Those who enjoy reading are always on the lookout for public libraries, so they don’t end up spending a fortune buying the latest reads. If you are a bibliophile living in the cultural capital of the UAE, the Sharjah Library is one of the best places where you can immerse yourself in adventures, fantasies and thrillers. So whether it is literature or history that you love to read, this public library in Sharjah is a treasure trove of great reads.
One of the leading lending libraries in the emirate, the Sharjah Library is a cultural landmark and a highly relevant institution.
History of the Sharjah Library
One of the oldest libraries in Sharjah, this public reading centre was originally established in 1925 as Qasimi Library by Sheikh Sultan bin Saqr Al Qasimi. Originally, it was located in the Sharjah Fort and was used by the ruler to keep his personal collection of books.
After his rule, the library passed on to Sheikh Saqr Bin Sultan Al Qasimi. He moved it to a new building in 1956, which was still in the courtyard of Sharjah Fort. The library was thereafter inherited by several members of the Sharjah royal family before being passed on to His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. Under his instructions, it was renamed as the Sharjah Library in 1971 and moved to the Sharjah Municipality building.
This was however not the end of the library’s history with changing addresses. The library was moved to the Cultural Palace in 1984 after which it was moved to the area of Muwaileh in 1993. It was only much later in 2011 that this top library in Sharjah found it’s permanent home at the Cultural Square. Currently, it is managed by Sharjah’s Department of Culture and Information.
Vision of the Sharjah Library
The Sharjah Library was established to develop a level of interest in education and knowledge among the society. It was also created to uphold the cultural system by providing information streams and unique services, to augment awareness of world events among the local population.
What to expect from the Sharjah Library
- Sharjah Library boasts a huge collection of books and tops the list of public libraries in Sharjah.
- The library offers books, references, letters, scientific journals, audio-visual aids and other information sources that benefit researchers.
- Library members can also access electronic data through an online portal to lend books and references.
- The library has been transformed into an Electronic Library with bibliographic lists and indexes to help readers identify material with ease.
Sharjah Library Rules and Regulations
- Eating, smoking and drinking is not allowed except for designated areas
- Visitors cannot enter in the technical sections, reception areas and stores
- Children under eight years should be accompanied by their parents
- Members and visitors can express opinions and remarks in the suggestion box
Lending Policy in the public library in Sharjah
- External lending is only limited to Sharjah Library membership holders
- Membership can applied either by filling up traditional forms or electronically
- All members below 18 years require the consent of a guardian
- Sharjah Library uses the national UAE ID as a membership identification number
- There is 24/7 drive-thru convenience service to return the books at the rear gate of Sharjah Library
Cost of Membership to Sharjah Library
- An annual fee of smart membership costs AED 25 including additional e-services for the Sharjah Digital Library
- A single membership with insurance costs AED 150 that allows borrowing of up to 10 items
- Postgraduate members can borrow 15 items for AED 150
- Children can borrow seven items for AED 50
- A family membership costs AED 300 including insurance. You can borrow 20 items at a time on this membership.
- The membership fees for government is AED 500 and for academic entities it is AED 1000
- Annual charges worth 25 AED are applicable for e-services including LinkedIn Learning and Kanopy
Renewal Policy at Sharjah Library
- All borrowed books must be returned within a 15 day period to avoid any penalty
- For the members with special needs, the return policy is for 21 days
- Sharjah Library also issues a reminder to the user’s mobile phone and email upon delay
- In case of further delay, the library card will be suspended for a period equal to the delay
- You can be barred from borrowing if the delay exceeds six months
- In case of loss or damage, the borrower will pay the price of bookbinding or may be liable to pay three times the price of damaged book.
Sharjah Library Location
The Sharjah Library is at the centre of the city, 17 minutes from Sharjah Airport on the south of Cultural Square. Sharjah Library Quran roundabout is the closest landmark whereas the exact location is the corner of Cultural Square in Al Abar community of Sharjah. It is 15-minutes away from Al Majaz community of Sharjah.
Sharjah Library Timings
The library operates between 08:00 am and 10:00 pm daily except for Fridays. Sharjah Library Ramadan timings start 09:00 am to 06:00 pm and 09:00 pm to 12:00 am from Saturday to Thursday.
Sharjah Library Contact
You can contact Sharjah Library at +971-6-516-6888 for any information and queries.
Other libraries in Sharjah
Another popular public library in Sharjah is Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Mahmoud Library located in Al Nasserya.
This library has a large collection of books, novels and reference materials. It is one of the top lending libraries in Sharjah for paperbacks as there is no electronic version of books here.
- Location: Al Nasserya, Sheikh Mohammed bin Saqr Al Qasimi St, Sharjah
- Timing: 08:30 am – 09:30 pm daily. Friday closed (Lunch break 01:30 pm – 04:30 pm)
- Contact: +971-6-565-5622
Other libraries in Sharjah include Dar Al Hayat Library and Bombay Library Rolla that are easily accessible for residents of Rolla Area Sharjah and Al Majaz. Besides these, there are libraries in the universities and colleges in Sharjah that extend borrowing privileges to faculty and students.
The Sharjah Library however is the most popular of the reading centres in the emirate. There are also many bookstores and traders in Sharjah who can help you get your favourite titles as per your request. The Literature Festival in Sharjah is another prominent event among bibliophiles in the city. The 10-day event starts on October 30 in 2019, and will features over 500 exhibitors. Renowned authors including Dan Brown have been guests of the Sharjah Lit Festival, so book lovers can head to this event to meet their favourite authors.
If you are looking for more options in the neighbouring emirates, don’t forget to check out the best libraries and second-hand book stores in Dubai. You can pursue your passion of books at half the cost by frequenting these affordable bookshops in Dubai. The book lovers in the capital city can also opt for public libraries in Abu Dhabi.