---   What is PILOT?

PILOT (Public Inter-Library Online Technology) is a shared Arabic-English cataloguing platform for small, specialized collections housed at civil society organizations, professional practices and private collections across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region developed by CLUSTER (Cairo Lab for Urban Studies, Training and Environmental Research). PILOT currently networks together the libraries of 30+ initiatives in Cairo, Alexandria, Amman, Beirut, Tunis, and Tangier. PILOT is an online bibliographic platform, which seeks to provide free and public access to specialized library collections throughout the MENA region.

---   How to join PILOT?

If your organization has a library collection you wish to make accessible to the public, you may join PILOT as a member library. While it is free to join PILOT, the following commitments are required:
To contribute to PILOT all current metadata and holdings information representing items in your collection.
To participate in PILOT trainings to create bibliographic records and related data consistent with established guidelines maintained by PILOT. PILOT adopts a universal cataloguing system (Library of Congress) while supporting supplementary cataloguing systems that may have been previously adopted by member organizations.
To join PILOT, please send an email requesting membership to with the follow information:
Description of the organization
Description of the library and its collections
Library/Organization location
Contact information

---   What are the subjects that PILOT libraries cover?

PILOT covers many subjects, with an emphasis on art, cinema, architecture and urbanism. Subjects included in PILOT include art, architecture, urbanism, humanities and social sciences, cinema, visual arts, history, philosophy, photography, literature, and more.

---   What types of materials are included in PILOT?

There are different types of materials in PILOT collections. For example: in Cairo, Cimatheque’s collection includes books in various languages covering different facets of film, including production, screenwriting and directing, as well as history and theory. CLUSTER’s library is a focused architecture/urbanism collection, including books, maps, technical reports and periodicals and magazines covering architecture and architectural history. artellewa’s library has a large collection of video and audio cassettes, in addition to digital audio-visual materials and a collection of important books in the fields of culture and art. The Janet Abu-Lughod Library (JAL) in Amman includes books, DVD, periodicals and from the fields of urban sociology, political theory, race, gender and urban politics, migration, globalization, city planning, Islamic cities, and more. The library of the Arab Image Foundation (AIF) in Beirut includes books in a number of languages with a concentration on photography, art history, artist books, monographs, exhibition catalogues and more.

---   Who are the end-users of PILOT?

Researchers and public users may make use of PILOT to search for works in PILOT libraries’ collections.

---   Can I borrow a book?

To read a book in a PILOT library, users need to visit the member library. The lending policies in each library may differ. Some libraries in the PILOT system are non-circulating. For information concerning circulation policies and special collections for specific PILOT libraries, please contact the relevant library in PILOT.

---   What are the donation procedures for PILOT?

If you are interested in supporting the PILOT imitative through the donation of a collection of books or other materials, or wish to make a monetary donation to PILOT to enhance and expand its collections, facilities and services, please contact the PILOT administrator at:

---   What languages are in the PILOT collections?

PILOT collections currently include the following languages: English, Arabic, French, German, and Spanish.

---   If I have a question, how do I ask a librarian?

You can ask a librarian a question by writing to: