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Doors back open: The exterior of the Sharjah Public Library’s new building. The library was founded in 1925 at Sharjah Fort. Image Credit: Asghar Khan/Gulf News

Sharjah: Three public libraries in Sharjah will reopen from Sunday, Sharjah Public Library (SPL), announced today.

All branches of SPL - which is an affiliate of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) - have remained closed since mid-March to combat the spread of coronavirus.

Apart from the main branch in Sharjah city, SPL branches in Dibba Al Hisn and Al Dhaid will welcome reading enthusiasts, researchers and visitors from tomorrow, adhering to 30 per cent capacity guidelines.

Guests aged between 13 and 59 years will be allowed entry for a maximum of two hours per visit.

The Sharjah Public library will be open from 8am to 9pm while the ones in Dibba Al Hisn and Al Dhaid will be open from 8am to 8pm.

Guests will be able to avail of all library facilities except for the children’s section and prayer rooms.

Borrowing and returning of books will be limited to in-house usage during the initial reopening phase. Photocopying services will be available as a self-service, while guests can make use of library computers, subject to availability.

According to SPL, each branch has earmarked its individual maximum capacity which will be strictly monitored through phone reservations. Visitors must call the branch prior to arrival to book their preferred time and duration of stay.

Eman Bushulaibi

Eman Bushulaibi, Director of SPL, said: “The initial phase of reopening is in line with our mission to enrich the lives of our community members with valuable knowledge resources while enforcing comprehensive safety measures to ensure the health and wellbeing of our visitors and staff at these select branches.”

The safety of the public remains paramount at SPL, said Bushulaibi as she called on library-goers to abide by safety precautions.

SPL branches at Kalba, Khor Fakkan, and Wadi Al Helo will resume operations on completion of the scheduled maintenance work.