INELI-MENA-Egypt: librarians as motors of change

INELI-MENA-Egypt is one of the great initiatives and voluntary efforts that need to be highlighted. INELI-MENA-Egypt is a leadership e-training program working under the auspices of the Egyptian Library Association, aiming to cultivate and develop future Egyptian public library leaders and build a strong professional network to advocate for their libraries.

The e-training program will last for one year & provides online learning modules adapted from Global Libraries Initiatives (GL) program INELI (The International Network of Emerging Library innovators), but in Arabic language through Moodle platform.

Currently 19 innovators (cohort 1) are being trained on mandatory modules (i.e. Innovation in libraries; change management; Advocacy; and libraries & SDGs) and one selective module (using data; risk management; conflict management & building successful teamwork) that will enhance their competencies and build national e-learning network to improve their leadership skills. INELI-MENA-Egypt Director Mr. MustafaTuhami was keen to add a new module titled “communication skills” to enhance English language among the participants, as he believes that this is the right path to be connected with professionals and peers around the world and practice international librarianship, this was done in partnership with IDEAS.

INELI-MENA-Egypt innovators at Greater Cairo Public Library

It is worth mentioning that INELI-MENA Egypt is a national network build on the tremendous success of the International Network of Emerging Library Innovators – Middle East & North Africa “INELI-MENA”. INELI-MENA is one of a kind and unique e-training leadership program in the region, implemented by the Arab Federation of Libraries & Information (AFLI) from 2015-2018 and funded by Global Libraries Initiatives (GL) at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). It provided the emerging library leaders with opportunities to connect with each other to explore new ideas, to experiment new services, and learn from each other.

Over whole four days INELI-MENA-Egypt held its 1st. convening in Egypt from 26-29 June 2019, the schedule was full of training practices that focused on engaging librarians in a learning environment.

Change in the digital era

Prof. Shawky Salem, Professor of Informatics, at the University of Alexandria & IFLA Governing Board Member 2003-2007, the keynote speaker presented an important lecture on change in the digital era and emphasis on the importance of investment in human resources. He praised the voluntary efforts exerted by INELI-MENA & INELI-MENA-Egypt & staff. He focused on the leadership & innovation as an element of change in the digital age.

I am an expert @

An activity conducted by Mrs. Marwa Kamel, INELI-MENA-Egypt Network Coordinator and Director of Elzawya Elhamra Public Library. The idea is to let the innovators explore and reflect on just how amazing they are in certain subjects related to their work in libraries. This is matched with the ALA Libraries Transform campaign messaging that reflects the new emphasis on library expertise, with such messages as “Because the expert in the library is you” and “Because the best search engine in the library is the librarian.”.


An open session to address many ideas & issues in librarianship field, the session was led by Ms. Rasha Essmat INELI-MENA Network Coordinator and Head of Programming Sector at Egypt’s Society for Culture & Development.


A workshop about innovation was conducted by Prof. Emad Saleh, INELI-MENA Learning Coordinator and the Director of the Egyptian National Library; he focused on the definition of creativity & innovation; innovation in libraries; creative thinking strategies; models and creative practices in libraries and the importance of creativity and innovation for libraries.

Collaborative team projects

Team projects are an outstanding outcome of the program, as participants will form action project teams to develop a service and /or program to benefit their libraries to consolidate their learning and support the implementation of the SDGs in Egypt. A brainstorming session were conducted, innovators were given the opportunity to develop a program/service to be implemented in their libraries. The outputs were four programs to be implemented: “We are all one hand; Green library; Book delivery App; Make your book”.

INELI-MENA-Egypt at Zawya el Hamra Public Library


Impact assessment:

Within the framework of the periodic evaluation of the program, Prof. Amany El Sayed, Head of LIS Department at Helwan University focused on measuring the personal & work skills that was enhanced for innovators during their e-training.

Library tours:

Innovators visit two libraries 6th October Public Library a branch library of the National Library of Egypt, and Bibliotheca Alexandrina to get acquainted with the services provided in both libraries, a session was conducted later on their reflection about the tours and pros. & cons. About library visits.

INELI-MENA-Egypt innovators @ 6th october Public Library


INELI-MENA-Egypt innovators @Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Communication skills workshop

Led by Libby Bergstrom, the Global Reach Libraries Program Director at IDEAS & Patty Larson, Global Educational Consultant at IDEAS to boost the innovators English communication skills and prepare innovators to the English modules through the learning platform.


Following the steps of IFLA CPDWL, a coaching session was conducted to offer career and professional development coaching for the innovators.

Innovators at Coaching session

Heba Mohamed Ismail

Libraries Technical Manager at Egypt’s Society for Culture & Development
Director of INELI-MENA Program

2 thoughts on “INELI-MENA-Egypt: librarians as motors of change

  1. heba Post author

    Dear Dr. Ahmed.

    Thank you so much for your comment. I am looking forward to see the field more stronger than before.


  2. Ahmed Amin

    Dear Dr. Heba,
    Thank you for your excellent effort
    Thank you all team of INELI-MENA-Egypt.
    We are looking forward to see the future Egyptian public library leaders and a strong professional to advocate for egyptian libraries.

    Best Regards
    Ahmed Amin
    ENAL Deputy Director

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