Carmen Al-Ayoubi has directed the ACOR Library since 1988. Under her stewardship the ACOR library has grown from a modest collection of fewer than 3,000 books to what is today one of the best libraries in Jordan with a collection of nearly 50,000 books and journals.
Carmen Al-Ayoubi grew up in Peru, the first generation born of Japanese immigrants. She attended university in Peru and then continued her studies and Indiana University in the USA. Before moving to Jordan, Carmen worked at the Indiana University Library as an assistant to the Bibliographer of the Latin American Studies department, Mrs. Emma C. Simonson. Carmen and her husband moved to Amman, Jordan in 1975. In the late 1970’s Carmen worked as a librarian at the University of Jordan with Dr. Kamel Al-Assali.Carmen has an M.SC in Library Information Sciences and an M.Sc. in Education from Indiana University and a B.A. in Philosophy from the Catholic University of Peru.
There is a history of the ACOR Library available in the ACOR Newsletter Vol. 20.1 (Summer 2008). Humi wrote a short article there and her text is presented again below:
“One of the best things about the ACOR Library is the ongoing impact it has on scholarship in Jordan. The library has played a variety of roles in the Jordanian academic community throughout its history. Our facilities are regularly used by both faculty and students from a lot of the Jordanian universities, as well as by members of the Department of Antiquities. The ACOR Library provides Jordanians not only with access to research materials not available elsewhere in the kingdom, but also a place to mingle with students and scholars from all around the world.
During my years as the librarian, it is as a meeting place between cultures that the ACOR Library has played a vital role. Every year more and more Jordanian students and teachers come to use the library. Both the collection itself and the chance to interact with foreign scholars often influence them greatly. Their world is thus expanded, and they frequently begin to have access to new possibilities and a global perspective. This influence is not just one way. The foreign researchers benefit just as much from these encounters.
We have had many Jordanian student volunteers in the library since it opened. Oftentimes, they come to work with little or no vision of what their futures could be. It has been extremely gratifying that several of these volunteers, mostly female, have gone on with their education and achieved doctoral degrees. Some of them are now teaching at major local universities, and one woman even has an important job with the newly created Jordan Museum.
We hope students will continue to come to the ACOR Library and find here the motivation and encouragement to continue with their higher education. The greatest vision we can have is to play a role in helping them achieve these goals, which will not only contribute to their own betterment, but also to that of Jordan itself.”