Tag Archives: qatar national library

Recording of IFLA NPSIG / IAML webinar “Five Perspectives On Music Librarianship” available now

I recently had the big pleasure to co-organize and present on the webinar “Five Perspectives on Music Librarianship” which was hosted by IFLA’s New Professionals Special Interest Group (NPSIG) in collaboration with IAML, the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives, Documentation Centres. Having strong ties to both groups made this a truly special occasion for me.

Geared towards non-music librarians, the webinar offers five different angles on music librarianship that might serve as a starting-point for anybody interested to learn more about this field of our profession. At the same time, it serves as an introduction to IAML and its international community. Here is the full recording along with the list of speakers and direct links to each of their presentations:

As mentioned in the recording, this webinar is only the first of several music related activities that NPSIG is undertaking. The group is also calling for contributions to the NPSIG Music Context 2021 that will be included in a session about music in libraries at the World Library And Information Congress in Rotterdam next year.

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I am moving back to Germany!

I am excited to share with you that I have accepted a position at Frankfurt Public Library in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, as head of the Central Music Library! After six years in Qatar, it is time for me and my family to move on. The current plan is to relocate to Germany at the beginning of June, given that things have improved by that time. It is not easy to prepare for such a big change under the ongoing circumstances, but we will make the best of this situation!

I am thankful beyond words for the unforgettable experiences of these past years, all the wonderful people I have met during this time and the amazing opportunities of working in such a unique environment as Qatar National Library. At the same time, I am thrilled and looking forward to the time to come in my new role in Germany!

Qatar National Library in Pictures

If you follow me on social media, you will notice my admiration for the architecture of my workplace. What I love about the Qatar National Library building: Even two years after moving in, I still discover stunning new perspectives almost on a daily basis depending on my location, angle of view and time of the day. To honor and illustrate this, here is a selection of my favorite pictures I have taken over the past year of the Library’s exterior and interior. I hope they will convey some of the fascinating aura that surrounds this place.

Grand piano delivery at Qatar National Library

Last week was a big moment for me as a music librarian (and pianist): Qatar National Library received its own grand piano! The Yamaha C7X is located on the stage of the Special Event Area and will be exclusively used for performances in the library.

Apart from the excitement about the arrival of this beautiful instrument, the delivery was fascinating to follow. A special piano lift was used to move the heavy instrument out of the car, through narrow corridors, and onto the stage where it even turned the grand piano into its final standing position:

Now the piano needs to undergo several rounds of tuning, before it will reach its optimal condition to be played. In the meantime, you can find it on the right side of the stage in parking position awaiting many recitals to come at QNL!

Journal article on the benefits of working in a multicultural team at Qatar National Library

The August/September edition of the German library journal BuB focuses on recruitment and features my article “Personalgewinnung aus dem Ausland: Multikultureller Arbeitsalltag bei der Nationalbibliothek von Katar” (International Recruitment: Experiences of working in a multicultural team at Qatar National Library). The article highlights the many positive effects of an international workforce at QNL in a multicultural country like Qatar.

BuB, Personalgewinnung aus dem Ausland

Working in a team of currently 36 nationalities is a great experience that both expands your horizon and benefits the library in different ways. As a national, public and research library, QNL serves every single person in the community, thus you can find many different cultural backgrounds among its users. In this situation, knowledge from their home countries is extremely valuable for the QNL colleagues in areas such as reference services, collection development, library tours or events targeted at specific cultures or languages. At the same time, the multicultural background enriches the daily work within the team when it comes to bringing together professional expertise from around the world and learning about other cultures and languages. For me, especially the insights to Qatari culture and Islamic tradition are fascinating and provide a much more detailed and nuanced picture than I could ever get in my home country.

I am the English voice of public announcements at Qatar National Library

If you visit Qatar National Library in the evening and listen closely to the public announcements before closing time, the English voice might sound familiar: it is mine. 🙂

I feel excited and honored to lend my voice to this and a couple of other announcements at QNL. Recording them in a professional studio was lots of fun (and took much more time than you probably think)!

Qatar National Library (soft) opening is finally here!

On November 7, Qatar National Library (QNL) finally opened its doors to the public. Almost four years after I moved to Doha to start working for this amazing project, this is a huge step forward and means a lot to everybody involved! Being four weeks into the soft opening now, it is great to see thousands of people from all over Qatar visiting the library, exploring our collection and services, borrowing books and using the space.

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The soft opening can be seen as an experimental phase before the grand opening in April 2018. At the moment, several departments are still finalizing procedures or receive pending parts of the collection and equipment, for example. At the same time, services can now be tested in a live environment which allows for further adjustments based on user feedback.

Of course, operating the library for the public goes along with quite a few changes in the workflow. In my team (Public Services), morning and evening shifts have been introduced both on weekdays and weekends in order to cover the Reference Desk during opening hours. With the new building in place, we can concentrate more on organizing programs and using our own facilities rather than those of other institutions around Doha. Ultimately, this gives us much more flexibility and the capacity to host more programs than before. These are just two of many examples of how the opening of the library practically impacts the daily work. It will be interesting to see how day-to-day working routines will evolve in the coming months.

I leave you with more pictures of this stunning building below which is particularly worth visiting during night time (the pictures have all been taken closely before the opening, hence no users around). For more information about QNL, have a look at the official website or its social media channels. I also recommend checking out this blog post which gives a closer look at many areas within the building.

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It’s happening, I am moving to Qatar!

Some of you already got the news back in November through Facebook and Twitter, but now it is getting serious: In less than two weeks, I am going to move to Doha, Qatar! My first full-time position as a new grad will take me to Qatar National Library where I will start working as a Music Information Service Librarian.

As you can imagine, I am absolutely excited and look forward to this experience, not only for becoming a part of this fascinating library project, but also for getting to know life and culture of the Gulf region!

As soon as I have settled in, I will try to report about my abroad experience on a regular basis. Meanwhile, check my tweets for the latest updates.

Talk to you soon from Doha!