Monthly Archives: May 2020

Public libraries in Egypt during covid-19

Public libraries in Egypt supported its employees during covid – 19 and according to the regulations related to work that have been adhered based on the decision of the Prime Minister and the instructions of Ministry of Health and Population as :

  1. Employees who have chronic diseases has been given an absence leave.
  2. Pregnant women and mothers who have children under 18 years old were given an absence leave until further notice.

Public libraries are not open for the public until now. To ensure the flow of information during this period and in an effort to protect the staff and prevent all employees from falling ill at the same time, rotating shifts were implemented between staff to allow the work to continue despite a reduced workforce.

Examples of activities on Public libraries in Egypt:

Egypt’s Society for Culture and Development:

Egypt’s Society for Culture & Development (ESCD) is registered as a Non-Governmental Organization on October 18th, 1978, it has branched out in 14 different locations in the Arab Republic of Egypt providing a varied scope of activities and community services. ESCD has 10 public and children libraries across 4 Governorates. ESCD took many steps to engage our users and beneficiaries online through social media networks.

  • Launching the campaign “Our library at your home”. The campaign includes the following:
    • Provide links to resources in various fields such as science, virtual touring of museums and tourist attractions in the world, educational and recreational areas….etc.
    • Storytelling workshops for children on its library pages on Facebook.
    • Free training workshops to prepare school students in conducting their researches as the exams were replaced in most education years of education by researches.
    • Reading Club Seminars.
    • Contest for the best poster on Facebook that supports the White Army (Doctors & Nurses……).
    • Musical talent competition.
    • Online Handicraft workshop for children.
    • Show data on corona’s disease, its symptoms and some guidelines for the library audience

Misr Public library (1)

In Misr Public library (MPL), one of the greatest library system in Egypt, MPL permitted the public to deliver the loaned materials to the library Security and add them in a special box to return the borrowed books. Books are placed in the sun on the same day they return for disinfection, materials will returned on shelves on the next day with a commitment from the staff to wear gloves and mask on their faces, many activities were conducted such as:

  • Online training services have been provided through the library page on Facebook, English Language, Computer Skills…)
  • Accounts have been activated on WhatsApp to communicate with the library community to reserve training courses.
  • Storytelling workshops were offered to children through the library page on Facebook.
  • A daily cultural competition was presented on the page with prizes to be presented at the end of the crisis to the participants.
  • Some recorded events were shown for some scientific activities.
  • Show data on corona’s disease, its symptoms and some guidelines for the library audience.
  • Viewing some videos of handicrafts, drawings and origami workshops for children and mothers.
  • Viewing a meeting for the youngest child in the library, who introduces to children to how to deal with the Corona virus.
  • Announcing a national initiative to train and qualify youth for the labor market online, in cooperation with the Faculty of Home Economics, Helwan University and the AFRO ASIAN BOARD institution.
  • Conducting online courses in cooperation with civil society institutions such as the Arab Women Association.
  • Publishing articles to introduce MPL system history since its inauguration on the library’s Facebook page.

Misr Public Library is on its way to purchase disinfection gate in case the library opens after the crisis ends.

The Misr Public Library follows up the construction work under way in the libraries planned to open this year virtually and by telephone, for example, Faqous Library in Sharkia Governorate, Izbat Al-Burj Library in Damietta, the Quseir Library in the Red Sea, and the Qena Library in Qena.

Besides preparing the mobile libraries in Ismailia and El Sharkia.


  1. Information about MPL provided by Mr. Ahmed Amman,
    Deputy Director of Misr Public Library.

CPDWL/NPSIG Webinar: “Mindfulness to Manage Workplace Stress and Microaggressions”

Save the date! IFLA Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning, IFLA New Professionals Special Interest Group, and the American Library Association invite of all you to take part in a free webinar “Mindfulness to Manage Workplace Stress and Microaggressions”. This meeting is a part of the webinar series “New Librarians Global Connection: best practices, models and recommendations“.

Date/time: Tuesday, July 14th at 8 am PT, 10 am CT, 11 am ET (check your time zones here:

Registration Here!

Description: Navigating workplace stress and microaggressions—verbal and non-verbal messages that are invalidating or demeaning—can be difficult in any profession, but is especially challenging in service-oriented professions like librarianship. In addition to identifying and naming stressors and microaggressions, various tools can be employed to mitigate the negative effects of these encounters. This session will provide attendees with a framework—mindfulness—that can be used to help process the often-fraught interactions that may take place in our libraries. The webinar will be recorded.

What will you find out on the webinar?

You will understand the roles of microaggressions and workplace stressors.
You will know how mindfulness can be used in workplaces in libraries.

