Thursday, October 28, 2010

An interaction with Editor, American Libraries

As Lincoln Corner Karachi Coordinator, I had a welcome meeting with Mr. Leonard Kniffel, Editor ALA American Libraries Magazine. To welcome Mr. Kniffel to Karachi, and discussed different issues and scenarios in Pakistani Libraries and Librarians, I was accompanied by Chief Librarian, Institute of Business Administration IBA Library, Director Sindh, Pakistan Library Automation Group and AIRC Director.

Mr. Muhammad Guffran, Ex-AIRC personnel & chief librarian, IBA Karachi briefed Mr. Kniffel how academic libraries are student focused and working with innovation in library services.

Mr. Nooruddin Marchant, Director for Sindh, Pakistan Library Automation Group PAKLAG, shared how individuals are working to promote technology in libraries.

Ms. Shazia ali, AIRC Director, told Mr. Kniffel how she has prepared an interactive schedule of programs with different librarians & professionals.

On my end, I shared with Mr. Kniffel, about my initiatives at Lincoln Corner, and its marketing as a model American Library here in Karachi and how we remain successful to win the audience in our programs in this digital age.

Friday, October 8, 2010

A gateway to friendship

It was July 14, 2009 and I was visiting American Library Associations’ annual conference in Chicago, representing my country Pakistan on this international event as a state guest. As I was passing through different stalls at the convention center, a stall attracted me with its simplicity and calmness, which was hard to find anywhere else in this mega event and that was SCOMM stall.

I curiously watched what is going on at this stall, I saw two men just sitting in front of a small electronic device like digital notepads. I then surprise to find that this unique machine is known as UBIDUO and the stall was set up to market this product.

On my turn, I started my communication through this machine with one of the rep., our chat was displayed on both ends and we started our discussion, you would not believe it, this machine enabled me to understand a person with disability and performed as a GATEWAY, without learning any special sign language.

Well, to communicate with any person with disability, it is important that you must learn the way to interact with him/her through a special language, and although there is a significant difference within these special languages designed for each continent, they have their own special signs to convey the message to the communicators. But this UBIxxx turned as a major breakthrough to this limitation, a face to face communicator which enable us to use standard English as a medium of communication between the person with disability and the rest of the world, the only thing he/she has to do is, just become familiar with the keyboard, and there it goes.

Well back to my story, I had an ultimate communication experience as promised with a very healthy conversation with plans to market this product here in Pakistan besides knowing these guys well. They became my friends and you can see how happy we all are, in this picture.

And that all was just because of this incredible UBIDUO, a gateway to friendship

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Democracy for Kids @ LC Karachi

On International Day of Democracy, The coordinator briefed the children about LCK-resources & activities. He shared the web presentation with kids, highlighting the main ingredients that makes democracy work, facts of congress like early congress, dealing with diversity, passing laws, citizen participation, Legislators & their duties etc. The children were brainstormed about the role of individuals, representatives, and how to advocate for their rights.

An interesting comparative part was the house mouse vs senate mouse presentation with a look on an imaginary society of mice settles differences in the legislative branch of its Rodent Republic. Children were very much amused with this part of the presentation. Then these kids learn how to make a difference in society with their active participation. They also learned about the three levels of government and the type of issues these levels deal with. The students were briefed about the impact of government on their life through a segment: Government affect my life.

Another interesting part of the program was a skype conference live from Turkey with Mr. Robert Bixler, Ex-Director, Community Development in United States, who shared how a layman US citizen enjoys the democracy in United States. The children were very happy with this interaction and engaged in an interactive discussion on democracy, Children with leadership skills have been selected to participate in a role play for public advocacy

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Thanks to IVLP program

As a Lincoln Corner Coordinator, I in capacity with International Visitor Leadership Program IVLP Alumni, Celebrated MLK Service Day by Volunteering my expertise as a Librarian in VM Public School library & mentored library periods of different secondary & higher secondary classes, to provide them an improved approach to access the library & its resources by sharing with them, how children use libraries in the USA.

Every day, in each 30 minutes period with every class, I assessed the static library access & studies by the children; then visited each group in the session and questioned them individually what they are doing & how they access the library and inquired the library resources. I also shared some tips on how they can improve their library access by adapting focused studies & assignments and told them how libraries work in an interactive mode in United States. To bring them into an interactive mode, I also assigned them some queries & encouraged them to explore their library for resources to find answers.

The purpose of this activity with more than 150 students was to benefit these children with individual level mentoring service and previously static library became more interactive with my firsthand experience of US libraries. I also shared with them some background information on MLK Day & volunteer services in America and encouraged them to develop some group activities to re-organize their school library. THANKS TO IVLP program

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