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Bibliotheca Alexandrina launches the Arabic edition of MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data

09 Nov 2015

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina inaugurated the 4th International Book Summit by an opening ceremony, launching the Machine Readable Cataloging, MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data, in Arabic, on 6 November 2015. The ceremony started with a speech given by Dr. Ismail Serageldin, Director of Bibliotheca Alexandrina, welcoming the international eminent figures, intellectuals, and library professionals participating in the event, and highlighting the theme of the summit “Books, Reading, and Technology” and the important role translation plays in evolving knowledge and culture. He also stressed the importance of coping with the world library standards; one of which is MARC 21.

Dr. Serageldin then passed the word to Ms. Rehab Ouf, the Director of the Arabic Standards Department, and Manager of the Project of Arabizing MARC 21 Formats. Ms. Ouf emphasized the importance of standardization in the field of Library and Information Science, highlighting MARC 21 as a prominent standard in the field that accommodates latest tools such as Resource Description and Access (RDA) in its continuous updates.

MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data in Arabic is the first full translation, including the latest updates—update 19 with huge selections from updates 20 and 21. The Arabic edition was adapted to Arabic cataloging rules with examples ensuring Arabic coverage from a variety of Arabic library catalogs and authority files. The produced manual has adopted an arrangement and a typography to ease use for catalogers. The printed version will be available for purchase, preceded by a free tailored online version that will be available through the website of the Arabic Library Standards services to be launched shortly. Ms. Ouf concluded her word by dedicating the work to the Arab catalogers, thanking them for their crucial role in universal access to knowledge.

The floor then went to Ms. Lamia Abd Elfattah, the Head of the Library Sector, who thanked the team who had worked on that project to come out with such a world-class Arabic translation for MARC 21, and announced the opening of the Summit of the Book program.

It is worth mentioning that MARC formats are standards by which bibliographic information is documented in a machine–readable form and one of the most important systems in data creation, loading and sharing. The Arabic translation of MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data is to benefit the Arab catalogers, providing them with an international standard in their mother tongue.