Chippewa M. Thomas is a Professor of Counselor Education in the Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation, and Counseling and Director of the Office of Faculty Engagement at Auburn University. Thomas has published in journals such as the Journal of Counseling and Development, The Family Journal, Educational Gerontology, Journal of Specialists in Group Work, International, Journal of Thought Journal of Progressive Education and collaborated on book chapters in edited books. Thomas’ scholarship focuses on culturally competent counseling practice, social justice in action, community engagement/publicly-engaged scholarship, and wellness/vitality in higher education. She is active with several professional national and international counseling, education and outreach-scholarship affinity groups and organizations, and currently roster-listed as a Fulbright Specialist in Counselor Education.

Pambanisha Whaley is the Collections, Assessment, and Resource Management Coordinator at Alabama State University. Whaley has been an academic librarian for 15 years. Her research interests include: the role of minority library residencies in career advancement, the relationship between psychosocial factors and the success of library mentoring programs, and retention strategies for librarians from underrepresented groups.

Jaena Alabi is a Research and Instruction Services Librarian for the areas of English, psychology, and Africana Studies at Auburn University’s Ralph Brown Draughon Library. Her research interests include peer review of teaching for academic librarians, library collaborations with writing centers, and the effect of racial microaggressions on librarians and profession.

The Library for Foreign Literature (Moscow, Russia) ran the series of webinars covering cultural management issues and titled “WE ARE TOGETHER: Interaction with Library Users as Instrument to Ensure Audience Growth.  Inostranka Case” (April-May 2020).  

By Alexandr Parshin in cooperation with Svetlana Gorokhova and Daria Belyakova. All Russia State Library for Foreign Literature, Moscow, Russia.

We all share the same difficulties going online and being unable to run services offline – challenge that forces us to share experience and make best practices to become widely spread all over the cultural industry.

The Library for Foreign Literature ran the series of online master-classes (professional webinars) in April 2020 examining methodological principles and practical aspects of how to conduct surveys, to study customer pattern of behavior, to involve users in different library projects, to make a system of feedback analysis, to prepare strategic plan, etc. These issues are of high relevancy throughout the industry in pre-pandemic times but now it is high time to have a new look at the importance of conversation about the library users and amendment of strategic plans.  We also need to take into account that the aggressive environment (quarantine restrictions) exposes the internal problems.

The series of webinars was designed to fulfill the interests of professional audience (overall library management, project activities specialists, etc.). The idea was to share best practices of the Library for Foreign Literature (the institution that ensured 3 times attendance growth in 2 years) and give our colleagues practical instruments to use in there professional activities.

Webinar topics include:

  1. Tools to study the library audience.
  2. Strategic planning: analysis of user profiles, interests, and preferences.
  3. Involving users into the library project activities (volunteer programs).
  4. Evaluation of customer services: “mystery patrons”.
  5. Various channels of communication with the library audience.
  6. Feedback from users (suggestions, complaints) and the culture of everyday changes.

Webinar series Schedule :

1.“Audience Research and Strategic Planning”, 24th April 2020, 11:00 am.   Practical aspects of conducting surveys in the library, conclusions drawn from the data collected and examples of making strategic decisions.

  1. “Volunteer programs in the library”, 30th April 2020, 11:00 am. Volunteer programs that allow the younger generation to actively participate in current library development projects focusing on the mechanisms of attracting volunteers, mentoring, and improving project management.
  2. “Mystery Patrons in Libraries”, 14th May 2020, 11:00 am. “Mystery patrons”: instruction, legends assignment, monitoring, collecting and analyzing research data.
  3. “Conflict Management and the System of Interaction with the Library Users”, 21st May 2020, 11:00 am. Scale of interaction with the user, principles of conflict management in the library.

Today we can share the results of the 1st webinar.

The first webinar was addressed to a professional audience – specialists of cultural institutions. More than 60 library specialists from Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Ryazan, Pskov, Novosibirsk, Syktyvkar, Sakhalin, Petrozavodsk and other regions of Russia joined the webinar.

Watch the video of the event (in Russian) on library’s YouTube channel here. You can acquaint with the presentation materials (also in Russian) on the Web site of the library. The event was interactive: surveys were conducted during the webinar among the participants. There were a lot of comments from the colleagues and a good response. During the webinar in the Zoom chat and Q&A were actively used.

The webinar included theory and an empirical part. Speakers underlined main points of the research prior to the surveys and audience analysis. Then bullet points on review of pattern of library users behavior was discussed. Next step was to figure out the connection between the strategic planning in the cultural institution and the different groups of the audience.

We will be exited to share materials of the next three webinars. All materials are in Russian but, if the need will be shown, we are ready to provide the summary in English. Please contact us at