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Wednesday 21 March ,2018

The Emirates Library offers new services and initiatives that bring it closer to researchers

In the year of Zayed, while celebrating its Golden Jubilee

The Emirates Library offers new services and initiatives that bring it closer to researchers.

The Emirates Library at the National Archives of the UAE is a specialized research library, established in 1968, which provides services to various clients such as decision-makers, researchers and graduate students, in the UAE and abroad. These services include facilitating internal and external access and lending, access to electronic resources, and photocopying services in accordance with copyrights. The Emirates Library focuses on topics relating to the UAE, Gulf region and the world, and follows the most widely used classification system of the Library of Congress.

As the Emirates Library celebrates its Golden Jubilee, it launched new initiatives in line with the National Archives' goals, expanding its services and making them available to clients to best serve them and ensure their maximum benefit. These initiatives include: extending the Library's working hours, launching external lending service, the library's open week celebrating the Month of Reading and the Arab Library Day which falls on the 10th of March every year, launching Liwa journal's electronic Index, indexing of articles on the UAE in Arab periodicals, the UAE Newspapers Archive, university dissertations and articles, allowing access to ready subject guides, and the set up of Arab and foreign sources of information.

The Emirates Library has a reading hall with an open-shelving system in line with leading international standards. It offers visitors all services and facilities, including modern computers that allow access to library holdings. It also provides research booths and Wi-Fi service.

The Reading Week in the Month of Reading :

The Emirates Library at the National Archives has organized an open week for reading under the slogan: "Reader Employee for a Smart Archiving Institution", to help establish the National Archives vision in terms of continuous development, and to transform the Emirates Library into a preferred destination for researchers interested in the history of the UAE and the Gulf region, providing access to their information sources through utilizing the best available technical solutions and practices, including training of researchers, and educating them on information access, assessment and utilization.

During the open week for reading, the Emirates Library opened its doors to all employees, shedding light on its holdings, facilities and services, and acquainting them with the facilities it provides for readers and researchers. By allocating this open week for the Emirates Library, the National Archives aimed at providing library services and allowing employees to benefit from its holdings and facilities in order to develop their capabilities and increase their work productivity, also to acquaint them with humanity achievements in the field of knowledge and to enhance their sense of creativity and innovation.

During the open week, the Emirates Library administration hosted staff members on guided tours and briefed them on information items related to the inspirational biography of the Founding Leader Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, his great role in establishing the UAE and building the Federation, and  sources related to the biographies of the UAE great leaders and prominent men. The library visitors were also briefed on books dealing with the history and heritage of the UAE, its cultural role, its links with neighboring civilizations, and written accounts of travelers and explorers who landed in the Arabian Gulf.

The National Archives Launches the Electronic Index of (Liwa) at Emirates Library: 

The National Archives took advantage of the Emirates Library open week in the Year of Zayed, and in the Reading Month to launch the Liwa Journal's electronic Index.  Liwa is a scientific journal published by the National Archives twice a year in both Arabic and English. The National Archives allows free access to the full texts of the Liwa articles in PDF form through the library's Online Catalog (OPAC). This emphasizes the National Archives' keenness to provide all possible solutions to researchers to access its holdings and benefit from them. Liwa Journal focuses mainly on the history and achievements of the Founding Leader Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and the progress march he led since 1946 when he was the Ruler's representative in the Eastern Province. Since Liwa's research is mainly concerned with the history, heritage and archeology of the UAE and the Gulf region, it focuses on the history of the great transformation and advancement witnessed by the UAE at the hands of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. When the National Archives intended to issue Liwa Journal, the goal was to publish a balanced journal with highly distinguished content, that reflects the history of the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf region in order to achieve the National Archives' mission of establishing historical awareness and promoting and enhancing national identity (according to its first edition's editorial of June 2009 by the Editor-in-chief, HE Dr. Abdulla Mohammed Alraisi, Director General of the National Archives), Thus the electronic Index was launched so that researchers and clients from all over the world could use the journal's content and benefit from it.  Therefore, articles published in (Liwa) are available in full text in a (pdf) form  on its link  in the Emirates Library's online catalog. The National Archives is keen to update the electronic index in order to maximize the benefits of researchers and specialists all over the world.

