Progressing innovation within the information services sector to nurture creativity among children was one of the key themes discussed during the 48th Metropolitan Libraries (MetLib 2016 Qatar) Conference.
Hosted by Qatar National Library (QNL), the event has seen leading local, regional and international industry professionals explore how best to harness new technologies to provide additional services and value to staff and communities.
The “Developing the Future through Children and Teen Services” session highlighted the application of various innovations with which libraries can engage children to develop new skills not only in their studies, but also throughout their lives.
Carol Mitchell, head of children’s services at QNL, emphasised the need for librarians to ensure that they fully understand their respective
“We need to identify the specific needs of the various segments of the population. Early learning is crucial to a child’s development and there is a diverse range of activities we can host to promote learning and development in a fun and engaging manner,” she said during her presentation.
In addition, the conference highlighted how libraries could invest in developing their staff to adapt to new innovations within the sector, identifying ongoing support and training as being crucial to keeping abreast of advancements within the
information services industry.
Delivering a presentation titled “Bring Them and Keep Them”, Katia Medawar, head of access services at QNL, stressed the importance of ongoing training programmes as a means of advancing the information
services sector.
Medawar also highlighted how QNL was creating an environment conducive to staff retention, ensuring equity in regards to promotion, professional development, success, and mentoring opportunities for its employees.
During the “Community Learning” session, industry professionals revealed how they were actively driving public engagement through the services they offered, including implementing mobile libraries, community training and social events.
Throughout the conference, attendees have taken part in stimulating conversations and visited libraries across Qatar, while also taking in some of the nation’s
various cultural attractions.
Held under the overarching theme of “Pearls In The Desert: Unleashing Potential”, MetLib 2016 Qatar is the first gathering of its kind to be held in the Middle
East and North Africa region.

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