In its attempts to establish contacts with the library community in the region the IFLA Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Division Committee has compiled a list of  information on library associations in the regions. The compiled list revealed many challenges. Understanding and addressing these challenges are needed to achieve MENA RDC’s  goals to support libraries and librarians serving communities across borders.

The current situation of library associations is manifested in four categories:

  • No national  Library Associations: Some countries do not have a central library association representing the library field.
  • Ceased Library Associations: In certain cases, there may have been active library associations in the past that have since ceased operations.
  • New and Emerging Library Associations
  • Active Associations: Some countries in the MENA region have long time active library associations.

Challenges: Challenges may include limited funding, political instability impacting institutional support, and varying levels of recognition for the importance of libraries in society.

Opportunities: These associations could play a crucial role in bringing together librarians, information professionals, and stakeholders to promote the value of libraries, advocate for policies supporting libraries and information access, and provide ongoing professional development opportunities. Active associations often organize conferences, workshops, and training programs to enhance the skills and knowledge of library professionals. MENA RDC with other IFLA sections can have an instrumental role in supporting such associations and establishing a network that benefits libraries, librarians, and the communities they serve across borders.

Here is a list of library association which is the starting point of identifying and building networking partnerships.