By Zainab, on 5 December 2022
We talk to Dr Mohammed Jasim Aal-Hajiahmed, from Central Library – University of Mosul. Returning scholar who came to finish the second phase of his scholarship in October 2022. He held a Nahrein – BISI Visiting Scholarship at The British Library.
What were the main things you learnt from your Visiting Scholarship?
Throughout the two phases of my scholarship, I gained knowledge in many aspects of my field, specifically:
- I learned about setting up a digitization unit in the library and the process of restoring the physical and electronic library collections. I also acquired the know-how for digitizing the manuscripts and fragile materials.
- I was introduced to new electronic library systems that can be applied during cataloguing, borrowing, interlibrary loan, etc.
- I understood the importance of providing training courses for library staff in order to continuously develop skills.
- I recognized the value of networking with other librarians and exchange of knowledge.
How has the scholarship helped you in your work in your home country?
This scholarship helped me in my work a lot because I was able to network with many friends at various great UK institutions such as the British Library, Oxford University, Cambridge University, UCL Library, etc. This networking will help us resolve any issues we could face during the process of restoring Mosul Library Collections as we are starting this process from scratch.
What was the main highlight of your scholarship?
The main highlight of this scholarship was discussing the possibility of forming a consultancy board that could meet twice a year to follow up the restoration of Mosul University Library Collections. This board consists of directors and librarians from different UK libraries that can provide consultancy and solutions for the issues that may be raised during the process of rebuilding Mosul Library Collections. Listen to Dr Mohammed talk about his future plans in this short video
What will you do to continue your research in Iraq?
I have kept in touch with my contacts in UK to make sure that the process of restoring the library collections goes smoothly and to get the required feedback if needed. Moreover, I look forward to applying what I have learned from my scholarship to make Mosul University Library one of the best academic institutions that can provide the best services for its users.