Bibliophiles and people alike have a new heaven in Sharjah, as the region now boasts a one-of-a-kind library —The House of Wisdom.
Earlier in 2019, Sharjah was selected by UNESCO to be the host city for World Book Capital (WBC) and thus to commemorate the prestigious title, the city made plans to open a state-of-the-art public library.
The House of Wisdom is a cultural landmark opened to the public and was inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah back in 2019.
Sharjah’s new cultural destination and iconic architectural marvel continue to promote reading and ease access to knowledge for all the members of society and with doing so, heading towards a progressive society. A place to work, study, read or relax, the House of Wisdom is free of cost and accessible to all.
Located near the University City of Sharjah, the newly opened House of Wisdom is not just a library full of books, but also a reimagining of libraries for the 21st century that boasts of cafes, working spaces, meetup hubs and even a children’s area.
Developed by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, the HOW is inspired by the original House of Wisdom in Baghdad –a modern-day interpretation of a knowledge hub where all can come to seek development. Thus, with a place like this, the House of Wisdom makes it a model for future libraries that blend traditional and digital sources of knowledge.
The library offers access to contemporary ways of knowledge exploration with books in various languages and formats, vast digital resources, a fabrication lab with 3D printers to build prototypes of experimental projects and innovative technology to print and bind books within minutes. What makes it even more interesting is the ‘Book espresso machine’ –which enables printing and binds books on demand within minutes, along with the digital self-service station, just like an espresso machine.
The library is home to 305,000 books, of which 200,000 are in the digital format and 11,000 books in various languages. There is a children’s library named –The Little Reader that stocks more than 2,000 books, while another has been set aside for youth with 3,000 titles.
Another attraction of the place is the Scroll Monument –a 36 meters high monument that interpretation of the ancient Arabic cylinders as a single, spiralling sculpture that loops towards the sky. The Scroll is a celebration of Sharjah’s cultural achievement as the first city in the Gulf region and third city in the Arab world to be given the World Book Capital title by UNESCO.
Image: The House of Wisdom | Facebook