2017 Highlights: Life as an Expat Librarian
Alhamdulilah (Thank God). December 2017 marked 8 years of my stint in King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). Yes, it has been 8 years after I made that leap of faith – moving from Singapore to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. During those 8 years, I’ve learnt a lot about expat life over here. One of the things that really stands out is the kind hospitality and generosity of the locals. This, I will never forget. Thank you my friends – you know who you are.
Looking back: I’ve worked with and made a number of friends from different countries; walk of life; varying degrees of work experience and different cultures. We’ve exchanged views, discussed, agreed to disagree; most of the time about work. Coming from different work cultures and working style, we may have different way of executing tasks but in the end we always have a common goal – meeting our user demands and needs at the same time providing them with the best user experience (UX).
Highlights of 2017:
- Getting my paper accepted for SLA AGC Bahrain 2017
- Organizing a panel session on Web Discovery with 2 librarian friends from Duke University, USA and Singapore Management University (SMU).
However, I was not able to attend SLA AGC 2017 due to urgent family commitments. Nevertheless I was happy that it went well.
Thank you Stephen, my colleague, for standing in for me for the panel discussion session.
- Attended User Experience UXLibs III Conference 2017 at Glasgow, UK
- Presented at IGeLU 2017 at St Petersburg, Russia
- Attended IFLA 2017 @ Wroclaw, Poland
Alhamdulillah, I’d like to thank Dr Vijay (KAUST Library Director and Acting Manager) for allowing me to attend these conferences and trainings. The experience had left an indelible mark on my career life. Made new friends, discovered new information and shared know-how with peers. I would also encourage my fellow librarians, if given a chance, to give conference presentations a go. Don’t miss it.
On top of that, I gained knowledge and friendship by participating in international library committees and library boards such as Electronic Resources and Libraies (ER&L), ACM Library Advisory Board, IFLA Asia and Oceania Section as well as IGeLU Summon Product Working Group.
My gratititude also goes out to my parents, my family (esp my wife who has been my bedrock) and close friends. Alhamdulillah. Thank you for hearing my joys and pains. I wouldn’t trade you for anything.
Looking forward to 2018: for new adventures, new discoveries, new inspirations. InshaAllah.
Never forget the 3 important keywords: Patience, Perseverance and Resilience.
2017 Reflections in Pictures:
And here’s to my library comrades: