ing, has been work­ing on de­vel­op­ing not just smart con­tent but also smart ap­pli­ca­tions and ser­vices in or­der to ben­e­fit in­di­vid­u­als, or­gan­i­sa­tions and the govern­ment.

He said, “DDL’s Smart Knowl­edge Hub re­volves round seven el­e­ments that in­clude knowl­edge con­sump­tion, shar­ing, em­pow­er­ment, pro­duc­tion, or­gan­i­sa­tion and fi­nally a knowl­edge in­dus­try and econ­omy.”

Dr Ab­dul­lah Al He­feiti, li­brary dean at the Mas­dar In­sti­tute of Science and Tech­nol­ogy, said the col­lab­o­ra­tion of three lo­cal in­sti­tutes un­der the uni­fied um­brella of Khal­ifa Univer­sity has helped achieve spec­tac­u­lar re­sults.

“Among the ar­eas we col­lab­o­rated on were li­brary man­age­ment, devel­op­ment of elec­tronic re­sources and data­base, in­sti­tu­tional re­pos­i­tory, [the] in­for­ma­tion lit­er­acy pro­gramme and li­brary por­tal and on­line ser­vices. In the last five years alone, the univer­sity has pub­lished 6,729 schol­arly ar­ti­cles and the field weighted ci­ta­tion im­pact (FWCI) is 34 per cent higher than the world av­er­age,” he said.

Dr Saud Al Salahi, di­rec­tor-gen­eral of the Saudi Dig­i­tal Li­brary, who opened the ses­sion, stressed on the need to utilise knowl­edge for the bet­ter­ment of so­ci­ety.

“Dig­i­tal li­braries col­lect, or­gan­ise and cu­rate knowl­edge. The chal­lenge be­fore us is to use this knowl­edge to fa­cil­i­tate our lives, build healthy com­mu­ni­ties and drive the in­dus­try and econ­omy for­ward,” he said.

Dr Detlef Klom­fass, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of a pri­vate firm, JTM Pro­fes­sional and Man­age­ment Devel­op­ment Train­ing, said, “Knowl­edge is power but it is crit­i­cal to adapt to change, col­lab­o­rate and in­no­vate. A learn­ing shift is hap­pen­ing now, but what is im­por­tant is that the learner should leave the learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment with a pos­i­tive feel­ing. For this to hap­pen, we can­not just throw in con­tent. ”

Husam Al Olama of UAE Univer­sity mod­er­ated the ses­sion.

 ?? Pic­tures: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News ??
Pic­tures: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
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