The Sharjah Public Library (SPL), an affiliate of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), has announced the reopening of select branches of its public libraries in the emirate from Sunday, June 21. All branches of SPL were closed from mid-March in line with the UAE’s precautionary measures to ensure public safety in the wake of the covid 19 crisis.
Apart from the main branch in Sharjah city, the SPL branches in Dibba Al Hisn and Al Dhaid will now begin to welcome reading enthusiasts, researchers, and visitors by adhering to the 30 per cent capacity guidelines.
The select branches will operate with a 30 per cent staff capacity. Only guests aged between 13 and 59 will be allowed entry, for a maximum of two hours per visit.
The Sharjah Public library will be open from 8am to 9pm, Dibba Al Hisn and Al Dhaid libraries will be open from 8am to 8pm.
From June 21 onwards, guests can avail of all library facilities except for the children’s section and prayer rooms.
In addition, during the initial reopening phase, borrowing and returning of books will be limited to in-house usage. Photocopying services will be available as a self-service, while guests can make use of library computers, subject to availability.
According to SPL, each branch has earmarked its individual maximum capacity which will be strictly monitored through phone reservations. Visitors must call the branch prior to arrival to book their preferred time and duration of stay.
Upon arrival, visitors will be instructed about the precautionary measures to follow while inside the library and will also be notified, through a phone call, that their specified visiting hours are over.
Announcing the reopening of its select branches, Eman Bushulaibi, Director of SPL, said: “The initial phase of reopening is in line with our mission to enrich the lives of our community members with valuable knowledge resources while enforcing comprehensive safety measures to ensure the health and wellbeing of our visitors and staff at these select branches.”
The safety of the public remains paramount at SPL, emphasised Bushulaibi, adding that branches are gearing up to open their doors and welcome visitors who have booked an appointment. She called on library-goers to abide by the safety precautions enforced at the library, including social distancing and compulsory sterilisation, in addition to being punctual with their visit timings and duration.
The director also noted that its branches at Kalba, Khor Fakkan, and Wadi Al Helo which are currently closed for maintenance will resume operations on completion of the scheduled maintenance work.