Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated entity for culture, arts and heritage, has announced the launch of ‘Dubai Reads’, a Dubai Public Library cultural programme that includes seven initiatives and targets various age groups within the community. ‘Dubai Reads’ will be open to all citizens and residents, reflecting Dubai Culture’s mission to strengthen the literature sector and promote a culture of reading in line with the National Reading Strategy 2026.
The seven ‘Dubai Reads’ initiatives focus on creating the appropriate cultural and scientific environment for developing innovation and scientific research skills among students, and spreading a healthy reading habit across the community.
Dr. Hissa bin Masood, Director of Dubai Public Library at Dubai Culture, commented: “We are pleased to announce ‘Dubai Reads’, a Dubai Public Library cultural programme, based on our belief in the impact of libraries and their leading role in transforming the UAE into a reading community. We can achieve this goal by providing reading-focused initiatives, promoting reading among the community, and instilling a love of reading in children. We hope to have a strong and long lasting impression on children and their parents.”
The programme begins with the ‘Connecting Minds’ initiative, which will see the implementation of activities for adults and children across public libraries within the programme schedule, which runs from January to December 2018, thus ensuring a rolling calendar of cultural events throughout the year in the Emirate. The programme also includes the ‘Reading Box’ initiative, which takes place during the National Month of Reading every year, and follows highly successful previous editions that attracted a high turnout among different age groups in shopping malls.
The ‘Spring Colours Festival’ includes a variety of events at public libraries for school students during Spring Break in March 2018. The timing of this initiative provides an ideal platform for students to spend their free time in an inspirational atmosphere under the supervision of education professionals. Also for school students, the ‘Our Summer is Arts & Culture’ initiative will be organised during the summer holidays in July 2018. The initiative is welcomed by parents because it helps them to provide their children with cultural activities that make the best use of their spare time over the summer.
The programme's activities are spread throughout Dubai and also include the ‘Partners’ initiative, from January to December 2018 which includes organising a variety of reading events and activities in partnership with various departments and institutions in the Emirate throughout the year. Partners include hospitals, Dubai airports and other institutions, allowing the Authority to set up dedicated reading corners for visitors in waiting areas to spread a culture of reading across the Emirate.
To highlight the benefits of reading among as many people as possible, the ‘Global and Local Events’ initiative will organise reading activities during national and international events all year long, aiming to spread knowledge about these occasions among the public from February to December 2018.
The seventh and final initiative of the programme is the ‘Exhibitions’ initiative, which includes the used books exhibition and participation in Sharjah International Book Fair and the Abu Dhabi Book Fair. In addition, the Authority is associated with other exhibitions both inside and outside of the Emirate, where it will showcase its publications, highlight its mission and objectives, and meet face-to-face with audiences at the exhibitions.
Dr. Hissa added: “The new Dubai Public Library programme is aligned with the National Reading Strategy 2026, which aims to consolidate reading in the UAE for all ages and raise reading rates among students and adults, thereby contributing to building a knowledge-based economy for our nation.”
Through the programme, Dubai Culture also aims to encourage talented writers and young authors by giving them the opportunity to showcase their work.
The Dubai Public Library network includes eight libraries for adults and another seven for children. Some branches feature multi-purpose halls, classrooms and exhibition spaces and all branches of the Dubai Public Library are connected via computer systems. This has established close links with other modern libraries, providing access to vast sources of information on a diversity of topics in both Arabic and English.