By Muhammad Aminu
Dubai authorities have opened a unique modern nine-in-one library that gulped over $272 million to establish.
The library named after Dubai’s ruler ‘Mohammed Bin Rashid AlMaktoum Library’ is at par with the pantheon of world-class book repositories such as London’s British Library and Egypt’s Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
Al Maktoum announced the construction of the new library in 2016, which now houses more than 1.1 million print and digital books in its 54,000 square-meter facility.
CNN reports that the library has a beautiful oasis of calm contemplation, where visitors can curl up with a good book, plug in laptops for study or work, or marvel at the rare manuscripts and first-edition books displayed in the exhibition space.
The library reportedly houses nine separate libraries containing almost all areas of expertise, from sciences to arts and entertainment.
“The facility is home to nine separate libraries, dedicated to everything from media and the arts to business titles, international periodicals, maps and atlases, books for children and young adults, and a collection of precious archival treasures,” it said.
“The collection of works is still being built, but it already boasts some impressive numbers. Alongside its multilingual print and digital books, visitors can access more than six million dissertations, 73,000 musical scores, 75,000 videos, 35,000 printed and digital international journals, and over 5,000 historical periodicals spanning 325 years.
The library, which has a cafe for a break, also contains a database of thousands of digital titles that can be downloaded from machines in each of the nine libraries.
There are books in braille for visually impaired readers and a quiet space with reading pods for visitors with special needs.
It also has an Auto Book Store, a subterranean storeroom for the 400,000 titles that don’t appear on the library’s shelves, but members can request a book via the library’s app.