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Thinking Together:
Innovate, Share, Preserve and Access
Lebanese Library Association Conference
Lebanese American Universi...
The changing role of libraries in
the knowledge-based economy and
sustainable development
Dr Najeeb Al-Shorbaji, Vice-Pres...
Introduction
Changes in the environment:
• Globalization;
• Domination of English language on the Internet;
• Exponential ...
Introduction
• Internet penetration and social media in the Arab world;
• Humble presence of Arabic language on the Intern...
Introduction
• The library user has changed:
• Empowered by availability of and access to technology
and media (ubiquitous...
Introduction
Have libraries changed from their traditional
role of?
– managing the lifecycle of the library collections
su...
What is knowledge society?
• A knowledge society generates, shares and makes
available to all members of the society knowl...
What is knowledge economy?
• A knowledge economy is one where organizations and
people acquire, create, disseminate, and u...
What is sustainable development?
"Development that meets the needs of the
present without compromising the ability of
futu...
UN Sustainable Development Goals
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),
officially known as “Transforming our world: th...
Knowledge-based
Sustainable Development Goals
Knowledge (information and data), research,
innovation and information
techn...
Knowledge-based SDGs
• Para 15 of the resolution stated that “The spread
of information and communications technology
and ...
Knowledge-based SDGs
• Para 25: should have access to life-long learning
opportunities that help them to acquire the
knowl...
Knowledge-based SDGs
• Goal 2c: …access to market information,
• Goal 2.3: double the agricultural productivity
and income...
Knowledge-based SDGs
• Goal 3.7: ensure universal access to sexual and
reproductive health-care services, including for fa...
Knowledge-based SDGs
Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote
inclusive and sustainable industrialization and
foste...
Knowledge-based SDGs
• Goal 9.5: substantially increasing the number of
research and development workers per 1
million peo...
Knowledge-based SDGs
• Goal 14.5: conserve based on the best
available scientific information.
• Overall goal: Enhance sci...
Knowledge-based SDGs
• Goal 16.10: Ensure public access to
information and protect fundamental
freedoms, in accordance wit...
Knowledge-based SDGs
• Goal 17.16: mobilize and share knowledge,
expertise, technology and financial resources, to
support...
Libraries and the SDGs
What is a library?
A building or room containing a collection of books
and periodicals for use by the public or the member...
Libraries and the SDGs
• Libraries were not mentioned in the UN
resolution cited above;
• IFLA welcomed the UN 2030 Agenda...
The challenge to libraries
• Can we redefine libraries as they play an active
role in the knowledge economy by enabling
me...
Libraries and the SDGs
• There is a link between the functions of libraries
and the objectives of the World Summit on
Info...
Can they save lives?
• “We need to understand libraries as places of
education and nourishment for everyone – there is a
t...
Transforming libraries and librarians
• Libraries need to become:
– more responsive to needs,
– more proactive,
– more net...
Transforming libraries and librarians
• Libraries need to become:
– part of a technical configuration (not
administrative)...
Libraries work for the SDGs
Libraries are best positioned to
contribute to the SDGs
• Commit themselves to ensuring public and free
access to informat...
Libraries are best positioned to
contribute to the SDGs
• Uncompromised commitment to provide
universal and affordable acc...
Libraries are best positioned to
contribute to the SDGs
• Active support research and development workers
to access and ut...
Libraries are best positioned to
contribute to the SDGs
• Facilitate life-long learning opportunities that
help workers to...
Thank you
Q & A
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The changing role of libraries in the knowledge-based economy and sustainable development

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This keynote address was made at the second international conference of the Lebanese Library Association in Beirut under the title of Thinking together: innovate, share, preserve and access.

Published in: Internet

The changing role of libraries in the knowledge-based economy and sustainable development

  1. 1. Thinking Together: Innovate, Share, Preserve and Access Lebanese Library Association Conference Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon May 18-20, 2016
  2. 2. The changing role of libraries in the knowledge-based economy and sustainable development Dr Najeeb Al-Shorbaji, Vice-President Knowledge, Research and Ethics e-Marefa
  3. 3. Introduction Changes in the environment: • Globalization; • Domination of English language on the Internet; • Exponential increase of vetted and un-vetted information on the Internet (flood); • The level of penetration of information and communication technology (connected world) including mobile technology; • Awareness of the climate change, environment, global health, global warming, etc. • Social media and participation by individuals, society and crowd-sourcing; • Transparency and more democratic access to information (openness); • Persistence of the know-do-gap; • Emerging of the knowledge economy.
  4. 4. Introduction • Internet penetration and social media in the Arab world; • Humble presence of Arabic language on the Internet; • Bias towards social sciences, religion and arts in the Arabic Internet content; • Increased capacity for computing power using Arabic language; • “Unmeasured” increase in knowledge production in the Arab world; • Emerging of knowledge economy in some Arab countries. The shift in economic production from material-based to knowledge-based. Some Arab countries have developed strategies for future knowledge economy; • Emerging of a generation of knowledge workers in the Arab world;
  5. 5. Introduction • The library user has changed: • Empowered by availability of and access to technology and media (ubiquitous access); • Empowered by availability of and access to information not necessary in the local library; • They are global citizens, multidisciplinary, multilingual and self-aware; • More aware of global issues: climate change, economic crisis, Arab "spring; • More person-centered; • Part of social, knowledge and/or professional networks.
  6. 6. Introduction Have libraries changed from their traditional role of? – managing the lifecycle of the library collections such acquisition, organization, maintenance, circulation, weeding, etc. – connecting users to these collections through catalogues, indexes, bibliographies, etc. – Users of information technology innovations.
  7. 7. What is knowledge society? • A knowledge society generates, shares and makes available to all members of the society knowledge that may be used to improve the human condition. A knowledge society differs from an information society in that the former serves to transform information into resources that allow society to take effective action while the latter only creates and disseminates the raw data. Source: Castelfranchi, C. (2007). Six critical remarks on science and the construction of the knowledge society. Journal of Science Communication, 6(4), 1-3.
  8. 8. What is knowledge economy? • A knowledge economy is one where organizations and people acquire, create, disseminate, and use knowledge more effectively for greater economic and social development. Source: World Bank: a framework for knowledge based economy. http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/WBI/WBIPROGRAMS/KFDLP/0,,contentMDK:2026 9026~menuPK:461205~pagePK:64156158~piPK:64152884~theSitePK:461198,00.html#Knowledge • The Knowledge Index is "…the country's ability to generate, adopt and diffuse knowledge". The KI is the simple average of the normalized scores of a country or a region on the key variables in three knowledge economy pillars -education, innovation and ICT. Source: World Bank http://www.worldbank.org/
  9. 9. What is sustainable development? "Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." Source: World Commission on Environment and Development’s (the Brundtland Commission) report Our Common Future. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987).
  10. 10. UN Sustainable Development Goals The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), officially known as “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, are an intergovernmental set of aspirational Goals with 169 targets. The Goals are contained in paragraph 54 of the United Nations Resolution A/RES/70/1 of 25 September 2015. Source: https://documents-dds- ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N15/291/89/PDF/N1529189.pdf?OpenElement
  11. 11. Knowledge-based Sustainable Development Goals Knowledge (information and data), research, innovation and information technology in the SDGs
  12. 12. Knowledge-based SDGs • Para 15 of the resolution stated that “The spread of information and communications technology and global interconnectedness has great potential to accelerate human progress, to bridge the digital divide and to develop knowledge societies, as does scientific and technological innovation across areas as diverse as medicine and energy”. • Para 24: ensuring universal access to … information and education.
  13. 13. Knowledge-based SDGs • Para 25: should have access to life-long learning opportunities that help them to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to exploit opportunities and to participate fully in society. • Para 27: a healthy and well-educated workforce with the knowledge and skills needed for productive and fulfilling work and full participation in society. • Para 48: Data and information from existing reporting mechanisms should be used where possible.
  14. 14. Knowledge-based SDGs • Goal 2c: …access to market information, • Goal 2.3: double the agricultural productivity and incomes by … equal access to land, other productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets and opportunities for value addition and non-farm employment • Goal 2.5: … from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, as internationally agreed.
  15. 15. Knowledge-based SDGs • Goal 3.7: ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education. • Goal 4.4: expand enrolment in higher education, including vocational training and information and communications technology. • Goal 4.7: ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development. • Goal 5b: Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women.
