MUSCAT: The Committee of Culture, Information and Tourism at the State Council, on Tuesday hosted Shaikh Hamad bin Hilal al Maamari, Under-Secretary, Ministry of Heritage and Culture for Cultural Affairs, Dr Musa bin Nasser al Mafraji, cultural expert in the ministry and supervisor of the National Library and Mohammed bin Obaid al Maskary, in-charge of the project and Acting Director of Libraries Department. The meeting was headed by Dr Ahmed bin Ali al Meshaikhi, head of the committee and held in the presence of members of the committee and the secretariat staff.
The hosting enabled to gain information for the committee’s on-going study “The reality of civil and private libraries in the Sultanate”.
The committee reviewed the role played by the ministry to support the libraries to enhance their contribution in enriching the cultural life of the Sultanate. It also emphasised on the ministry’s efforts to implement the National Library Project and its support in publications and references in various fields of knowledge. The committee discussed the support provided by the ministry to public and private libraries, its vision for the future of libraries and its strategy to develop them, in addition to the difficulties and challenges facing libraries and ways to overcome them.
It is worth mentioning that the study seeks to identify the status of the library in the Omani society in the past and present, and seeks information about the services and programmes provided by the libraries and their contribution to the community development, how it copes with the literary and intellectual needs of the society, and the impact of technology on the role of the library and its progress in terms of developing traditional services. It also dealt with the status of the Omani libraries, their geographical distribution, the legal framework, government and civil support, and the future requirements in term of legislative, scientific, technical, and financial.
The study also aims to extrapolate the role of future libraries in the light of the challenges they face in relation to the explosion of knowledge and the spread of information technologies in various aspects of scientific, intellectual and literary life, and their keenness on production of high quality content. At the end of its meeting, the Committee approved the minutes of its previous meeting, and reviewed the new issues on its agenda and took the appropriate decisions.