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CLA presentation


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CLA presentation

  1. 1. Working in Abu Dhabi Sybil and Larry’s Excellent Adventure
  2. 2. United Arab Emirates <ul><li>Bordering the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, between Oman and Saudi Arabia </li></ul><ul><li>4.4 million people </li></ul><ul><li>At least ¾ of the population is non-national </li></ul><ul><li>Slightly smaller than Maine or Portugal, but larger than New Brunswick </li></ul>
  3. 3. Abu Dhabi <ul><li>Nation’s capital </li></ul><ul><li>June - September is generally hot & humid with temperatures averaging above 40ºC </li></ul><ul><li>Trying to position itself as the &quot;Cultural hub&quot; of the Middle East </li></ul><ul><li>1.8 million people </li></ul><ul><li>The richest emirate </li></ul>
  4. 4. History <ul><li>Fifty years ago the economy was still camel-herding, dates, and pearl fishing. </li></ul><ul><li>Oil production began in the 1960s </li></ul><ul><li>UAE gained independence in 1971 </li></ul>
  5. 5. Education <ul><li>The Higher Colleges of Technology: </li></ul><ul><li>14 colleges </li></ul><ul><li>16,000 students; 60% women </li></ul><ul><li>founded in 1988 (based on Ontario community colleges) </li></ul><ul><li>Engineering, Health Sciences, Business, IT, Education, Communications Technology </li></ul>
  6. 6. HCT libraries <ul><li>Library at each campus with at least one credentialed librarian </li></ul><ul><li>Central unit providing cataloguing, acquisitons, system support </li></ul><ul><li>Consortium with Zayed University and UAEU for resource sharing </li></ul>
  7. 7. How we got there <ul><li>Career risk </li></ul><ul><li>Both in comfortable situations </li></ul><ul><li>Knew then-Dean and was aware of HCT’s reputation </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity of travel </li></ul><ul><li>Interest in Middle East </li></ul>
  8. 8. Larry’s experience <ul><li>College librarian at Abu Dhabi Men’s College </li></ul><ul><li>Learning Resource Centre </li></ul><ul><li>Each library had an adjacent “independent learning centre” </li></ul><ul><li>Learning support </li></ul>
  9. 9. Larry’s experience
  10. 10. Larry’s experience
  11. 11. Abu Dhabi Men’s College
  12. 12. Abu Dhabi Men’s College
  13. 13. Abu Dhabi Men’s College <ul><li>Pluses: </li></ul><ul><li>Varied job (collection, instruction, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Attractive library </li></ul><ul><li>Charming students </li></ul><ul><li>Interesting, friendly faculty </li></ul><ul><li>Ample time off, and travel opportunties </li></ul>
  14. 14. Sybil’s experience <ul><li>Technical Services and Systems Manager, then Acting Dean of Learning Resources </li></ul><ul><li>10 staff providing centralized services including textbook procurement </li></ul><ul><li>Recruitment for all college libaries </li></ul><ul><li>UAE Library Consortium </li></ul>
  15. 15. Sybil’s experience : the challenges <ul><li>Different approach to planning and execution –inshallah, wasta and loyalty, negotiation </li></ul><ul><li>Core ethics of librarianship (privacy, intellectual freedom, open access) are challenged </li></ul><ul><li>Can be very bureaucratic </li></ul>
  16. 16. Sybil’s experience : the joys <ul><li>Library community </li></ul><ul><li>Appreciation for your efforts </li></ul><ul><li>Diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge that work is making an immediate difference </li></ul><ul><li>Working with Emirati women </li></ul>
  17. 17. Community <ul><li>Terry Fox Run — a uniquely Canadian event </li></ul><ul><li>6,000 participants of all nationalities in Abu Dhabi </li></ul><ul><li>All money raised stayed in UAE for cancer research </li></ul>
  18. 18. Celebrate Canada <ul><li>Celebrating Canada’s distinct literary heritage </li></ul><ul><li>Ten Canadian authors, illustrators and entertainers </li></ul><ul><li>2,000 children of all nationalities attended during the week-long celebration </li></ul><ul><li>Support from Foreign Affairs </li></ul>
  19. 19. Lifestyle <ul><li>Sunny all the time </li></ul><ul><li>Safe and relatively tolerant </li></ul><ul><li>Close knit, supportive ex-pat community </li></ul><ul><li>Great recreation and shopping </li></ul><ul><li>Travel opportunities </li></ul>
  20. 20. Skills you need <ul><li>An open mind, tolerance, much patience </li></ul><ul><li>We are both “P” (Myers Briggs) </li></ul><ul><li>Experience in a variety of libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible communication style </li></ul><ul><li>EFL courses or experiences help </li></ul><ul><li>Realistic view of the challenge of returning </li></ul>
  21. 21. Carpe diem <ul><li>Transformative, realized our capabilities and that anything is possible </li></ul><ul><li>Now bring unique experience to work </li></ul><ul><li>Broader world view and understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage others leverage library career to travel and explore your personal interests and beliefs </li></ul>
  22. 22. Contact us Sybil Harrison Collection Development Manager Hamilton Public Library Larry McCallum Information Services Librarian Mohawk College [email_address]