By Gureni Lukwaro
American University of Sharjah (AUS) has one of the best libraries in the region. It’s not only very well designed, but it has vast resources to help students, faculty and other researchers find a wealth of information.
Something that some people may not be aware of is that the current state-of-the-art library is much younger than the university itself. When AUS was established in 1997, there were not as many buildings as there are now. Up until 2006, the AUS Library was located on the top floor of the university’s Main Building.
On May 31, 2006, His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammed AlQasimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah and President of the American University of Sharjah, inaugurated the current building to be used as the official, dedicated library building for American University of Sharjah.
Renowned as one of the premier libraries in the region, the AUS Library provides collections, services and programs to support the curricular and research needs of the university community.
The majority of the AUS Library's rapidly growing physical collection of 140,000 items is in English; the library provides access to over 200,000 electronic books and there are also many materials available in Arabic. The online catalog can be used to search for library materials from any location on or off campus. Using the library website, students and faculty can access e-books, online databases, full-text journals and other digital resources.
The AUS Library facilities include the Information Commons with 135 desktop computers, group study rooms, quiet study areas and media viewing rooms. The library offers hands-on information literacy classes to teach students research skills. It also works in conjunction with all parts of the university to provide academic resources for all classes taught at AUS.
To mark the 10-year anniversary of continuous and outstanding service to the AUS community, the AUS Library ran an Instagram photo competition in April. More than 100 very creative, library-related images were submitted. The competition was open to all current AUS students and required contestants to capture their favorite library spot or moment and submit their entries marked with #AUSLibrary10.
A panel of qualified judges reviewed each entry. The winners, which were announced at the awards ceremony held at the AUS Library on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 were:
First Place: Abdukarim Umarov from the College of Architecture, Art and Design at American University of Sharjah
“The judges were impressed with how this photo successfully captures a moment in the life of the library, encompassing three floors, books and people. In addition to contrasting the rectangular book within the circular rotunda, the photo portrays the diverse individual activities that occur within our communal space,” said Daphne Flanagan, University Librarian, at the awards ceremony.
Second Place: Abdurahim Umarov, a marketing senior from the School of Business Administration at AUS and older brother of the first-place winner
“Throughout history, books have been a fundamental source of knowledge. The judges felt this photo imaginatively evokes the continuing path of learning,” Flanagan noted.
Third Place: Shareen Irshad, a graduate student pursuing her Master of Science in Computer Engineering at the American University of Sharjah’s College of Engineering
“The judges liked how this photo creatively combines the traditional and modern ways students access information,” said Flanagan.
Kevin Mitchell, AUS Interim Provost, presented prizes to the winners: an iPad mini for the first prize winner, a Vox Movie voucher worth AED400 for second place, and an AED200 Campus Cash voucher for third place. A montage of archival images and the Instagram entries were displayed during the ceremony.
Congratulations to the AUS Library on your 10th anniversary!