Global Trends in Science and Technology Research Libraries lecture
Dr. Sohair Wastawy, the Executive Director, Qatar National Library of Qatar Foundation delivered the KAUST Library Outreach Lecture 2017 on 26th January 2017 at KAUST conference center on “Global Trends in Science and Technology Research Libraries”. In addressing the question “are libraries going to become extinct?” Dr. Wastawy said “.. it’s not true – it’s not happening anytime soon”. In supporting this claim, and to assist her audience in understand the full picture, she spoke about how libraries are transforming themselves to assist students and researchers through the establishment of digital scholarship centers and labs. In such centers, libraries are availing tools that analyze data in multitude of ways to assist users conduct better research.
While observing a reduction in the use of print material as the initial source of information, she spoke of the new ways library space is being used and the need for inspiring library spaces that meet the new generation needs as well as the need to assist users in developing new digital research skills. Dr. Wastawy also spoke of the importance of the democratization of knowledge through the Open Access publishing and congratulated KAUST for being a leader in Open Access movement in the region. Dr. Wastawy also spoke of the impact of mobility on science research where researchers are no longer location bound and how they are now have distributed collaboration opportunities with colleagues around the world. From her experiences in S&T libraries, she predicated that libraries would continue to be a valued and integral component of research within academic institutions and higher education.
Dr. Wastawy was the Dean of Libraries at Florida Institute of Technology, Illinois State University and Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). She also served as the First Chief Librarian of the new Library of Alexandria in Egypt.
Her topic “Global Trends in Science and Technology Research Libraries” was enthusiastically received by an audience comprised of KAUST faculty and staff, along with visitors from other institutions including Yanbu Industrial College, Saudi Armco, King Abdul Aziz University and University of Business and Technology. Dr. J. K. Vijayakumar, KAUST Library’s Acting Director welcomed the speaker, visitors and the participants to the event and moderated the Q&A session.