Abu Dhabi Wins Arab Federation for Libraries and Information’s Excellence Award
The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has won the Excellence Award, presented by the Arab Federation for Libraries and Information (AFLI). Presented to MAKTABA, DCT Abu Dhabi’s public library management department, the award is part of AFLI’s ‘I Know’ initiative, which honours libraries that have reacted to the Covid-19 crisis in a positive manner.
The award recognises MAKTABA’s rapid reaction to the crisis, in which the department transformed and accelerated the public offerings of its digital platform. Between 15 March and 28 May, MAKTABA hosted 105 virtual activities, which engaged with 20,785 viewers on its social media channels and live broadcast platforms.
From the very beginning of the Coronavirus crisis, MAKTABA has been at the forefront of digital library services, including its digital index and global databases, which are accessible free of charge through its website. In addition to this, the department has hosted a varied selection of programmes, activities and workshops, either pre-recorded or broadcasted live, via its comprehensive range of online channels.
Executive Director of DCT Abu Dhabi’s Dar Al Kutub sector, HE Abdulla Majed Al Ali, said: “We are proud and excited to win this award, which honours and celebrates the extra efforts made by everyone at MAKTABA during these unprecedented circumstances. The management team worked hard to ensure the continuity and availability of MAKTABA services to the public, and to adapt and organise its events in line with the social distancing guidelines.”
His Excellency added: “We are closely following the latest Coronavirus-related updates, and are committed to adhering to the latest guidelines issued by the government. We will continue our digital transformation efforts even after the pandemic crisis has ended, in order to improve MAKTABA’s services and offer them to our audiences in the most effective way possible.”
One notable highlight in recent months was MAKTABA hosting three virtual awards ceremonies for children, which were the first of their kind in the UAE. The awards honored the winners of the Creative Reader, Little Writer in the Big Book and Stage Performance competitions without the need for anyone to leave home.
In line with the UAE government’s social distancing guidelines, MAKTABA organised its Summer Campaign virtually this year, offering children and teens a comprehensive programme that combines entertainment and culture, including workshops, activities and events that revolve around reading, writing, painting, magazine making, calligraphy and much more. It also held online sessions with a number of authors and writers, in addition to hosting a number of competitions, where necessary materials were provided to some participants so they were able to take part.