There is no better place in the world to indulge in reading than a beach. The waves which come and go rock us to a state of deep calmness, a state which is best spent reading one’s favourite classics. As it goes, nothing combines better than the beach and the book.
In Sharjah, now the residents can visit a beach and enjoy reading and it has been made possible by the Sharjah Beach Library Initiative. The initiative is a novel concept and let us look more into it.
1. About the Sharjah Beach Library Initiative
Sharjah has added a new gem to its crown, thanks to it being selected as the World Book Capital 2019. Known in the UAE as the City of Knowledge, the emirate has for long been a city that promotes books and literacy. Sharjah believes that education and learning are the most powerful things and no one can take it away from the other.
It is the activities done by Sharjah towards attaining this end goal which has had them being crowned as the World Book Capital 2019. The World Book Capital Initiative is a program by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This initiative was launched in 1996 and identifies the city that strives to introduce people to books and learning. There are also yearlong activities planned by UNESCO, along with The International Publishers Associations (IPA) and The International Federation of Library Association and Institutions (IFLA) in the World Book Capital 2019.
The Sharjah Beach Library Initiative is one among the many yearlong activities planned in Sharjah as a part of the city being selected by UNESCO as the World Book Capital 2019. The Sharjah Beach Library Initiative was launched in August by the Sharjah World Book Capital Office (SWBC Office), in association with Knowledge without Borders (KwB), which is a government movement functioning with the aim of encouraging children and parents to read more. The Sharjah Municipality, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and Sharjah Ladies Club (SLC) are other collaborators of this initiative.
The initiative is aimed at inspiring people hailing from different communities to develop a habit of reading. According to the innovative and comprehensive proposal submitted to the UNESCO, the city aims to engage “the very large expatriate population, the book industry, the young, the marginalised population, and much more. The goal is to empower the community and strengthen the nation and region through literature.”
2. Where to Experience Sharjah Book Library?
There are plenty of locations where you can experience the Sharjah Beach Library. They are as follows:
- Al Khan Beach – Al Khan is one of the most popular beaches in Sharjah. It is at this beach that Sharjah Beach Initiative Programs first library was set up. As it was widely regarded until now that only traditional settings, like closed areas, can aid reading, the Sharjah Beach Library initiative was a break away from the traditional settings. Therefore, Al Khan Beach was the perfect choice to flag off this initiative. The beach features around 600 metres of sand and also has a dedicated swimming area, which helps one enjoy and relax there. The library set up here caters to the reading habits of all people, irrespective of age, language or profession, and boasts over 100 books from different languages. There was also a Mobile Beach Library inaugurated along with the Sharjah Beach Library Initiative. The library was set up on a 4×4 and it can be taken to any public beach in the city.
- Al Khan Beach 2 – It was at the Al Khan Beach 2 that the second phase of the Sharjah Beach Library Initiative was launched. The program was hugely popular with the residents and beachgoers. There were many children and adults, all book lovers, who came together to narrate their favourite stories from books.
- Sharjah Ladies Club – The Sharjah Ladies Club is another location to host the Sharjah Beach Library. Apart from helping to engage in reading, there were also a variety of fun activities inaugurated at this leisure club. The activities included a treasure hunt, games, live cooking shows and such.
3. Sharjah Beach Library Rules
Rules are an integral part of any library. Despite being a break away from conventional thinking, there are certain rules that people making use of the Sharjah Beach Library must abide by. They are straight to the point too. Let us take a look at the rules:
- Keep books dry
- Return the book after use
- Do not damage or lose the book
- Do not place other books or publications on the bookshelf
4. When will the Sharjah Beach Library Initiative End?
The Sharjah Beach Library was launched in the month of August and it will run until the last day of March 2020. Make sure that you experience the initiative before it ends.
These are all there is to know about the Sharjah Beach Library Initiative in the City of Knowledge. Hit any of the above locations and dive into the ocean of reading, learning and widening your horizon with the titles available here.