A general view of a library in Sharjah.
The Sharjah Public Libraries (SPL), an affiliate of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), announced that it will be offering global readers from all age groups free access to its ‘Digital Library’ for three months.
Valid from April to June 2020, the free access will offer global readers more than six million eBooks and electronic resources in more than 10 languages.
The Digital Library comprises 21,000 scientific studies, a library of 30,000 videos in all disciplines, 160,000 eBooks, five million academic dissertations and theses, in addition to a collection of manuscripts, rare books and audiobooks.
Commenting on the announcement, Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA, said, "The move is aligned with the cultural vision of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and offers readers from around the world the opportunity to harness their leisure time in view of the precautionary measures that is being taken. Moreover, it emphasises that reading, learning, research can continue to prosper even under challenging circumstances, given the remarkable opportunities that modern technology offers."
"As Sharjah marks its year as the UNESCO World Book Capital 2019, this initiative strengthens the emirate’s call for continuous learning, and highlights SPL’s efforts aimed at providing the latest reading and researching options to all those who seek it, across the globe," he added.
The two initiatives - ‘Everyone’s Library’ and ‘Reader to Reader’, align with the Reading Month’s 2021 theme ‘My Family Reads’, and aim to instil and support positive reading habits among children.
The Smart Locker service uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology that allows members to use their Emirates ID or SPL’s membership cards to collect and return books.
The hybrid offline – online model of SIBF 2020 themed ‘The World Reads from Sharjah’ and organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), offered 1,024 publishers from 73 nations a much-needed opportunity to showcase millions of titles including 80,000 new releases to a physical audience of 382,000 people who visited the book fair.
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