The Arabic Union Catalog (AUC) is a collaboratively nonprofit project which mainly aims to establish a collaborative environment for Arab libraries and to reduce the cost of cataloging Arabic information resources by sharing cataloging. This guarantees to standardize cataloging practices in Arab libraries and conform to international standards in the bibliographic description. As a result, the level of bibliographic processing in Arab libraries will be developed, which, consequently, will positively impact distributing the Arabic book and introducing the Arab-Islamic culture. This project depends on high-quality records offered to libraries inside and outside the Arab World, enabling users to access the specific Arabic information resource easily.
The initiative of establishing the Arabic Union Catalog:
Due to the utmost importance of this project and the long delay in implementing this project as a part of the collaborative framework between the Arabic libraries, despite the entrenched convictions of the importance of this project and the repeated appeals to implement it, King Abdul Aziz Public Library has initiated this role. King Abdul Aziz Public Library is a leading library in collaborative work and always starts with works that preserve and disseminate Arabic heritage. The library is always supported by huge financial and moral aid by its founder, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz; God rest his soul, which contributes to its outstanding services in the world of thought and culture.
Operation and development:
To guarantee the effectiveness of implementing the project, professionally introducing its services, flexibly executing it, and rapidly managing and reducing its costs, the development, implementation, and operation of this project have been entrusted to Naseej. This leading Arab company specializes in library and information science and mechanizes hundreds of large Arabic libraries.
Naseej has extensive professional experience in mechanizing libraries and treating Arabic cataloging records and changing them into standard formats. Nassej also has distinguished experiences in marketing and support services for Arabic libraries and good relations with many Arabic libraries. Naseej has participated for a long time in workshops and symposiums which discussed developing unified Arabic standards. The company also has the enthusiasm to implement this project guided by its belief in its great importance of it.
The First Stage:
It lasted for ten years, from 2007 to 2017 and involved the development of the technical processing aspect of the Arab information resource. The development included standardizing and unifying practices, bibliographic control, and relying on catalogs according to the latest international standards in the field. The cooperative cataloging culture was also promoted, and the catalog was able to achieve excellent results, represented by:
- The established cataloging community comprises approximately of 5,000 libraries belonging to 500 entities from 27 countries.
- Over two million unique records are contained in the standardized and comprehensive Arabic leaders’ bibliographic data that were established.
- Create and regulate five authority files containing over 1,000,000 standardized and unified authority entries, including over 500,000 personal names and 300,000 subject headings.
- The catalog processed over 3,000,000 records for the benefit of its members.
- Downloading over 1,000,000 records to their local catalogs.
- An Arab professional library was established, aided by publishing numerous bibliographic and authority guides through translation and authoring efforts.
The Second stage:
The second stage began in 2017, during which the catalog aspires to provide new services and added value to its members, aiming to transform into a "knowledge platform." The catalog will offer a range of knowledge services designed to empower its members to serve their communities better, thus improving its library members' cultural and intellectual impact by providing new, high-quality services. The catalog also seeks to reinforce the firm conviction that its members are part of the catalog and that any success and creativity of the catalog is a success and creativity for its members.
The Catalog's Mission:
The AUC works hand in hand with its members to build an information services portal that enables them to add more creative value to their society. In addition, by establishing a flexible, cooperative organization that is efficient and valuable, their community can achieve more significant cultural and knowledge participation.
The Catalog's Vision:
Our aim is to make the Arab Union Catalog (AUC) a platform on which knowledge services related to Arab culture can be provided.
The catalog promises:
- Contributing to enhancing Arab heritage and culture's role in society's development.
- Assuring that the organization continues to provide leadership and intellectual innovation to meet the needs and aspirations of its members.
- Providing high-quality technical services to our members at a reasonable cost.
- Providing the means possible to deeply understand members' libraries' needs to provide services and meet those needs.
- Supporting the development of libraries by assisting its librarians in providing their community with services and enhancing their collections.
- Developing the science of information and libraries and providing members with the best global practices in these fields.
- Committing to the highest quality standards, without any compromise, for each service provided by the catalog.