The Institute of Museum and Library Services funded “Educating Librarians in the Middle East: Building Bridges for the 21st Century: ELIME-21” program is part of the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in conjunction with the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations. There are two primary goals of this program. The first is to develop professional development opportunities for library and information science (LIS) professionals through partnerships with three universities in North Africa and the Middle East (MENA), the American University in Cairo, Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco, and the American University of Beirut. Secondly, this project will prepare future American library educators to become MENA specialists, with expertise on the cultures, knowledge and education systems, and field of library and information science in the region.
To achieve this objective, in Fall 2011 SILS welcomed a flagship cohort of doctoral students into a specialized PhD program that incorporates both coursework about MENA and its cultures, and opportunities to work with the partner institutions as components. A second cohort arrived in Fall 2012. Read more about the fellows here.
SILS faculty and ELIME-21 doctoral students work with an advisory committee and key individuals from the three partner universities to develop plans for workshops, certificate programs, and other continuing education opportunities for librarians and information professionals in the region. This project addresses the urgent need for preparing future U.S. library educators with a greater familiarity with the MENA and, at the same time, assists in the training of librarians in a region of the world of critical importance to the United States.