Monday, December 5, 2022

NLA to hold two seminars during KIBF

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The National Library Association (NLA) will be holding a couple of seminars during the upcoming Karachi International Book Fair (KIBF) which will run for five successive days at the Karachi Expo Centre from December 8 to 12. 

A meeting of the NLA Executive Committee, chaired by its President, Syed Muzaffar Ali Shah, was held at the Bahria University on December 2 in which matters related to the KIBF were deliberated at length. 

It was decided that the NLA seminar ‘Opportunities in Librarianship Career’ on December 10 will be followed by the one on ‘Challenges in Digital Librarianship’ on December 11. 

Farheen Mahmood, Vice President, NLA, and Mahjabeen Ali, Member Executive Committee, NLA, both of whom were in attendance during the meeting, were confirmed as the speakers for the first seminar in which both the seasoned librarians will be sharing their impressions and experiences. 

Syed Khalid Mahmood, Advisor, NLA, and Anwar Hussain, Secretary General, NLA, were also present in the meeting alongwith other office-bearers and committee members.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

NLA President warmly greeted at Sachal Sarmast Library in Khairpur

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The President of the National Library Association (NLA), Syed Muzaffar Ali Shah, was warmly greeted by the Director as well as the support staff during his recent visit to the Sachal Sarmast Library housed in Sindh’s historic city of Khairpur. 

Ghulam Sarwar Channar, serving as Director of the Sachal Sarmast Sindh Government Library working under the Directorate General of the Public Libraries Sindh, Culture, Tourism, Antiquities & Archive Department of the Government of Sindh, personally welcomed the NLA President and they exchanged views for quite some time. 

The NLA President was appreciative of the enthusiasm of Sarwar Chanar, who had done MLIS from the University of Sindh Jamshoro in 2006 before starting his career as librarian at the HITEC Taxila Cantt later the same year. He had also worked as Junior Librarian at the National Library of Pakistan from January 2008 to October 2011.

“It was great to speak to the Director of the Sachal Sarmast Sindh Government Library, who shared the vision of our Association for work collectively to achieve our mutual objectives,” the Muzaffar Ali Shah noted after having presented a book to him on behalf of NLA.

Monday, November 14, 2022

NLA announce scholarships, cash awards

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The National Library Association (NLA), in its Executive Committee held in Karachi on November 12, has approved scholarships on merit-cum-need basis for the students pursuing BLIS/MLIS courses at any university besides presenting cash awards to the high-achievers in examinations.

“The objective of both the decisions is to promote and encourage the aspiring library professionals who are going to serve the nation in the future years,” Syed Muzaffar Ali Shah, President, NLA, informed PNFS in a brief chat after having chaired the meeting on November 12.

“The modalities for both these awards are being worked out and the decisions will be announced publicly soon ahead of the admissions for the new batches at various universities which are scheduled to start in January 2023,” the NLA President disclosed. 

“Indeed it’s a landmark decision which is going to send positive vibes in the community of librarians and library activists all over the country. We desire to do much more for our professionals that would be immensely helpful in reviving the reading culture in our society,” he hoped. 

The NLA meeting, held at its headquarters in Karachi, was presided over by Muzaffar Ali Shah and attended by Advisor, Syed Khalid Mahmood, Secretary General, Anwar Hussain, Zubair Jameel and Sabeen Fatima besides others.

Renowned scholar assures support to NLA

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Famous scholar Ghazi Salahuddin, who has also been a former provincial minister, has assured his unstinted support to the National Library Association (NLA) whose three-member delegation called on him at his Karachi residence of November 12.

“It’s a matter of great satisfaction to observe the NLA having worked this hard with minimal resources during its five-year old journey. I am really impressed by the highest level of commitment shown by its leaders and advisors,” he complimented. 

The NLA delegation led by its President, Syed Muzaffar Ali Shah, with Advisor, Syed Khalid Mahmood, and Secretary General, Anwar Hussain, being there too, apprised the former Sindh Minister about the various challenges being confronted by the Association. 

Ghazi Salahuddin, who has himself set up a library of historic and rare books at his premises, while praising the resilience of the NLA leadership, pledged to extend his fullest support in overcoming the obstacles to achieve the mutual objective of promoting library culture in the country. 

He escorted the NLA officials to his personal library where some of the important books present on the shelves were discussed. Later the NLA office-bearers presented a copy of Jumbo Karachi Guide to the former Sindh Minister who admired it.

Monday, October 31, 2022

NLA, DMC officials undertake whirlwind tour of Nazimabad libraries

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Key officials of the National Library Association (NLA) and the District Municipal Corporation (DMC), Karachi Central, undertook a whirlwind tour of three libraries housed in the densely populated locality of Nazimabad which has had a rich history of producing literary stalwarts, international athletes and acclaimed intellectuals besides high-achievers in various other fields. 

The NLA delegation comprised of its President, Syed Muzaffar Ali Shah, and Advisor, Syed Khalid Mahmood, while Saleem Ahmed Siddiqui, Director Libraries, DMC Central, led his team. Together, they visited Sehba Akhtar Library, Allama Shabbir Ahmed Usmani Library and Al-Huda Library on October 31.

