The Lebanese Library Association (LLA) was founded in Beirut in 1960. Its aim was to improve the standard of libraries and librarians and to encourage scientific and literary research in Lebanon. Since then, LLA organized and held conferences, seminars and book fairs. It also helped improve exchange of experiences and information among libraries. LLA set its own internal laws to facilitate and improve its work at the national and international levels.
Since LLA’s establishment, several of its founders assumed office; among them, Mr.Wassef Baroudy, Head Cataloger of the National Library, Mgr. Aghnatious Abdou khalife, Editor of the “Al Mashrek” magazine at the time, Mr. Ibrahim Mouawad Librarian, Central Library at the Lebanese University, Mr. Fawzi Abu Haidar, Head of Cataloguing at the American University of Beirut Jafet Library, Mr. Maarouf Rafe’h, Head Librarian at the British Council Library and Mrs. Leila Mirhij Hanhan Medical Librarian of Saab Medical Library at (AUB).
LLA suspended its activities in 1975 at the start of the Lebanese war and resumed work in 1990. At the time, Mr. Rafe’h was elected president and maintained this post until 1996, when Mrs. Aida Naaman, Head Librarian at the Lebanese American University (LAU) Beirut campus took over for the following four years. In March 2000, Mr. Fauz Abdallah, Library Director at LAU Byblos Campus was elected president for two years.
Since its foundation, LLA became a member of the International Federation of the Library Association (IFLA), and attended all its annual meetings held in different countries. LLA also attends all annual conferences of the Arab Federation for Libraries and Information (AFLI).
Among LLA’s activities, is its contribution to the adoption of the program of Librarianship and Documentation for high schools and universities. It also contributed in setting the curriculum for the Faculty of Information and Documentation at the Lebanese University and at Technical schools.
LLA also contributed in setting the librarianship for the Youth Women Christian Association (YWCA), and some of its members taught the program at YWCA, BUC, now LAU, the Lebanese University and some technical schools.
The Lebanese Government approached LLA more than once to set Entrance Exam questions for the Documentation Program and to correct them.
The last ten years witnessed an increase in LLA activities by organizing seminars on various topics, (like indexing, classification, digitization, automation, quality assurance) and helped in revitalizing the National Library project. LLA publishes a quarterly Newsletter.
(This article was partly translated from Arabic where it was originally published in Alesco 7/6/1984.)
The mission of the Lebanese Library Association (LLA) is to upgrade the standards of libraries and their staff and to enhance the overall conditions of libraries in Lebanon. This is accomplished by providing leadership for the development of professional competence of its members through updating them on the latest and best practices of library services. Enhancing access to information as a right to all citizens and encouraging reading, plus establishing of public libraries and developing research on librarianship are other concerns of the LLA. The Lebanese Library Association is committed to fostering freedom of thought and expression. It believes and promotes the sharing of information resources on national, regional and international levels.
The Objectives of the Lebanese Library Association (LLA) as a national organization representing libraries and library employees is to:
1. Bring its members into closer working relations with each other and foster their growth, to support,
2. Improve libraries and librarianship by advancing the profession of librarians,
3. Assist librarians in defining and interpreting the proper role and function of libraries, and
3. Cooperate and collaborate with regional or international organizations having similar purposes.