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UAE's largest library to be open in 2018

Filed on December 7, 2016
Picture by Shihab

The library is expected to contribute to the knowledge revolution

The pathbreaking Mohammed bin Rashid Library will officially be open to the public by the first quarter of 2018, revealed a top official from Dubai Municipality (DM).

Speaking on the sidelines of the Knowledge Summit that concluded on Wednesday, Eng. Hussain Nasser Lootah, DM's Director General, said the foundation of the library is already finished, and work is now underway on the main building.

Overlooking Dubai Creek, the library is expected to contribute to the knowledge revolution, which he described as larger than the industrial revolution.

"The times where you had people coming into libraries to read is over. Now, we have to find a new way to transfer the information to people wherever they are. Our goal for this library is to find new ways through which we can reach all segments of society, from children to families, engineers and entrepreneurs as fast as possible," he said.

The Dh1 billion library, he noted, will have electronic libraries where readers can register and receive their books online. The dynamic institution will use different innovative tools to attract people to increase their knowledge. Since digital books are now the most preferred method of reading, paper books will be transferred online.

"E-books are slightly more than five years old, but there are millions of significant paper books printed hundreds of years ago. They will be translated to different languages and made available online."

He hinted at plans to discuss introducing a new library management education in schools and universities, with the educational authorities.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Library will occupy an area of 650,000 square feet and hold a total of 4.5 million print, electronic and audio books, of which there will be 1.5 million volumes, 2 million e-books and 1 million audio books, making it the world's largest electronic collection and the biggest library in the Arab world.

A team of experts will work on selecting the right books to add to the library. "There has been an unimaginable explosion of information through the evolution of new technologies. Knowledge revolution is now the new revolution, which will help us, as people, to find solutions and make the right decisions," said Lootah.

The project will include eight specialised sections that will cover modern, Arabic and modern literature, with niche libraries for entrepreneurs, children, families and a special multimedia section.

sherouk@khaleejtimes.com

 THE LIBRARY IN NUMBERS

 > 10 million books will be printed and distributed in the Arab World

 > 42 million people are expected to benefit

 > 9 million visitors expected annually

 > 2600 seating capacity

> 8 specialised libraries for different segments

> Dh2.4 million allotted to Mohammed bin Rashid Awards for Arabic language

author

Sherouk Zakaria

"Born and raised in UAE, Sherouk Zakaria is a Senior Correspondent at Khaleej Times. Joined since May 2016, she covers Dubai Municipality, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), special events and humanitarian issues. Her choice of journalism as a career stems from her passion of telling people's stories and writing to inspire or make a difference. In her free time, she's an occasional theater and film actress. Sherouk received her BA in Mass Communications from the American University in Sharjah in 2013. Before joining Khaleej Times, she was a senior lifestyle/entertainment editor for a magazine in Dubai."


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