Over the past month, the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to affect the global library world.

However, IFLA’s PAC Centres continue their mission: putting a spotlight on preservation and conservation, bringing professionals together across borders, and enabling trainings and collaboration opportunities – all by digital means.

Qatar National Library

IFLA’s PAC Regional Centre for Arab countries and the Middle East, hosted at the Qatar National Library (QNL), has brought its key role in preserving the region’s heritage to the world stage in June through a series of online events.

The PAC Centre at QNL works with regional and international partners to build capacity, raise-awareness, and promote cooperation regarding the preservation of the rich cultural heritage of the Middle East and conservation of the region’s rare books, manuscripts and documents. Over the month of June, over 300 international delegates subscribed to four online classes facilitated by the PAC Centre.

In one event, 85 delegates from Qatar, the Gulf region and 32 other countries joined the international lecture, “Preservation and Conservation of Manuscripts: Founding Introductions.” Experts from the Manuscript Restoration Center at the Al-Abbas Holy Shrine Library in Iraq joined the Library to guide participants through the process of restoring and preserving documents of historical value to the Gulf and Arab region, as well as crisis preparedness and first aid to documentary heritage at risk.

Maxim Nasra, Book Conservation Specialist at the Library, said:

Historically, Iraq has played a leading role in the production of manuscripts concerning philosophy and natural science, as well as the development of written Arabic. It was extremely mutually beneficial to be able to share knowledge with the Al-Abbas Holy Shrine Library concerning their recent heritage rehabilitation efforts, as well as with such a wide variety of experts from different backgrounds.

Additional workshops this past month focused on conservation of various formats of Arab audio recordings, and an online tutorial for libraries and archives in the Middle East to discuss precautionary procedures for reopening to the public in the context of the pandemic.

Read more about the recent activities from Qatar National Library and the PAC Regional Center for Arab countries and the Middle East. 


PAC Russia and Kazakhstan

The PAC Centres hosted at The National Library of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Almaty, Kazakhstan) and the M.I. Rudomino All-Russian State Library for Foreign Literature (Moscow, Russia) have a long-standing, fruitful relationship.

In June, the Centres hosted a meeting to exchange updates on their activities, present short-term and long-term plans, and shared proposals for future cooperation. This was the first meeting between the Centres held digitally, but it sets a precedent for regular knowledge-exchanges – both virtually and in-person.

In 2019, these Centres entered into a cooperation agreement in order to expand and develop professional ties and promote cultural exchange between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Kazakhstan.

An ongoing relationship, promoting the exchange of experience in the field of preservation and conservation of documents, is one of the most important goals of cooperation between these libraries.

Follow news and updates from across IFLA’s PAC Centre Network online at News From PAC.