Emirates Library is the destination for researchers on the history and heritage of the UAE and the region:

The Emirates Library has thousands of printed and electronic sources, integrated collections of references, dissertations, rare books, Arabic and foreign periodicals, and various electronic books and databases online subscriptions. It has a wealth of specialized books, main fundamental books that deal with many aspects relating to the UAE, as well as topics and issues relating to the GCC countries. The library's acquisitions include biographies, atlases including the world's largest Atlas, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and original rare books among others. The library's Information resources are in both Arabic and English, with some material in other languages such as French, German, Persian, Dutch, Portuguese, etc.

The total number of indexed material of the library's holdings according to the latest statistics exceeds one hundred thousand items, excluding the UAE Newspapers’ Archive collections, Arab and foreign periodicals and electronic resources collections. Last year (2017), and in order to achieve the strategic objective of enhancing the accessibility to National Archives collections for researchers, the Emirates Library's administration has worked hard to upgrade and promote information services for researchers in the UAE and abroad.

Emirates Library Initiatives:

As initiatives are among the most important principles and pillars of success, the Emirates Library has been keen to introduce further initiatives that increase its acquisitions and services accessibility to researchers to maximize their benefit. These initiatives include:

- Extending the Library's working hours and launching external lending service for researchers:

since the beginning of the "Year of Zayed", the Emirates Library has extended its working hours to be from 8 am to 8 pm, from Sunday to Wednesday weekly, and from 8 am to 3 pm on Thursdays to allow researchers to utilize its premises, facilities and services the longest possible time. Researchers were very pleased with the decision, and visited the library intensively and regularly.

In continuation to this effort, the Emirates Library has also launched an external lending service for researchers to meet their need for library books that are available for external lending. Researchers who are registered members of the Library can benefit from this external lending service. The lending duration and materials vary according to the permission granted to researchers in accordance with the applied lending policy.

The library also provides reference and information services to researchers, including: providing the researcher with a comprehensive bibliography on the research subject, on his/ her request, whether in person, or through e-mail, or the subject guides in the Online Catalog (OPAC), and training him/ her on research methods of the library and databases' automated catalog.

- Allowing access to ready subject guides:

The Emirates Library has prepared a set of subject guides related to the UAE and topics related to the National Archives' activities, available on the online catalog at the following link: http://library.na.ae. Extensive tabulations were conducted in the main index form to enable researchers and clients to easily utilize it online.

- Building a collection of foreign information resources:

More than a year ago, the Emirates Library started cataloging the most important open source foreign information resources relating to UAE issues and providing full access to the full texts through its links on its Online Catalog (OPAC). These open resources include dissertations, reports, articles, government publications, and others. They exceeded 3,100 resources.

- UAE Newspapers Archive:

The Emirates Library takes pride in its rich newspaper archive, and allows its visiting researchers, academics and students access to the printed version of the most prominent UAE newspapers such as Al Ittihad, Al Bayan, Al Khaleej, Gulf News and others. It is a semi-complete archive that has been bound and made available to the public.

- Dissertations collection:

This includes a collection of the most important dissertations and university articles issued by major international universities, relating to the history and heritage of the UAE and the Gulf region. The library has for a long time acquired a series of university dissertations related to the UAE, from the American University of Beirut (AUB) and has made them available and accessible to researchers at the Reading Room.

- Indexing of articles in Arab periodicals articles regarding the UAE:

The Emirates Library continues indexing Arabic articles on "United Arab Emirates", published in Arab periodicals and available in its stores, and those which it receives regularly, these amount to (48) Arabic periodicals. The main purpose of this technical initiative is to provide access to important articles on the UAE, and to facilitate researchers’ access to periodicals to avoid wasting their precious time. The accomplished work included allowing accessibility of bibliographic records of all indexed Arabic articles in the library's Online Catalog (OPAC). According to the latest statistics, the number of articles has exc