Yossra Mohammed Abdul Qadir, who is in her final year at the University of Science and Technology's College of Humanities and Social Sciences in Sanaa, has in recent months taken up a new resource as she works on her graduation project: The National Information Centre's new digital library.
Abdul Qadir told Al-Shorfa that the digital library provides rich and useful information for new researchers. In fact, she visited the digital library 10 times in two months only to peruse various abstracts and studies.
Launched in October, the digital library was created to provide access to information to researchers as well as to advance the process of scientific research.
Acting director Abdul Kareem Ali al-Rwaishan told Al-Shorfa that the centre seeks to provide information services for researchers, students and policy-makers.
Users can access approximately 10,000 master's theses and doctoral dissertations in different fields of scientific study, in addition to many thousands of digital books and databases that offer research services through local and international archives.
"Through the digital library, the centre aims to assist researchers in other Yemeni provinces without having to travel to Sanaa, as was the case in the past," he added.
Al-Rwaishan stressed the importance of supporting scientific research and praised the centre's efforts to work with other knowledge centres and universities in Arab and Western countries, as well as with global digital libraries, such as the United States' Library of Congress.
The centre is developing the library by creating a giant digital reading room, he said, adding that the centre is also building several national databases to preserve Yemeni intellectual property, facilitate easy access and guarantee its regular output.
"The digital library seeks to preserve and organise national intellectual production, as well as to develop and build digital content and improve the quality of performance," said Essam al-Ammari, the centre's deputy director general of information services.
Forty specialists are working in teams to organise, categorise and retrieve digital content that has been accumulating over the past years, al-Ammari said.
In addition to allowing access to master's theses and PhD dissertations, the library's policy allows parts of these research documents to be copied while taking into account intellectual property rights, he said.
Library director Alya al-Shami described the facility's transformation, from its inception as a print library in 2001 to the launch of the digital library two months ago.
"The centre seeks to allow access to information through the library's services," she told Al-Shorfa, adding that the centre intends to further develop the library and provide all the electronic equipment needed to offer the best possible services, including multi-lingual capabilities.
Al-Shami told Al-Shorfa the library will soon connect with special databases and university networks, such as the al-Hodeida University network.