“It was a great experience to have visited these libraries after quite a while and spending some time there. We interacted with the staff of duty to find out firsthand about the challenges being faced by them in carrying out their responsibilities,” the NLA President remarked in a conversation with PNFS later in the evening.

“It was gladdening to discover the high spirits of the librarians and the support staff despite working in an environment which was far from ideal. They deserve praise for having braved all the challenges over the years and survived the toughest of circumstances. They remain optimistic about change of heart of the authorities at some point of time,” Muzaffar Ali Shah added.

“The visit to these libraries has brought to light the fact that there’s adequate space available almost everywhere which sadly wasn’t being utilized in the desired manner. These libraries have the potential to become the centres of learning in their respective areas if the concerned authorities make a point to do so,” the NLA President reckoned.

“The engagement of the DMC Central in activities aimed at upgrading its 11 libraries augurs very well for the future of the citizens of Karachi who are known to be laborious, educated and hardworking. More facilities should be provided at these libraries to bring about real change,” he opined. 

“The NLA remains committed to play its due role in promoting library culture and we are delighted to have joined hands with DMC Central in achieving our mutual objectives. Together we can make greater impact as we plan to take other stakeholders on board too for fast-tracking the project of revival of 11 libraries in Karachi Central,” Muzaffar Ali Shah felt.

Meanwhile the NLA Advisor, Syed Khalid Mahmood, was pleasantly surprised to find one of his books 'Pakistan's Triumph in World Cup Cricket 1992' prominently displayed on the shelf of Sehba Akhtar Library.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Aziz Memon creates history; first Pakistani elected as International Council ESU President

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Aziz Memon, a renowned entrepreneur and philanthropist, created history of sorts when he was elected as the President of the International Council of English Speaking Union (ESU) for the term 2022-2024 during its ICM held at Hotel Pearl Continental, Karachi, on October 29. 

Already having quite a few feathers in his cap, Aziz Memon, blessed with outstanding leadership qualities, was unanimously elected as the new International Council ESU President with the chapters from Bangladesh having proposed and seconded him. The ESU has over 90 chapters in 54 Commonwealth countries.

Besides the presence of foreign delegates in the board room, numerous other countries were represented via zoom and all of them nodded in favour of Aziz Memon. His name was greeted by a big round of applause when Jane Easton, Director General, ESU and Secretary General, ESU International Council, announced his name for the coveted slot. 

In his acceptance speech, Aziz Memon vowed to work across the continents for the cause of ESU. Feeling humbled, he declared his availability to all the ESU chapters as he also expressed his desired to personally visit different countries from time to time. He spoke about replicating the two-tier model of Pakistan and Chile for other ESU chapters as well. 

The passionate devotion to the cause of ESU Pakistan has made the ESU International to recognize the contributions of Aziz Memon. This office is deemed highly prestigious and much sought after owing to its connections with the British Royal Family with Princess Anne being its Patron. 

Aziz Memon is a successful Pakistani entrepreneur who specializes in textiles and Chairman of Kings Group of Companies. In June 2020, he was elected as Trustee of the Rotary Foundation for a period of four years. In fact, it had taken 92 years for a Pakistani to acquire this position, an achievement that has been widely applauded. 

He is a member of the International PolioPlus Committee and Chairman of the Pakistan National PolioPlus Committee. In addition, he is also the Chair of the Trust for Malnutrition and Stunted Growth. 

He has excelled in matters of social welfare and he has been globally recognized for his altruistic commitment to myriad social issues. He is deeply committed to eradicating polio from Pakistan and has been the leading representative of Rotary International in Pakistan. 

Aziz Memon is the Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Suriname and President of the United Memon Jamat of Pakistan. The major awards he has received include President of Pakistan’s Pride of Performance, Recognition by USA Congressman Hon Daniel M Donovan Jr. and Louis Pasteur Medal by France. His Rotary awards include Service Above Self Award, International Service Award for Polio-Free World, Regional Service Award for Polio-Free World, Distinguished Service Award and Rotary Foundation Citation for Meritorious Service.

Monday, October 24, 2022

NLA donates medical books to Taimuriya Library

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The National Library Association (NLA) presented a donation package of medical books to the Taimuriya Library, housed in Karachi’s bustling area of North Nazimabad. The books were arranged through the courtesy the NLA’s senior member, Najma Sultana. 

The handing over ceremony was held during the joint meeting of the NLA and the District Municipal Corporation (DMC) Karachi Central at the Taimuriya Library, on October 22. 

The NLA delegation led by its President, Syed Muzaffar Ali Shah, also featured its Advisor, Syed Khalid Mahnmood, Vice President, Farheen Mahmood, Secretary General, Anwar Hussain and senior member, Najma Sultana, while Saleem Ahmed Siddiqui, Director Libraries, headed the DMC Central side. 

Saleem Siddiqui, Director Libraries, DMC Central, thanked the NLA leadership for arranging the donation of medical books which would be very useful to these users of the Taimuriya Library where a large number of students turned up on daily basis. 

Speaking on behalf of the NLA, its Advisor Syed Khalid Mahmood appreciated the enthusiasm of the DMC Central functionaries in promoting library culture and he expressed the hope that together they would succeed in improving the facilities at all the 11 libraries of the district.