Public Affairs

AUK Library Hosts AMICAL Conference

17th Feb 2020 | by the Office of Public Affairs

AUK hosted the American International Consortium of Academic Libraries (AMICAL) conference with the theme digital transformation at international liberal arts institutions: innovation, collaboration & sustainability. 

The conference was opened by Asma Al-Kanan, AUK university librarian and Dr. Rawda Awwad, AUK president who stressed the importance of universities keeping up-to-date with the latest technology to improve teaching methods and boost learning, “For the ‘transformative’ aspects of this goal to be achieved, the institutional leadership must understand that today almost all strategic planning objectives are buttressed by technology; therefore, there absolutely must be a long-term institutional commitment that makes available significant resources.” Siva Vaidhyanathan, professor of media studies and director of the Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia served as the conference’s keynote speaker.

Attended by 115 people from 20 countries around the world, the four-day conference consisted of workshops, lectures, discussions, a poster and technology showcase that facilitated sharing ideas, learning, and responding to changes in learning and research practices. Al-Kanan commented on the success of the conference’s mission, saying, “It was a wonderful opportunity for participants from different liberal arts institutions to network and learn from the experiences, challenges, and success stories of one another. AMICAL has definitely helped build a learning community whereby good ideas are nurtured and supported for the betterment of all member institutions.”

Also in attendance was AMICAL Consortium director, Jeff Gima who remarked on the uniqueness of the organization, “How many events are there that bring together a critical mass of librarians, faculty, and technologists from international liberal arts institutions to respond collaboratively to the changing environments of learning and scholarship? I only know of one: the AMICAL Conference. AMICAL 2020, focused on digital transformation, was a perfect example of this, and the collective energy of collaborative ideas being generated across institutional lines, and across professional roles, was palpable.”

The AMICAL Consortium’s mission is to advance learning, teaching and research through the collaborative development of library and information services and curricular resources at member institutions. AMICAL is an international consortium of 29 American‐modeled institutions in 22 different countries.
  

AUK librarian, Asma Al-Kanan opening the conference
  

AUK President, Dr. Rawda Awwad giving an opening speech
  

AMICAL Consortium director, Jeff Gima addressing the conference attendees
  

AMICAL 2020 keynote speaker, Siva Vaidhyanathan, professor of media studies and director of the Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia
  

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