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Visiting Librarians: Shendoa Guirguis

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Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt


OACIS Intern, June 2005

Shenoda Nabil Attalla Guirguis is the second of the two software engineers from the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, in Egypt, who will be doing their internship at the Library this summer.

Like his predecessor Halosy, whose efferscent personality still resonates in the halls and corridors of This Old Library, Shenoda will be working on the OACIS project funded by the US Department of Education.

Like Halosy, too, he was born and raised in the “Pearl of the Mediterranean” and holds a B.Sc. in Computers and Automatic Control from the Alexandria University. He is expected to receive his master’s degree in Computer Science in September 2005.

Since 2001 he has been working in the Database Management Unit of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, as part of a team responsible for building the Library’s digital environment.

If Shenoda were allowed to do only three things in life, he would choose (in this order) spiritual activities, study and research, and sports.

The second category includes low-level system programming, especially for academic purposes, something that he likes to do while listening to classical music—Johann Strauss II is his fav composer at the moment—as well as Middle Eastern popular stars like Mohamed Abel Wahab, modern Egypt's best known singer and composer, and the Iraqi superstar Kazem El Saher.

He also loves painting and literature (in his younger and more vulnerable years he has written short stories and some poetry, but that was before he discovered the poetry of programming), and carpentry.

In addition to playing basketball and soccer, he likes to swim in the sea and his idea of a great time outdoors is to swim to a little island about 300 yards from Alexandria’s popular Miami Beach. A lover of picnics, either on the beach or in a park, Shenoda is attracted to open spaces and has a distinct fear of enclosed or confined areas (although he hasn’t complained about his windowless office under the Sterling nave, out of politeness we must assume).

At This Old Library, Shenoda will finish the work on the Digital Viewer started by Halosy. His other tasks include creating a data structure and the accompanying set of interactive workflow forms to be used while scanning for adding the metadata that will describe each item scanned. The programs that control the Digital Viewer use the metadata to control display and navigation. In addition, Shenoda will help Elizabeth Beaudin, OACIS Technical Administrator, to create some automated scripts to interpret MARC data from the OACIS partners prior to loading this data into the OACIS system.