by WAFAA AL ABRI
Oman’s interest in disseminating knowledge and culture is quite inspiring. About 29 government libraries and 68 private ones can be found spread across the nation, offering readers a little over 128 thousand textbooks full of informative (and quite interesting) content. Whether you are a child looking forward to learning your alphabets, a grown man searching for knowledge, or a history buff who appreciates tales from the past, there is something for everyone. Here are four libraries to visit in Oman.
1. The Public Knowledge Library
This library was established during the 20th National Day celebrations on November the 13th 1990, the library currently contains more than 25,000 textbooks in both Arabic and English. It carries some scientific journals, a number of magazines, a massive electronic database, and a kids section. In addition, they also host fun-filled activities and events such as workshops and storytelling sessions for kids, which seems very interesting.
Location: Muscat, Oman
Contact: +968 2467 3111
2. The Children Library
“Access to knowledge is our right” — this is the slogan of the Children’s Public Library, which aims to promote the love and habit of reading. The library works to bring back the passion of reading books and dealing with them as friends, it contains a variety of books and offers a beautiful place with warm ambience and an open, spacious setting. The place has a play area for the little ones, too. Take your children and enjoy the facilities as soon as you can, you won’t regret it.
Location: Muscat, Qurum
Contact: +968 2460 5359
3. The Main Library at SQU
The Main Library at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) comprises a number of libraries that cater to very specific specialisation including Main, Medical, CEPS, Mosque, Oman Studies Centre and College of Education Library. These libraries aim at providing a comprehensive and balanced range of high-quality information resources related to education and research programs, it has both electronic and printed books, wireless and computer-based facilities. Reserving a study room, renewing a book, hosting workshops and tours are some of the library services on offer.
Location: Al Khoudh, Seeb, Muscat
Contact: +968 2414 5601
4. The Grand Mosque Library
Saved the best for last. The iconic Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque Library was established on the 4th of April, 2001 and is considered as one of the cultural landmarks of renaissance that aims at spreading knowledge and amongst society members, it includes six library sections: Omani section, general section, periodicals section, children section, higher studies section and references section. As you take your Grand Mosque tour, make a stop to the library, it’s quite a highlight.
Location: Azaiba, Bousher, Muscat
Contact: +968 2450 5170