12 August 2013 – CABI has created the Middle East Library Advisory Board (MELAB) to better facilitate communication, consultation and liaison between CABI and its library customers in the Middle East.

MELAB will act as a forum to gather feedback from CABI’s key Middle Eastern customers on a range of issues, including current and future publishing products. Discussions will focus on the content of CABI’s portfolio of products, including its world renowned databases, books, internet resources and compendia, as well as review:

  • • specific local user content expectations and needs

  • • current market trends and the latest advances

  • • ease of information discovery

  • • industry standards’ compliance

  • • international networking using blogs and discussion groups

  • • open access

  • • services and tools

  • • training

MELAB has gradually been established over 2013, holding its introductory meeting in April 2013 at the Gulf SLA conference in Abu Dhabi. Key librarians from the region gathered for the meeting, all of whom were invited to join MELAB as board members. Based on confirmations received so far, MELAB membership includes leading librarians from Iraq, Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates. Representation from across the Middle East will be broadened over time.

CABI’s first MELAB meeting is scheduled to take place during the next Gulf SLA conference at the end of March 2014 in Qatar. There, CABI will present MELAB members with news about product developments and open up discussions for members to talk about key issues of interest. Based on the feedback gathered, the MELAB board, which is drawn from the academic, government and corporate sectors, will guide the future direction of this new forum. The Board will meet formally once every year, ideally in conjunction with a library conference in the region.

The Library Advisory Board model has been a central one for CABI, ensuring customer needs remain at the forefront of its strategies. Talking about the goal of MELAB, Krassimira Anguelova, Regional Sales Manager, Central and Eastern Europe, CIS and Middle East, said, “This is a key forum for us to understand the needs of our Middle Eastern customers. The diverse spread of members across different market sectors and subject areas will provide us with a great range of insights and opinions. MELAB is the perfect platform for feedback and discussion on our products, services and future development objectives. We look forward to working with the members.”

MELAB is part of a broader worldwide network of Advisory Boards set up by CABI, which includes the North American Library Advisory Board (NALAB), the Chinese Library Advisory Board (CLAB) and the European Library Advisory Board (EuroLAB).