The Central Library at Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), in collaboration with the World Digital Library (WDL), hosted its first workshop for WDL members of the Arab Peninsula Regional group in Doha last week.
The World Digital Library, a UNESCO initiative led by the Library of Congress, is a digital repository of cultural treasures, which is contributed to by libraries around the world. Qatar Foundation is a major sponsor of WDL along with Google Inc, the Carnegie Corporation, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Microsoft Inc, and others.
QF’s Central Library supports the WDL in its mission to “promote international and intercultural understanding, expand the volume and variety of cultural content on the Internet and build capacity in partner institutions”. It provides resources free of charge to educators, scholars and the general public. WDL’s website content is available in seven languages, including Arabic.
The workshop, which focused on ‘Technical Skills and Standards’, was attended by institutions from across the MENA region. Participating institutions included Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, King Hamad Library in Bahrain, Omani Digital Library (Kawkab Al- Marifa), Sultan Qaboos University Libraries, National Library of Jordan, National Library of Sudan and the Al-Ahgaf Library for Manuscripts in Yemen. Expert trainers from WDL’s head office imparted skills in digital conversion, metadata standards and the expert description of digital items. In her welcome address, Isabelle Eula, Acting Director at the Central Library, said: “This WDL training platform is critical to build technical capacity among members of the Arab Peninsula Regional group. It will enhance the members’ capacity to contribute digital content and to meet the quality standards established by WDL.”
The workshop also provided an opportunity for participants to network and share knowledge with experts. It will be used as a model to develop WDL training initiatives in other parts of the world.