Conference Information

The 2016 annual meeting will take place November 15th-17th in Boston, MA on the campus of MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

Confirmed time and meeting places are as follows:

  • Tuesday, 11/15, 8:00am-5:00pm, MIT, Media Lab (E14 MPR-674), 75 Amherst Street, Cambridge
  • Wednesday, 11/16, 8:00am-5:00pm, MIT, Bartos Theater (E15 00LA), 20 Ames Street, Cambridge
  • Thursday (Vendor Showcase), 11/17, 9am-12nn, Boston Marriott Copley Place, Simmons (4)

Please be on the look out for more updates and announcements.

*** Annual Meeting Call for Papers ***

Partnerships: Enhancing Opportunities is this year’s theme for the annual Middle East Librarians Association (MELA) meeting. The meeting will be hosted by the Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT, and will take place at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA, 15-17 November 2016.

Middle East librarians, and more generally Area Studies librarians, have a long history of cooperation and partnerships. Indeed, it is through partnerships that programs such as the Middle East Cooperative Acquisitions Program (MECAP), and the Center for Research Libraries’ (CRL) Middle East Materials Project (MEMP) developed. These programs have been instrumental for our communities, the research being conducted, and highlight some of the larger initiatives that have taken place over the years. Other large scale projects have made collections available digitally encouraging and enabling new avenues of scholarship. The profusion of digital humanities projects being created highlights the ever-changing ways in which scholars interact with each other, scholarship is produced, and is providing enhanced opportunities for long-distance and international partnerships.

Partnering with institutions to further our goals as a community is essential; we invite papers of no more than 20 minutes exploring historical and contemporary partnerships. Preference will be given to partnerships with libraries (or museums) in the MENA region.

Presentations dedicated to investigating, analyzing, and discussing the opportunities, challenges, and experiences with all types of partnerships are welcome, including but not limited to:

  • Community building
  • Collection development
  • Rights, rules, and regulations of multi-party ownership
  • Resource sharing
  • Digitization practices
  • Documentation practices
  • Negotiating standards
  • Enhancing metadata for accessibility across platforms
  • Reciprocal agreements for shared materials

Submission guidelines:

  • Proposals should be a maximum of 250 words.
  • Please send your proposals to in a word document.
  • Proposals will be reviewed by the Program Committee.
  • Proposals must include a title and clearly demonstrate relevancy to this year’s theme, Partnerships: Enhancing opportunities.
  • Submission deadline is 31 August 2016.
  • Session format is a 30 minute presentation (20 minute presentation with 10 minutes for questions).


  • All submitters will be notified by 21 September 2016.
  • All presenters will be asked to submit a brief biography (max 100 words), a photograph, and an abbreviated abstract to be published in the program and posted on the MELA website.
  • All presenters will be asked to make their presentation available on the conference website.

While MELA is not in a position to pay honoraria or provide financial support for travel and lodging, we will waive program registration fees for presenters. Presenters are expected to be full paid MELA members.