  16. 16. Knowledge-based SDGs Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation Goal 9.c: Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020”.
  17. 17. Knowledge-based SDGs • Goal 9.5: substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending. • Goal 12.8: ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature. • Goal 12c: integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle.
  18. 18. Knowledge-based SDGs • Goal 14.5: conserve based on the best available scientific information. • Overall goal: Enhance scientific research and increase investment and support in agricultural research, research and development of vaccines and medicines, clean energy research and technology,.
  19. 19. Knowledge-based SDGs • Goal 16.10: Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements. • Goal 17.6: access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed terms. • Goal 17.8: enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology.
  20. 20. Knowledge-based SDGs • Goal 17.16: mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. • Establish a forum on science, technology and innovation for the SDGs and an online platform to facilitate access to information, knowledge and experience, as well as best practices and lessons learned, on science, technology and innovation facilitation initiatives and policies”.
  21. 21. Libraries and the SDGs
  22. 22. What is a library? A building or room containing a collection of books and periodicals for use by the public or the members of an institution. • a collection of books held in a library. • an organized collection of films, recorded music, etc., kept for research or borrowing: a record library. This traditional definition of a library is from the Concise Oxford English Dictionary. The challenge is how to redefine the role and purpose of the library on the light of the 2030 Agenda.
  23. 23. Libraries and the SDGs • Libraries were not mentioned in the UN resolution cited above; • IFLA welcomed the UN 2030 Agenda (the SDGs); • Students, academicians, researchers, policy and decision makers, professionals and the public in general have always used libraries to access knowledge resources to fulfil their information needs;
  24. 24. The challenge to libraries • Can we redefine libraries as they play an active role in the knowledge economy by enabling members of the society to? – Generate; – Share; and – Make available to all members of the society knowledge that may be used to improve the human condition.
  25. 25. Libraries and the SDGs • There is a link between the functions of libraries and the objectives of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) (http://www.itu.int/net/wsis/); • The stereotype of libraries as stores of books, documents and archives need to change to become knowledge centers; • Knowledge centers contribute actively in the knowledge cycle (knowledge production, knowledge organization, knowledge sharing and knowledge utilization).
  26. 26. Can they save lives? • “We need to understand libraries as places of education and nourishment for everyone – there is a terrible sense that libraries are just an add-on to a council building, but they save lives.” Stephen Fry (http://www.thebookseller.com/news/fry-libraries-save-lives-328111) • Lack of healthcare knowledge leads to delays in seeking health care. It leads to errors in diagnosis and it leads to ineffective or even harmful treatments. People are dying for lack of knowledge. Neil Pakenham- Walsh, Coordinator, HIFA (http://www.hifa2015.org/)
  27. 27. Transforming libraries and librarians • Libraries need to become: – more responsive to needs, – more proactive, – more network-based, – more individual-centric, – more specialized, – more of a place to enable access, – more integral to the mother organization’s functions,
  28. 28. Transforming libraries and librarians • Libraries need to become: – part of a technical configuration (not administrative); – more target-oriented; – mainly digital and electronic;, – technology savvy and capable of building alliance with ICT professionals; – more driven by key performance indicators for monitoring and evaluation;
  29. 29. Libraries work for the SDGs
  30. 30. Libraries are best positioned to contribute to the SDGs • Commit themselves to ensuring public and free access to information (information for all). The library is a place for enabling universal access to information; • Contribute to bridging the digital divide and to develop knowledge societies by making ICT available to their clients; • Rationally use information and communications technology, to empower citizens including women and those in remote areas;
  31. 31. Libraries are best positioned to contribute to the SDGs • Uncompromised commitment to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet. All libraries should be connected to the Internet • Better understand the information needs in the community by making available and accessible market information, employment opportunities, current affairs, etc. especially through mobile libraries and local information providers;
  32. 32. Libraries are best positioned to contribute to the SDGs • Active support research and development workers to access and utilize scientific data and information to enhance scientific research; • Ensure making scientific information available, accessible and enhance knowledge sharing; • Actively function as a platform to facilitate access to information, knowledge and experience; • Properly organize data and information from existing reporting mechanisms to be easily accessible;
  33. 33. Libraries are best positioned to contribute to the SDGs • Facilitate life-long learning opportunities that help workers to acquire the knowledge and skills; • Substantially contribute to building capacity for knowledge utilization through information literacy programme, awareness and user education. • A major and significant change in education of library, information and knowledge managers.
  34. 34. Thank you Q & A

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