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Building Strong Library and Information Science Education in the Arab Gulf Universities (AGU)


أقرأ هذه الجلسة باللغة العربية

It goes in line with IFLA initiative in establishing “IFLA Building Strong Library and Information Science Education Group (BSLISE)”. Special Libraries Association – Arabian Gulf Chapter as a professional association felt the responsibility of taking part in supporting this international initiative in Arab Gulf Region. The panel discussion will focus on shedding light on IFLA Building Strong Library and Information Science Education Group (BSLISE), its goals, objectives, and its commitment to studying quality assurance within library science education.

The panel discussion will shed light also on the efforts of National Professional Associations in this regard. The panelists will discuss the experience of delivering accreditation of library and information studies (LIS) education programs by the American Library Association (ALA), Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), and Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP). It will consider the challenges and opportunities in developing a framework and consider how it could promote uniformity between accreditation criteria used by national library associations to promote professional mobility globally. Special attention will be given to the role of the two major regional professional associations AFLI and SLA-AGC and other national associations in in helping in encountering the challenges of scaling national assessment to the international level, and how to address them for successful implementation.

The major outcome of this panel discussion is mapping the road for LIS programs in the Arabian Gulf States universities to operate in line with international academic, administrative, managerial, and operational standards. Moreover, those programs have to follow standards and procedures consistent with the best international practice, with the goal of making such programs comparable to internationally recognized LIS academic programs of higher education. The panel discussion would try also to readdress the following questions that have been raised in IFLA 2016 Satellite Meeting on "International Quality Assessment of LIS Education Programs".

August 10, 2016; Columbus, OH (USA).
  1. Is there a need for international accreditation of LIS education programs in the Arabian Gulf Universities? Why or why not?
  2. Who are possible partners in the international quality assessment of LIS education in ARU?
  3. Is there a need to collect international data on LIS education programs? Why and why not?
  4. Is there an (existing or envisioned) model, framework that would be appropriate?
  5. What are next steps to develop and implement an effective international system to assess the quality of LIS education programs in ARU?

Target Audience

Faculty members and department heads of MLIS programs in the Arabian Gulf States, in addition, to professional librarians who are interested in library and information science education.

Keynote Speakers and Topics

Three keynote speakers of international repute will participate in this panel discussion on the following suggested topics:

  • Present and Past Involvement in LIS Education Quality Assessment of the following recognized International, national associations (IFLA, ALA. ALIA, CILP.)
  • Core Skills and competencies in LIS education: Professional, generic and personal competencies for the higher education LIS sector.
  • The Role of AFLI, SLA-AGC and national professional associations in helping in encountering the challenges of scaling national assessment to the international level, and how to address them for successful implementation.

Session Chair:

Dr. Jassim Mohammed Jirjees

Professor of Library and Information Science

Consultant in the field of libraries and information centers, lecturer, and author. Former editor of a number of Arabic periodicals in library science, documentation and information, and a member of the advisory boards in several specialized journals. He worked as a professor and chairman of the Department of LIS at Mustansiriya University in Baghdad - Iraq, the Department of LIS at the University of Sanaa - Yemen, and the Department of MLIS Program at the American University in the Emirates - Dubai. He also served as a Dean of the Institute of Arab Archives, the director general of the Center for Information Documentation of the Arab Gulf States, the secretary-general of the Supreme Council of the Iraqi scientific associations, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Al Mansour University College in Baghdad. He has published more than 70 papers in Arabic and English journals, and 23 books in Arabic and English. He submitted a number of feasibility studies for many regional and national information institutions. He participated in the preparation and organization of dozens of conferences and specialized activities in the field of library and information in the Arab world and the Arabian Gulf and national levels. He took part in more than 100 international, regional, and national conferences and seminars.


Dr. Sultan M. Al-Daihani

Associate Professor, Chair of the Department of Library and Information Science, College of Social Sciences, Kuwait University

He was the SLA-AGC President during 2008/2009. In these capacities he steered of a number of professional activities. Dr. Sultan conducted a number of consultation and training workshops in the areas of e-government, electronic archiving, information literacy, and social media. He teaches ICT-related undergraduate courses and those related to digital library and information sources and services and social media at the graduate level. He has published in the areas of information behavior, information education, and social media. Dr. Sultan did MLIS from Kuwait University and secured his PhD from Loughborough University, UK. He can be reached by email at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mohammad J. Arif Ph.D

Office Address:

Department of Information Science
Faculty of Art & Humanities
King Abdulaziz University
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Tel: (02) 695-2356
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


  • Ph.D., 1994 Loughborough University of Technology (UK).
  • MS, 1987 (IRM) Syracuse University (U.S.A).
  • BA, 1981 (Business Ad.) King AbdulAziz University (S.A).
  • Certificate Study in “Library and Information Management” University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, USA, 2002 – 2003.

Academic Administrative Experience:

  • 2009 – to Now Chairman, Department Information Science
    King Abdulaziz University
  • 2014 – to Now Member of Curriculum Development Deanship of Graduate Studies
  • 2014 – to Now Editorial Member of Arts & Humanities Journal
  • 2012 – to Now Member of Scientific Research Deanship Committee
  • 2011 – 2013 Chairman of the Scientific Committee of AFLA Conferences
  • 2011 – to Now Editorial Member of Elam Journal
  • 2009 – 2013 Director of Accreditation Unite
  • 2005 – 2007 Vice Dean Faculty of Arts & Humanities King Abdulaziz University
  • 2000 – 2002 Chairman, Department of Library & Information
    Science King Abdulaziz University
  • 1998 – 2000 Director of the Information and follow-up unit, Faculty of Arts & Humanities
    Various Academic Committees (University, Faculty & Departmental level)

Teaching Experience:

  • 2013 Professor
  • 2002 – 2013 Associate Professor
  • 1994 – 2001 Assistant Professor
  • 1982 – 1993 Teacher Assistant

Research Interests:

Knowledge & Information Management, Information Education, Information Systems.

Dr. Clara M. Chu

Director and Mortenson Distinguished Professor Mortenson Center for International Library Programs.

Dr. Clara M. Chu is Director of the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, and Mortenson Distinguished Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She specializes in understanding the information needs, uses and barriers faced by multicultural communities in order to further the equitable access to information. Chu publishes, presents and consults internationally in English and Spanish, and currently serves on the editorial boards of Libri and Library Trends. Active in professional associations, she served as the 2014/15 President of the Association for Library and Information Science Education and is the 2016-18 ALA representative on the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO. She is currently coordinating the IFLA Building Strong LIS Education (BSLISE) Working Group https://lisedu.wordpress.com/ which emerged out of deliberations at the 2016 IFLA Satellite Meeting (Dublin, OH) https://publish.illinois.edu/ifla-set-ltr-2016/ on quality assessment of LIS education programs, which she co-chaired and was hosted by the IFLA Section on Education and Training and the Section on Library Theory and Research. She received her Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Library Science from the University of Western Ontario in Canada.

Luke Stevens-Burt

Assistant Director, Member Services, CILIP

Luke is Assistant Director (Member Services) at the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, based in London. His role focuses on professional development of the library and information workforce through CILIP members. Responsibilities also includes overseeing and developing the CILIP accreditation programme, ensuring that educational institutions (especially universities) have a robust set of criteria to meet that result in a valuable learning experience for students. He also oversees all elements of membership development, support and engagement. This is mainly delivered through Continuous Professional Development activities (including online learning, specialist events, Professional Registration – i.e. Chartership).