SPL’s digital library attracts over 8,000 new users from 55 countries
Sharjah Public Library’s 6 million free eBooks and resources now part of ‘ICESCO Digital Home’ initiative
Sharjah, 07 May, 2020:A record 8,030 new users from 55 countries have accessed to the Sharjah Public Library (SPL)’s free ‘Digital Library’ in less than two months, carrying out over 32,114 online transactions since the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) affiliate announced in March that people worldwide will enjoy free access to its 6 million eBooks and electronic resources until June 2020.
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. These resources span more than 10 languages.
SPL made this landmark move to ensure continuity of learning and research in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Deepening the positive impact the initiative has had in the past months, SPL has joined hands with the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) to support their educational outreach campaign ‘ICESCO Digital Home’, and enabled access to its own digital library through www.icesco.org.
Commenting on this tie-up, Eman Bushulaibi, Director of SPL said: “Sharjah Public Library’s success in being able to provide thousands of readers worldwide with the materials to keep enriching themselves despite an unprecedented crisis, reflects the strength in the cultural vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and our commitment to ensure people everywhere have access to knowledge sources.”
“This new initiative by ICESCO shows their readiness to execute effective solutions in the wake of far-reaching disruptions caused by a serious health crisis like COVID-19. These new circumstances have highlighted the vital role digital libraries will continue to play in in sustaining education and research, enabling wider populations to access to knowledge.
“The quick success achieved by the SPL Digital Library has offered SPL a fresh impetus to continue expanding and advancing our digital library to stand among the best in the region and the world. The achievement has also reaffirmed to us that active cultural partnerships with local and international yield better results, which is why we are delighted to bring ICESCO into SPL’s collaborative folds,” Bushulaibi added.
For his part, Obaid Al Hajri, Director of ICESCO Regional Office in Sharjah, said: “Sharjah’s efforts over the past four decades under the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has made the emirate a vibrant hub of creativity and knowledge, and a leading example of mutually-beneficial cultural partnerships with the region and the world.”
“We have enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with SBA, and we highly value the work SPL has been doing in the wake of this pandemic to ensure people everywhere in the world can continue to learn and enrich their lives in a safe environment,” he added.