The growth of higher education in the region and an increasing international scholarly interest in Arabic and Middle Eastern primary sources have been the main driving force behind the decision of global library resource provider Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, to come to the UAE.
The first Gale Middle East Symposium held in Dubai last month brought together over 100 of the Middle East’s leading scholars and administrators for academic libraries. They gathered to network and exchange ideas about best practices, while learning from Gale and other leaders about effective collaboration.
A key example of this is the close working relationship that Gale has enjoyed with The British Library in digitising Early Arabic Books, a pioneering project which will see this significant collection of Arabic manuscripts, previously only available at the British Library, become accessible to higher education institutes across the Middle East and the world.
Most academic libraries in the region will already be users of digital research services and resources. While we can’t speculate on actual numbers, increased government investment to advance education demonstrates a strong and growing commitment to the latest generation of online learning resources.
Gale’s focus is to create products that incorporate content with global relevance and appeal from our vast network of partnerships with leading institutions around the world. By delivering innovative research solutions with a truly global focus, Gale will open up new avenues of scholarship for researchers and promote an understanding of different cultures and regions like the Middle East.
Our digital resources are used by students, faculty, researchers and librarians across the world. These resources are managed by librarians of leading educational institutions and their faculty heads, who are focused on providing their student body and scholars with high quality, easy to access learning resources. These are exciting times for the higher education sector in the region which continues not only to grow at a rapid pace, but also embraces rigorously the latest advances in online research and resources, and we are determined to be in a position to accommodate that progressive approach.
The author is CEO of global library research provider Gale Publishing. As told to Sharmila Dhal, Chief Reporter