Librarians discuss benefits of big data
MUSCAT: The 24th Annual Conference and Exhibition of the Special Libraries Association Arabian Gulf Chapter 2018 commenced at Grand Millennium Hotel Muscat on Tuesday under the patronage of Dr Abdullah bin Nasser al Harrasi, Chairman of the Public Authority for Radio and Television.
The three-day conference, focusing on the theme ‘Big Data and its investment prospects: the way towards knowledge integration’ is organised by the Special Libraries Association Arabian Gulf Chapter (SLA-AGC), in association with the Department of Information Studies of the College of Arts and Social Sciences at Sultan Qaboos University. The conference features 50 working papers and 100 speakers from Oman and other countries.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the conference, Nasser Mohammed Ali, President of SLA-AGC, said that it is necessary to sustain the development of library and information professionals to meet the current and future needs of the information age. “The Special Libraries Association-Arabian Gulf Chapter had realised the importance of developing the skills and aptitudes of the librarians and information specialists in order to provide high quality services to researchers and readers. The SLA-AGC emphasised professionalism in the library work in terms of elevating the required qualifications and organising specialised workshops
and the annual conference to bring the profession of a librarian to a higher level. I hope that this conference would reflect a wide spectrum to knowledge with diverse dimensions and disciplines,” he said.
Dr Mohammed bin Ali al Balushi, Dean of the College of Arts and Social Sciences at SQU, reviewed the role of Sultan Qaboos University in providing sources and information services to researchers and students and providing them with various means of technology.
The main library at SQU serves all researchers in the Sultanate and is linked to regional and international databases and scientific resources. Over the past
30 years, the university has sought to train specialists in the field of information studies through the Department of Information Studies at the College of Arts and Social Sciences, he mentioned.
In his address, Dr Nabhan bin Harith al Harrasi, Elected President, SLA Arabian Gulf Chapter and Chair of the Organising Committee of the Conference, said that the rapid growth of information and communication technologies and the huge amount of data that is generated every single minute make managing it more difficult and more complicated than ever before.
At the national scale, the benefit of these data is determined by the degree of success in dealing with it and making it relevant to the needs of the people and the strategic plans of the country. Currently, we are witnessing an unprecedented revolution in data production; therefore, providing proper infrastructure and advanced electronic systems that guarantee good management of information has become very crucial in order to get the most out of these data, he observed.
Dr Nabhan further said that the conference would explore the possibility of making use of manipulating big data in the economy and for sustainable development. It will also discuss a number of interrelated issues such as strategic planning, decision making and the future of the information industry. “As has been the case in the previous conferences, this conference will place particular focus on understanding the identity of information studies in light of the vast and massive production of information. Experiences and practices in dealing with big data, especially in the Gulf countries will be given special attention in order to evaluate them,” he added.
Oman among top countries for investment
06/03/2018 Samuel Kutty
The Sultanate has been ranked the 10th best country in the world to invest by the US News & World Report 2018.
The rankings evaluated 80 countries from a survey of more than 21,000 global citizens, measuring 75 dimensions that have the potential to drive trade, travel & investment, and directly affect national economies.
The other countries on the top 10 list are Indonesia, Poland, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Spain, Thailand and India.
The only Arab country to be ranked among the best countries for investment,
Oman scores for its economic stability, tax environment, innovation, skilled labour, technological expertise, dynamism and zero tolerance to corruption, among others.
“Oman is a high income country that generates 84 per cent of its revenue from oil
resources. The country has a stable monetary policy and infrastructure programme providing the best climate for investments”, said the report.
For the rankings, the American media company focused on
just eight of the 65 attributes: entrepreneurship, economic stability, favourable tax environment, innovation, skilled labour, technological expertise, dynamism and corruption.
Responses from over 6,000 survey participants — who act as decision makers in business around
the globe — were then used to determine the ranking.