The Library of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre
The specialized, modern library of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center aims to offer powerful continuity with the traditions of Arabic and Islamic eras in which science, art, and research flourished and contributed greatly to the advancement of humanity. The vision of the library is to engage and promote intercultural discourse and interaction in order to benefit from global knowledge and generate new and scholarly publications through rigorous and scientific research methods.
The ten-year plan of the library aims to provide the reader and researcher with exceptional resources allowing it to become one of the top international centers focused on Islamic civilization as perceived and documented by world cultures.
To emphasize this vision of intercultural dialogue, cooperation and interconnectedness, the library is located on the third floor of the Northern Minaret of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, facing an unobstructed horizon in all directions. Symbolic and intentional, such location of a library is unprecedented in the history and design of world mosques.
Four strategic goals guide the ongoing work of the library:
First: Provide rich and diverse knowledge sources that promote high intellectual productivity, and offer state-of-the-art organized referencing of media -- be they books, journals, visual or audio sources that support a wide range of related fields of knowledge.
Second: Continue to obtain and document contemporary knowledge products and publications, including journals, research studies, special manuscripts, imprints or comparative studies related to Islamic culture, architecture, arts and sciences, whenever available in active world languages.
Third: Dispense contemporary knowledge and education while honoring Arab-and-Islamic heritage and celebrating this heritage by renewing it, studying it and solidly building on its intellectual and cultural assets.
Fourth: Provide quality library services and contribute to managing and promoting activities and functions at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center related to translations, scholarly publications, Arabic language and Islam, and projects that add valuable products to the existing international body of knowledge in these areas.
Offering the scholar and interested reader exceedingly valuable collections is one of the main goals of the library, and is in harmony with its broader interest in safeguarding world intellectual and artistic heritage in diverse areas of knowledge. Currently, the library contains numerous basic references related to Islamic architecture, arts and sciences, and diverse documents regarding how Islamic civilization is perceived by others.
Also a generous initiative, under the support and guidance of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidency Affairs, has begun toward greatly fortifying the library collections. Three thousand (3,000) major knowledge resources pertaining to the history and ongoing status of Islamic arts and architecture, in more than eleven living languages, are in the process of being acquired and will be housed permanently at the library. The library already contains rare books and unique references of great scientific and historical value, including rare Arabic calligraphy collections, related books, documents, and copies of the Holy Qur’an printed in Europe during the years (1857-1537), and additional extremely rare editions of manuscripts and imprints all totaling (50679) in number. The collections at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center library also continues to grow at record speed. All these sources of knowledge will be available to all researchers, scholars, specialized students and interested readers.
The library aspires to generate and offer databases, secure varied media and build optimal internal information networks that facilitate library operations. Reference librarians will assist patrons and answer questions directly or respond to queries received through various communication means. Highly knowledgeable library experts will also offer assistance to scholars, researchers, interested visitors and those with special needs.
The overarching goal is to maintain an advanced operational structure complete with modern tools and systems that guarantee excellence in service exceeding the expectations of library patrons and researchers.
Optimal fulfillment of the requirements necessary for conducting research by utilizing top modern methods is the expected environment of the library. Therefore, continual building of the collections and enriching the sources of knowledge will be adopted as an ongoing practice.
The library offers visitors reading and research spaces, high accessibility to books, journals, maps, and various media, electronic and non-electronic.
Numerous activities and functions organized by the library will track, document and contribute to the revival of Arab and Islamic heritage. The library will disseminate knowledge in harmony with contemporary culture and society, and in order to enrich the present historical moment. Functions will include conferences, panel discussions, lecture series, exhibitions, and celebrations of religious, national and social occasions. The activities will also support the production of research, authoring, translating, publishing, and knowledge-and-visitor exchanges with other comparable cultural and library centers around the world.
The Library will catalogue all books, references, manuscripts and sources of knowledge utilizing the American Library of Congress system. The classification guidelines are the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, Second Edition (AACR2) providing headings for author, title, subject, and abstracts that facilitate retrieval of information and research. Due to accelerated progress in the information field, and in keeping up with the accelerated move toward automation in the current culture of the UAE, and the growing demand on documents, manuscripts, printed and digital data and high speed of information delivery, the Millennium system has been selected and purchased for internal library use. The Millennium System is highly capable of integrating increasingly diverse sources and content, especially electronic, and managing, classifying and accessing these sources with ease. It also resolves problems quickly and efficiently, and provides accurate and timely reports and statistics about the contents and operations of the library.
Strategically located in the Northern Minaret, the library itself is a minaret in its call for human harmony, tolerance, understanding and the gathering of cultures for the good of humanity. The exceptional location is intended to attract readers, researchers and scholars from around the world. The library of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center, is intended as a beacon of enlightenment, and therefore connects with the historical richness of Islam and revives it. It also energetically joins the highly changing modern world while standing on a solid ground of identity of excellence.
Easily accessible, visible from afar, and distinguished for exceptional architectural aesthetics, the library communicates symbolically the high appreciation Islam bestows upon seekers of knowledge, science and scholarship, and the honoring of learning as a light toward truth, goodwill and beauty.
To save time and welcome visitors, spacious parking lots are available in all four directions leading to the library.