UAE Culture Ministry to Establish Public Libraries Network

The UAE Ministry of Culture, in cooperation with the National Library and Archives, has announced the establishment of a network of public libraries throughout UAE. The initiative was based on the government’s directives to achieve sustainable development goals and provide new solutions to promote the culture of reading among members of the Emirati society.

These cooperative efforts aim to enhance the programmes and services of the libraries affiliated with the Ministry to integrate them into the public reading network overseen by the National Library and Archives. The objectives include transforming libraries into service and entertainment centres, updating and diversifying content to serve different groups, implementing reading programmes and activities, and launching initiatives in library management, information, and archiving. Additionally, they will focus on knowledge exchange and sharing institutional experiences. This partnership contributes to supporting the Ministry’s objectives of leading, promoting, and implementing the Arabic language and reading agenda, while strengthening national identity and efforts to preserve and promote the national cultural heritage within and outside the UAE. Consequently, this will enhance cooperation and partnership, and lay the foundations for building the national information system at the state level as well.

Undersecretary of the Ministry of Culture Mubarak Al Nakhi says, “The ministry is committed to implementing the UAE government vision and national strategy for reading, promoting a culture of reading, and connecting all members of society with books as we believe that the path to societal advancement is closely related to knowledge, innovation, and logical thinking. Consequently, this cooperation comes as part of sustainable efforts to enhance the status of books and the role of libraries in providing the community with sources of knowledge, preserving national achievements and gains, making reading a fundamental societal habit and way of life, and building an ideal model for an empowered reading community.”

He highlighted that this partnership enhances the cultural and cognitive infrastructure in the country, helps all individuals practice reading, and consolidates this culture to become part of their daily practices and activities. Al Nakhi also emphasized on its importance in improving the culture of future generations, and supporting their knowledge and experiences to make them lead the country’s future with science, knowledge, and creativity.

Abdulla Majid Al Ali, Director General of the National Library and Archives, states, “Through this agreement, we aim to enhance collaboration between the Ministry of Culture and the National Library and Archives, activate the public reading network, which is at the heart of the National Library’s objectives. He clarified that libraries will have more electronic services and will be open to the sources of information and data provided by the public reading network, and will enhance their collections with the support of the National Library and Archives.”

He added, “Based on the role played by the Ministry of Culture in continuing to raise the cultural level among the various segments of society, we are keen to close the gap between library patrons and all intellectuals, researchers, and the nation’s memory that we are working to collect, make available to researchers, and preserve for generations.

We are fully confident that the National Library and Archives represents national events and activities that can enhance national pride and loyalty to our wise leadership, which provides us with all the opportunities for excellence.”

In light of this cooperation, the Ministry coordinates with the National Library and Archives to collect and preserve national intellectual production to establish a national library to protect intellectual production, make it available to the public and future generations, implement joint cultural events and activities, and hold training courses, seminars, and conferences in various specializations.

Additionally, a plan will be developed to enhance the skills of library staff and enrich the Ministry’s library collections by supporting them with new printed and electronic titles, and also consulting expertise related to the administrative and technical aspects in the field of libraries, with archiving provided according to applicable technical standards and specifications.

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