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The Saudi Library and Information Association (SLIA) kicked off its seventh conference, titled Informatics and knowledge for change and the challenges faced by a knowledge-based society, on Saturday on the King Saud University campus. The three-day conference, under the patronage of HRH Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Minister of Defense and President Emeritus of the SLIA, was inaugurated by Minister of Higher Education Dr. Khalid Al-Angari.
Speaking on the occasion, Rector Al-Omar thanked Prince Salman for extending his patronage to the event and said the success of any scientific association is bolstered by its presence at academic gatherings and participation in scientific production.
The Rector called on all scientific associations to be actively involved in society to emphasize KSU’s service to the information community. He said the SLIA is among the associations active in their field, as demonstrated by its receiving the Arab Federation for Libraries and Information (AFLI) award for most active Arab library and information association.
SLIA President Dr. Ahmad Khudair, the chairman of the conference, said it was founded as a response to concerns of and directives from Prince Salman, who reasserted the importance of a knowledge-based society and making use of the best practices to fulfill the Kingdom’s vision.
Dr. Khudair pointed out that knowledge is the main means to effect comprehensive and sustainable development for a society and that investment in human capital is a deciding factor in shaping the future.
”The conference identifies the source of information and knowledge economy and information communities, as well as the formation and performance of automatic manage information systems,” he said.
Dr. Khudair described the main themes of the conference:
- Knowledge communities, knowledge formation and challenges in Saudi society, and the knowledge community as a regional concept;
- Automatic systems for information management and information security;
- Regulations and policies in respect to principles, ethics, information policies, protection of intellectual rights and civic legislation;
- Managing, producing and organizing knowledge using best practices and applications; and
- Knowledge economies and investment in economic development; the importance of information establishments in economic development and their role in managing assets and national information resources; and the conversion to a knowledge economy.
During the opening ceremony, Dr. Al-Angari announced a major project by the SLIA to develop and support Saudi reading clubs, which aims to spread the culture of reading and connect Saudi readers. The Saudi Reading Club Development Project.
Conference sessions explored the use of electronic information resources by instruction personnel, student electronic information resources and university library documents as tools for technical and administrative development.
Conference participants included representatives of King Faisal University (KFU), King Khalid University (KKU), Taibah University, King Abdulaziz University (KAU), Umm Al-Qura University, Shagra University and Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University.
Al-Anqari also launched the Saudi Reading Club Development project and its online portal which will connect readers in the Kingdom with the club. The president of the King Saud University, Badran Al-Umar, was also present at the function. Meanwhile the Saudi Press Agency reported that Al-Anqari will launch a number of academic and community programs on the Abidiya campus of the Umm Al-Qura university in Makkah on Tuesday. The new projects include buildings for the College of Legal Studies and Systems and a teaching hospital for dental medicine, in addition to a community club.