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Most voters don’t visit public libraries

Readers reimagine the role of public libraries

Gulf News

As the Mohammad Bin Rashid Library Foundation (MBRLF) becomes a reality, and the UAE strives to get more people to read with its Year of Reading campaign, Gulf News’ poll revealed the role of libraries in this massive task.

A majority eight out of ten voters said they don’t visit public libraries.

It reflects a global trend, as information shifts from an analog age to a digital one. According to statistics by US-based Pew Research Centre, compared to surveys from recent years, they found that people aged 16 years and older are less likely to say they have visited a library or bookmobile in-person in 2015.

However, readers are now re-imagining the role of libraries. In the same study, some 30 per cent of those aged 16 and over think libraries should “definitely” move print books and stacks out of public locations to free up more space for such things as tech centres, reading rooms, meeting rooms and cultural events.

Would libraries offering comfortable spaces for reading, working and relaxing change your mind? Tell us at

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