ABU DHABI // They will be places to borrow books and CDs, as well as catch up on the internet. But that is where the resemblance to the traditional library will end. Abu Dhabi's future libraries are likely to feature 24-hour, self-service facilities with vending machines stocked with books, CDs and DVDs, allowing people to take out and return them any time of the day or night. There will also be Playstations and Xbox consoles for teenagers to play video games, as well as "lifestyle zones" where visitors can relax and listen to a CD or audio book.
The "future library" was on show at the 20th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair yesterday and is, according to Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (Adach), a concept heralding "a new generation in libraries". Adach said the new libraries would use cutting-edge technologies and gadgets. Books, CDs and DVDs will be available in vending machines using radio frequency identification technology.
Juma'a al Qubaisi, the director of the National Library, said the new system "will spark the attention of all in Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates". A range of materials will be available to library users, including periodicals, computer games, eBooks and audio books. The project will be on display all week at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. firstname.lastname@example.org