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!
If you follow meonsocialmedia, 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.
Librarianship is a truly global discipline with practitioners all over the world. Being aware of larger developments in the field and learning about libraries in other regions can broaden your own professional horizon and give you a fresh perspective on things. The new Open Access ebook “Librarians Around the World” helps gain this perspective. It includes contributions by 34 librarians from 19 countries spanning North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia/Oceania. Initiated by the New Professionals Section of the Library Association of Latvia, the project has been in the making since early 2017 and was finally published in December last year. Participants were asked to write about themselves, their libraries, library systems, education opportunities, library related organizations and other aspects of librarianship in their countries.
Together with three colleagues, I contributed a chapter about librarianship in Qatar. In four parts, we are discussing 1. LIS education in Qatar, 2. the establishment of the Library and Information Association in Qatar (LIA-Q), 3. the diversity of the librarian community and library users and 4. Maktaba, Qatar’s first private public children’s library. Below is the full text of our chapter. I hope you will get inspired by this and all the other contributions in the book!
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.
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.