Thursday, June 19, 2008

Public Libraries in Dubai

I'm pretty much screwed on library books over there, aren't I?

DUBAI — Though Dubai is fast emerging as a melting pot of cultures, the Dubai Public Libraries comes across as an institute catering only to a specific community — that of the Arabs.

The lack of sufficient books in English has led to a general belief that the libraries are only meant for the nationals or the Arabic speaking people. Though the service and the dedication of the public libraries’ staff to improve these services is impeccable, the libraries’ collections of books leave much to be desired.

There’s a huge gap left for those wanting to enjoy the literature and other books in their native language. There are around a quarter million books in Public Libraries’ huge collection, out of which 60 to 70 per cent are in Arabic, this includes a special collection, where rare books as old as a century are stacked.

Almost all of the special collection is in Arabic, which leaves a non-Arab with not much of a choice to browse through. Had rare collections in English been stacked, this part of the library would have thrived even more. All the million plus collections are connected via the computers and thus available in all the Dubai libraries branches.

[ Source: Khaleej Times Online ]

6 comments:

the duck thief said...

There's always BookCrossing. Librivox? Public Domain online works?

Ella said...

Sorry, you're screwed. I have only come across one library here and have never seen it open.

Email me if you have any questions about the move! It's a big jump, I know. boxofbooks@gmail.com

Bybee said...

Gee, this place is starting to sound like Korea!

Dark Orpheus said...

duck thief heehee. Thanks for the suggestions. I'll definitely find a way.

Did I mention I'm there to open a bookstore? :)

Ella Ah. Library = white elephant?

And thank you very much for offering to help out a newbie. That's very kind of you. :)

I'll email you this evening.

Thanks again.

Bybee How can you live like that in Korea?! :)

Actually, to answer your other comment - why not move to Dubai?

Sandy said...

The Old Library located in the Dubai Community Theatre and Arts centre precinct in Mall of the Emirates provides a lending library service to its members. It is an English language library and has a very good childrens section as well as adult fiction and non fiction including many biographies and a Middle East section.
Phone for information 3414777 Ext 207. Open 10-6pm 6 days a week closed Fridays. Shorter hours 12-4 July and August

Dark Orpheus said...

Sandy Ah. Thank you for the information. I will need to make a note of it.

What is the procedure for becoming a membership though? Is there a registration fee?