Tag Archives: public libraries

AFLI release “Arab Libraries Dealing with the Corona Pandemic” book

The Arab Federation for Libraries and Information (AFLI) announced recently the launching of its new book entitled “Arab Libraries Dealing with the Corona Pandemic: Arab Experiences”.

The book was issued on the occasion of the “Arab Library Day 2021” to gather the efforts of libraries and institutions that show how the Arab libraries interact & provide their services to the beneficiaries to ensure the continuation of their services during the pandemic, and to document the repercussions and lessons learned during this period.

The book is available in Arabic language on  AFLI website at: https://bit.ly/3nrYycj

The book discusses the following topics:

  1. Arab libraries and their experiences during the Corona pandemic: case studies; how the library dealt with the pandemic, plans, lessons learned, services, future plans.
  2. Arab libraries and future plans to deal with unexpected crises
  3. Crisis management and activating its role in Arab libraries and information institutions.
  4. The technical and physical infrastructure of Arab libraries of all kinds and their readiness to serve their beneficiaries in light of unexpected crises
  5. Library and information specialists and how to perform their tasks in light of the pandemic: reality and challenges

Cover of the book

This book aims to clarify:

  • The Arab contribution to documenting the efforts of Arab libraries of all kinds, as well as their professionals, in dealing with the unprecedented Corona pandemic.
  • Uncovering the ways and mechanisms of participation/contribution of various Arab libraries with this pandemic and its unusual repercussions.
  • Shedding light on the methodologies for adapting Arab libraries to this circumstance.
  • Standing on the contribution of Arab libraries to raising awareness of ways to prevent infection and the spread of the epidemic.
  • Shedding light on the most important types of information services and activities provided by Arab libraries during the pandemic since its inception until today.
  • Show the readiness of Arab libraries, with their technical infrastructure, and their material and human capabilities, for such unprecedented crisis.
  • To identify how Arab libraries have responded to the changes required to deal with this pandemic.

It is worth mentioning that the contributors of the book are:

Algeria (Algeria National Library; Faculty of economic and business sciences, management Library at Batna University; Public library “Mohamed Hammouda bin Saei” in Batna state);

Egypt (Bibliotheca Alexandrina; Misr Public Library; Egypt’s Society for Culture and Development);

Iraq (Iraq National Library and Archive);

Jordan (Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation library).

Oman (Main Library at Sultan Qaboos University; Learning Resource Center at Saeed Bin Jubair primary School).

Palestine (Library of Dar Al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture Library; Nablus Municipality Public Libraries).

Saudi Arabia (King Saud University Libraries; Deanship of Library Affairs at King Abdulaziz University).

Sudan (The Sudanese National Library).

United Arab Emirates (Sharjah Public Libraries).

The book also demonstrated a model for the YouTube channel dedicated to librarians and its impact on society.

The book concluded the experiments presented with the lessons learned and a guideline for opening libraries after the COVID- 19 pandemic.

Public libraries in Egypt during covid-19

Public libraries in Egypt supported its employees during covid – 19 and according to the regulations related to work that have been adhered based on the decision of the Prime Minister and the instructions of Ministry of Health and Population as :

  1. Employees who have chronic diseases has been given an absence leave.
  2. Pregnant women and mothers who have children under 18 years old were given an absence leave until further notice.

Public libraries are not open for the public until now. To ensure the flow of information during this period and in an effort to protect the staff and prevent all employees from falling ill at the same time, rotating shifts were implemented between staff to allow the work to continue despite a reduced workforce.

Examples of activities on Public libraries in Egypt:

Egypt’s Society for Culture and Development:

Egypt’s Society for Culture & Development (ESCD) is registered as a Non-Governmental Organization on October 18th, 1978, it has branched out in 14 different locations in the Arab Republic of Egypt providing a varied scope of activities and community services. ESCD has 10 public and children libraries across 4 Governorates. ESCD took many steps to engage our users and beneficiaries online through social media networks.

  • Launching the campaign “Our library at your home”. The campaign includes the following:
    • Provide links to resources in various fields such as science, virtual touring of museums and tourist attractions in the world, educational and recreational areas….etc.
    • Storytelling workshops for children on its library pages on Facebook.
    • Free training workshops to prepare school students in conducting their researches as the exams were replaced in most education years of education by researches.
    • Reading Club Seminars.
    • Contest for the best poster on Facebook that supports the White Army (Doctors & Nurses……).
    • Musical talent competition.
    • Online Handicraft workshop for children.
    • Show data on corona’s disease, its symptoms and some guidelines for the library audience

Misr Public library (1)

In Misr Public library (MPL), one of the greatest library system in Egypt, MPL permitted the public to deliver the loaned materials to the library Security and add them in a special box to return the borrowed books. Books are placed in the sun on the same day they return for disinfection, materials will returned on shelves on the next day with a commitment from the staff to wear gloves and mask on their faces, many activities were conducted such as:

  • Online training services have been provided through the library page on Facebook, English Language, Computer Skills…)
  • Accounts have been activated on WhatsApp to communicate with the library community to reserve training courses.
  • Storytelling workshops were offered to children through the library page on Facebook.
  • A daily cultural competition was presented on the page with prizes to be presented at the end of the crisis to the participants.
  • Some recorded events were shown for some scientific activities.
  • Show data on corona’s disease, its symptoms and some guidelines for the library audience.
  • Viewing some videos of handicrafts, drawings and origami workshops for children and mothers.
  • Viewing a meeting for the youngest child in the library, who introduces to children to how to deal with the Corona virus.
  • Announcing a national initiative to train and qualify youth for the labor market online, in cooperation with the Faculty of Home Economics, Helwan University and the AFRO ASIAN BOARD institution.
  • Conducting online courses in cooperation with civil society institutions such as the Arab Women Association.
  • Publishing articles to introduce MPL system history since its inauguration on the library’s Facebook page.

Misr Public Library is on its way to purchase disinfection gate in case the library opens after the crisis ends.

The Misr Public Library follows up the construction work under way in the libraries planned to open this year virtually and by telephone, for example, Faqous Library in Sharkia Governorate, Izbat Al-Burj Library in Damietta, the Quseir Library in the Red Sea, and the Qena Library in Qena.

Besides preparing the mobile libraries in Ismailia and El Sharkia.


  1. Information about MPL provided by Mr. Ahmed Amman,
    Deputy Director of Misr Public Library.

Libraries shaping the future: good practice toolkit published in UK

This is a best practice guide, produced by the UK Leadership for Libraries Taskforce, for chief executives and library portfolio holders, including how library services can support local authority priorities.