Ithra—a leading cultural institution in Saudi Arabia and the region—will shine the spotlight on its expansive library’s vast and unique reservoir of cultural offerings made available to avid readers locally, regionally and across the globe when it joins Sharjah International Book Fair for the first time November 1-12.

A four-story structure covering more than 6,000 square meters and housing over 326,000 books in both English and Arabic, the Ithra library is the first digitally integrated library in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and one of the largest public libraries in the region. Ithra’s Digital Library offers over 34 thousand eBooks and audiobooks in English and Arabic, and over 7,000 newspapers and magazines from 120 countries and available in 60 languages. The Ithra Digital Library makes its resources easily accessible through Libby, an application for eBooks and audiobooks, and PressReader, a platform for reading magazines and newspapers. 

“The Ithra booth at Sharjah International Book Fair presents an opportunity for visitors to register for the Ithra Digital Library,” said Tariq Khawaji, the Cultural Consultant at Ithra.” This digital resource is available to anyone anywhere in the world free of charge. It’s part of our vision to spread the love of reading and the pursuit of knowledge everywhere. So far we have more than 6000 members and growing fast.”


Cutting edge tech

The library applies the latest technologies and tools, including “RFID” technology that makes borrowing books a breeze, as well as a smart book returning and sorting system, free internet, and computers for research and study purposes.

Using VR technology, visitors to its dedicated booth at the book fair will be able virtually visit the inspiring world of the Ithra Library including the Reading Enrichment Program (iRead), one of the Library’s most prominent cultural initiatives aiming to create a cultural renaissance in the Arab region by encouraging and fostering a passion for books, reading, and writing.


Ithra, Diamond Sponsor of SILC 2023

As part of its sponsorship of the 10th Sharjah International Library Conference running November 7-9 at the book fair, Ithra will present a session titled, “The library as a sustainable creative source, the Ithra Library as a model.” Held in partnership with the American Library Association on November 8, 2023, at 11:45-12:40 PM, the session will shed light on how Ithra promotes sustainable development through inspiring workshops, performances, and events.

Ithra will also showcase services provided in its Librarians’ Lounge, a dedicated space for librarians from all around the world to connect and exchange knowledge on best library practices and technologies.

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