March 30, 2017

Amed Demirhan | Movers & Shakers 2014 — Advocates



American University of Nigeria, Yola, Adamawa

MALIS, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, 2000

FOLLOW, VISIT, LEARN; @AUNLibrary; @ademirhan

Photo © 2014 Michael Pilla

E-Library Builder

In 2011, Amed Demirhan took on his second library-building mission: the American University of Nigeria (AUN) in Yola, the capital city of Adamawa, a largely rural state on Nigeria’s northeast border, where educational opportunities are limited. His task was to reinvent the young but traditional library as a 21st-century facility.

Demirhan knows how to work in challenging conditions. In 2006 he established the academic library at the University of Kurdistan-Hewler in Erbil, Iraq, the country’s first independent English-language university. For five years he oversaw that library’s resources, staff, and budget.

Within a year of arriving at AUN, Demirhan had completely revitalized the library. He trained the local staff, increased library services, hours, and space, and educated faculty on its new resources. Vitally, he also provided a new vision—“99 percent of your library is electronic.”

Demirhan’s AUN e-Library Project expanded the library’s collection of ebooks from 1,889 to 45,442. He halved the number of print items but increased the overall number of items by more than 200 percent. He replaced a suite of library equipment—scanner, desktop computer, laptop, copier, video camera—with a smartphone. He introduced mobile reference services and developed library apps.

Demirhan’s vision is also policy: since 2012, the library does not buy print material unless it is required by the Nigerian National Accreditation Commission (NUC), or for curriculum needs if an e-version doesn’t exist.

For these results, Demirhan was awarded an American Library Association Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Project (2013) and an award from the Committee of University Librarians of Nigerian Universities (2012).

Fluent in English, Kurdish, Swedish, and Turkish; functional in Spanish; and literate in Arabic, Demirhan has trained hundreds of people on modern library practices. In his two years in Nigeria, he’s taught some 200 educators, librarians, and administrators how to locate and critically evaluate online learning resources (including e-textbooks), both proprietary and open access. He truly speaks the language of libraries.

5 Essentials For Creating Community-Centered Libraries
Coding Program WorkshopThis deep dive online course beginning on April 19 is designed to impact all staff and stakeholders from front line staff to the director’s chair. We’ll provide a step-by-step guide to turn your community engagement ideas into a powerful roadmap for setting direction, measuring outcomes, and leading your community.
Professional Development for Today’s Librarian
LJ Profesional Development logoStay ahead of innovations and changes impacting the library profession with timely resources and tools from Library Journal and School Library Journal. Staff and stakeholders from all settings and at all levels can participate in hands-on live workshops, enroll in immersive online courses led by leading industry professionals, and access insightful webcasts covering a range of relevant topics.


  1. We are all very proud of the work Amed has done at AUN as well as in our surrounding community.
    Dr. Margee Ensign, AUN

  2. Tom Sloan says:

    Amed is an excellent choice! His vision and leadership has advanced library services and international librarianship.

  3. Amed is a strategic thinker and extremely knowledgeable in library matters. he is really good at his work and his achievements speak for him.

  4. Nothing new there. It is all propaganda. All major universities have e-library.