31 July 2013
IFLA's 1st Arab region conference: a summary
On 10 – 11 June 2013 IFLA held its first Regional Conference in the Arab Region in cooperation with the Arab Federation of Library Association and Information (AFLI) and the Qatar Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage (Public Libraries Department).
The theme of the conference was:The Role of National Libraries and Associations in supporting Free Access to Information according to the Copyright Laws.
The opening ceremony began with welcomes from:
- Dr. Hamad Al Kawary, Minister of Culture and Heritage in Qatar
- Dr. Hassan El Sereihy, President of the Arab Federation of Library Association and Information (AFLI)
- Jennefer Nicholson, Secretary General of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA)
The Keynote speaker at the conference was Dr. Winston Tabb, Chair of the IFLA Delegation to WIPO and Dean of University Libraries, Archives & Museums, Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Tabb gave a comprehensive presentation on Libraries Promoting Users’ Rights: An International Treaty on Copyright Exceptions and Limitations for Libraries and Archives - Role of Libraries and Library Associations in Promoting Access to Information via Copyright.
Other key speakers included:
- Dr. Maha Bekheit, Head of IP Unit at the League of Arab States
- Dr. Emad Abu Ghazi, former Minister of Culture in Egypt
- Eng. Assem Shalabi, President of the Arab Publishers’ Association
- Dr. Claudia Lux, Project Manager of Qatar Foundation
Participants were National Library Association Presidents and Directors of National Libraries from all over the Arab Region.
The main purpose of this important gathering was to introduce and raise awareness on the role of Libraries and Library Associations in advocating the issue of Copyright Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries and Archives.
Between the sessions the participants had a chance to discuss different advocacy policies and possible common projects related to the copyright issues.
This was followed on 12 -13 June 2013 by the IFLA Building Strong Library Associations (BSLA) joint Workshop with AFLI and attended by 29 library association representations from 15 countries in the region.