“LAU Libraries: Your Space”
Open houses highlight the library resources and services available on LAU’s both campuses.
RNL Director Cendrella Habre.">
Minister of Culture Tammam Salam visits the Beirut library with LAU President Joseph Jabbra and RNL Director Cendrella Habre.
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A few weeks after Beirut was named the World Book Capital of 2009, LAU held its first library open houses May 5–6 on both campuses to inform students how to use the available services and resources.
Under the slogan “LAU Libraries: Your Space,” the event included lectures, workshops, outdoor tutorials, tours, poetry readings, live music, raffles, and freebies to make students, faculty and staff feel at home in the libraries.
In his opening statement, LAU President Joseph Jabbra called the library “a part and parcel of society and the heart of the university.”
Minister of Culture Tammam Salam praised the open house initiative and stressed LAU’s success in creating an ideal ambiance inspiring reading and discussion. “This is a very important element in contributing to readership because [library] spaces allow for friction, contact and exchange between people.”
Library staff members from both campuses are hopeful that they’ll be able to attract more students and faculty to utilize the library services.
According to Byblos Library Acting Director Joseph Hage, “more than 160 students attended the four presentations and demos that were given in the booths.”
“Students responded very well to the activities, especially to the information about the library services,” he added.
“With the open house, we are trying to figure out ways to help faculty with problem solving and group activities that will engage our students,” said Cendrella Habre, Riyad Nassar Library (Beirut campus) director.
Guest speaker Susan Perry of the Andrew Mellon Foundation also highlighted the key role of faculty in encouraging reading and library research among students.
As part of her job at the foundation, which provides grants to higher education institutions, she has visited libraries of notable universities around the world.
Speaking from experience, Perry said a cohesive relationship among librarians and professors was the key to helping students enhance their library participation.
Business management student Tarek Rassi learned more about the LAU libraries’ wide array of print and online resources after taking an English course with Dr. Brian Prescott-Decie. “He explained the databases and their uses for an essay. They were very effective, very fast and much easier than using the Web,” Rassi said.
Dr. Jabbra asked attendees to spread the importance of reading to the community at large. “We must celebrate libraries and the joy of the book,” he said.