The Future of (Arabic-focused) Libraries: What is the Public Sphere?

Arabic Literature (in English)

UCLA Middle East and South Asian studies librarian David Hirsch, school librarian Jane Hayes, Khalifa University library head Dorothy Fubes Byers, and librarian and educator Shaikha Al Muhairi talked about “The Future Library” on Tuesday at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair:

Photo by workshop participant Kate Kasimor. Photo by workshop participant Kate Kasimor.

While it was an interesting glimpse at what was happening in the US, UK, and in international-library spheres in the UAE, the talk didn’t much touch on the region’s future libraries.

David Hirsch noted that, globally, thinking about libraries had circled back around to previous ways of seeing the institution. While many had expected that the future would bring about a “library without walls,” most librarians and library managers had now come back to “library as place.”

Also, while e-books and online information were important, Hirsch said, many of his students still preferred print when possible. And when dealing…

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