The Dubai Public Library, owned and managed by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated Authority for culture, arts, and heritage, recorded over 2,000 entries for more than 70 activities, held as part of its ‘Alwan Spring Programme,’ the reading initiative aimed at encouraging and promoting a genuine appreciation for the written word.
The ‘Alwan Spring Programme,’ which derives its name from the Arabic word for ‘colour,’ featured an extensive repertoire of activities held in collaboration with various government entities including Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Dubai Police, Dubai Ambulance Corporations, Dubai Health Authority, Department of Islamic Affairs, Dubai’s Women’s Association in Hatta, Hatta Police Department, the UAE Board on Books for Young People, Universal Concept of Mental Arithmetic System (UCMAS) Centre, and the Canadian Centre for Training and Consulting.
The children enjoyed a workshop by UCMAS Centre on the development of children’s arithmetic abilities using mental math instead of a calculator; a drawing workshop dedicated to develop children’s skills; and a performance of a play entitled ‘I Love My Country,’ in addition to traditional Hakawati storytelling sessions.
As part of the activities, Dubai Public Library held a reading competition to mark ‘World Book Day.’ Participants had to borrow and summarise as many books as they could, in just five lines. In all, 80 children between the ages of six to 12 years took part in the competition. The winners from all the participating libraries included: Ishta Manoj; Mira Mohammed Alrayyes; Yashita Saxina Aaron; Maithry Muralikana; Shahd Said Ali Al Madhani; Maryam Adel Salem Al Mazmi; and Maryam Mohammed Mleeh, all of whom walked away with brand new iPads. The programme culminated with a ceremony where all the participating children received gift vouchers and souvenirs.
The Dubai Public Library is a cornerstone of the city’s cultural fabric. It has facilitated the collection of and public access to Dubai’s literary heritage and collections, developing audiences by fostering an understanding and appreciation of literary culture, and encouraging access to these resources through efficient services and state-of-the-art technology. Fifty years after their inception, they continue to remain the definitive meeting ground for members of the community and an incubator for information.