From Thana, a participant in the Simmons GSLIS Middle East training programs.
The formal television channel for Iraq – Al-Iraqiah – has been in existence for some time, but it did not have a library. When they decided to establish a library, they came to our Institute to seek advice and help, and they chose me to help in this job, of which I am proud to do so.
The first step was to meet the man responsible for this work, and we put together the line of work needed. The first thing to do is collection building. This is an area of work I am interested in for my teaching, so I find it a big chance to do this work practically. In past training programs, we have talked about collection building, and the books we received on this I have read and now can try and use in a practical manner.
After one month, Mr. Hassan Al Marawani (a famous Iraqi poet) and I met to start buying books for this library. We went to an exhibition at Al Dar Al Arabiyah at the central library at Baghdad University. We had a good budget and we bought 1,500 books. The books were on subjects like stories, history, poetry make-up, fashion, cooking, etc.
When I told Hassan that we must buy a book on Dewey classification, he said it “was too expensive.” I said “how can I arrange books in the library without it?” He answered that we can put them on the shelves and there is no need for this. The truth: many people find it hard to understand our work as librarians. When I finally got him to agree to let me buy it (I was prepared to excuse myself from the project), I bargained a good price for it (I like to bargain and get good prices for everything).
After a long shopping day for books, I felt good that we had done a good job, and that the work was successful. I will send news about this project for Al-Iraqiah TV in the future – inshallah.