The Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, launched the largest Arabic audio library in the world – Dubai Audio Library. The library, which targets seven million visually impaired people in the Arab world, is an initiative undertaken by the RTA in collaboration with the website Bookshare.org.
Launch on International Volunteers Day
The launch of the initiative coincides with International Volunteers Day. Sheikh Hamdan marked the launch by uploading the first book to the Dubai Audio Library, Zayed Diwan, a collection of 87 poems written by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, paying tribute to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
The Dubai Audio Library supports the Day for Dubai initiative, which seeks to instill a culture of volunteering in the community by dedicating at least a day a year for volunteering activities. The library is part of RTA’s efforts to support People of Determination by spreading a culture of reading among them, and integrating them into the community. The RTA is seeking to provide 300,000 books in Arabic. More than 10,000 volunteers will convert Arabic books into digital format using OCR scanners and edit them before uploading them to the website.
A Platform for Volunteering
The world’s largest library is a platform for volunteering to serve more than seven million Arabs who face visual challenges. Bookshare.org provides 600,000 books in English, while the number of Arabic books does not exceed 300, and the Authority seeks to bring the number of Arabic books on the site to 300,000. To achieve this, RTA will collaborate with various organisations including Arab publishing houses and get their consent for uploading Arabic books to the website for the benefit of visually impaired people. Volunteers can contribute to the initiative in two ways. The first is scanning pages of books and uploading them. The second is proof-reading books in their digital format before uploading them. Selected books will be on the topics of positive ideas, confidence building, determination in coping with life challenges, and enhancing imagination.
Clear and Check
The initiative includes two types of volunteering: the first is to scan old books on a single page, then upload them to the library site. The second is to check the books that have been digitized or proof reading before uploading them to the website. Self-confidence, determination to deal with life problems, enrich imagination, and other constructive ideas and themes.