Also published on this date: Shelf Awareness for Monday, August 10, 2020

Monday, August 10 Dedicated Issue: Sharjah Book Authority

Sharjah Book Authority: Sharjah Publishing City

Editors' Note

Sharjah's Commitment to Books and Reading

With support from the Sharjah Book Authority, Shelf Awareness offers an overview of the many book-related activities and institutions of the Book Authority, especially the Sharjah International Book Fair, which will be held November 3-13 and is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Sharjah Book Authority: Sharjah Publishing City

Bookselling News

Sharjah Book Authority

An Emiri decree by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, led to the establishment of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) in 2014. The organisation aims to enhance investment in creative industries and provide a platform for knowledge and intellectual exchange between different nations and cultures. It also highlights the importance of books not just for their academic value, but for the impact they have in raising community awareness in view of rapid technological advancements and diverse sources of knowledge.

SBA is a key cultural entity responsible for conceptualising and curating a majority share of the emirate's literary, academic and cultural events, for instance, the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival (SCRF), and the Publishers Conference, in addition to many initiatives and events.

Sharjah Book Authority: Sharjah Libraries

The Sharjah International Book Fair 2021--40th Edition

This year the Sharjah International Book Fair celebrates its 40th year. Several special activities will take place to commemorate the occasion during the fair, which will be held November 3-13, 2021.

Spain is the Guest of Honor this year, and several Spanish publishers have confirmed their participation in the book fair as well as the Publishers Conference & International Library Conference. The Publishers Conference will be held October 31-November 2, 2021, and the International Library Conference will be held November 9-11, 2021.

A special event "The National Library Summit" will be held November 8-9, 2021, in the Sharjah Book Authority building with the participation of central library heads from various countries.

Publishers Conference
The Publishers Conference is organised by the SBA prior to the opening of Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF). The annual three-day event brings together publishing professionals, agents and authors from all over the world to attend a series of sessions, panel discussions and specialised workshops. The conference provides participants with a platform to discuss book sales, potential agreements, translations, as well as copyrights and distribution rights.

SBA highlights the significant role of writers and their influence in promoting community awareness by aiding them and book businesses in publishing and distributing their books in the global book markets, through inculcating the love for reading among the residents of Sharjah through a network of state-of-the-art libraries.

Translation Grant
In a generous gesture, the Sharjah Government has created a $300,000 Translation Grant to support publishers to translate and publish more books. Under the program, any valid contract between two participants to have a book translated and published is eligible for a grant.

International Library Conference
An important related event is the Sharjah International Library Conference, which will be held this year November 9-11. Begun in 2014 as the ALA Conference, it is jointly organized by the ALA and the Sharjah Book Authority and is for librarians around the world, and in particular for librarians from the region.

39th Edition of Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF 2020)
The 39th Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) held November 4-14, 2020, was the first book fair organized in the new world of pandemic. "The World Reads from Sharjah" was the theme. SIBF 2020 will always be remembered for the unparalleled generosity of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, the UAE Supreme Council Member & Ruler of Sharjah, shown to the book fair as well as publishers. As a support to the publishers during pandemic, His Highness waived and refunded the fees of all participants who attended SIBF 2020. His Highness also allotted an additional fund of 10 million dirhams (about $1.36 million) to purchase books from them.

Sharjah Children's Reading Festival
Sharjah Book Authority organizes the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival annually in line with the vision of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and under the directives of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohmmed Al Qasimi, wife of the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA). SCRF is considered the Arab world's leading literary festival dedicated totally to children. It has gone much beyond being just a book fair and developed into an integrated event that contributes to enriching the knowledge and identifying and developing their various talents.

Sharjah Book Authority: Sharjah Libraries

Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone

SPC Free Zone is known for its success in industries like publishing, education and other allied services, alongside e-commerce, real estate, artisanal restaurants, tech advance­ment, legal firms, highly specialized tax, finance, HR, IT consultancies, manufacturing, and another 1,500 busi­ness activities that SPC Free Zone offers.

What differentiates SPC is the cost, quality of service, and operational efficiency. SPC Free Zone's dual license option gives businesses the flexibility of a free zone with several mainland advantages, and clients can choose from the multi-year license options that extend up to ten years. What's notable is also the shared services centre, where companies can get customs and immigration clearance, reducing their operational costs to a great extent. And most importantly, it register a company the same day, without requiring the owner's physical presence. For more information, click here.

Sharjah Public Library

The Sharjah Public Library (SPL) was established as a private library in 1925 by Sheikh Sultan bin Saqr Al Qasimi, under the name "Al Qasimiyah Library." In May 2011, His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, inaugurated the new building of the library at the Cultural Palace Square, with the name Sharjah Public Library.

A treasure trove of arts, literature and sciences, and an array of contemporary resources including a digital library containing numerous digital and audiobooks, the 5 branches of the Library, located across the emirate's major cities of Dhaid, Dibba Al Hosn, Kalba, Khorfakkan and Wadi Al Helo, have been supporting a diverse range of learners.

SPL is connected to 38,000 libraries and schools worldwide through the "Digital Library Collection," launched in cooperation with OverDrive. SPL also hosts the Sharjah Literature Award in collaboration with SBA, an annual award with a prize money of AED 15,000 (about $4,080) for original research.

Sharjah Book Authority: Sharjah Publishing City

Sharjah Book Authority: Sharjah Libraries

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