The Arab Digital Library is one of the King Abdul-Aziz Public Library’s sustainable knowledge and culture projects, commissioned by his Excellency the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, that was set up as one of the projects of the National Communication and Information Technology Plan, to provide its services to researchers and scholars through an electronic portal on the Internet.
The Digital Library constitutes an Arab window to bridge the digital divide and monitors Arab digital content where it is available and enables users to access it from one place. Through direct links, Arab researchers and beneficiaries or other Arabic-speaking people are able to access the portal, browse its content, and select the books and references they need.
The Digital Library is a complete complement to the Unified Arab Index Project established to serve Arab and Islamic libraries and culture. Its membership includes 200 Arab and foreign bodies having thousands of libraries in the Arab world attached to them.
The digital library is working to open new horizons that enhance cooperation between the King Abdul-Aziz Public Library and libraries in the Kingdom and abroad, so that databases can be built and shared. This will further enrich e-resources and improve services, as well as increasing the benefit gained from the Library's infrastructure, as represented by the Unified Arab Index, which was necessary to build the Arab Digital Library, as well as highlight Library projects and enable them to achieve their objectives, such as the Encyclopaedia of Saudi Arabia, the National Project to Renew the Link with the Book, the Airport Library Project and the Children's Book Club Project. The Digital Library is also a super umbrella for all digitalization initiatives to reduce duplication and cost, achieve the goals of the development plans to transition to a knowledge society, and fulfil the goals of the e-government programme through the provision of government electronic services to all segments of society, and in all regions. This is in addition to achieving the objectives of the National Communication and Information Technology Plan to transition to an information society, providing information throughout the country to all segments of society, and working toward the goals of the National Science and Technology Policy by supporting the dissemination and availability of Arab scientific content through the Internet, as well as King Abdullah's project to develop public education by contributing to the building of the knowledge society, providing Arab content on the Internet that achieves the goals and programmes of education systems, as well as supporting initiatives to provide free access to information with a view to creating the knowledge society advocated by UNESCO.
The Arab Digital Library aims to enhance Arab digital content and make it available to beneficiaries. It also aims to provide the desired services to researchers and beneficiaries; to encourage cooperative and complementary efforts in the field of digitalization, which will result in significant investments in the knowledge industry, scientific research, and information and communication technologies so as to reach the knowledge society, to support communication and cooperation with Arab libraries and universities, scientific research institutions, publishing houses, authors, and knowledge makers. Another aim is to build an Arab Digital Library that covers the most diverse electronic holdings (digital books; texts; images; audio and video files; PDF files), as well as making information available so that any researcher can easily access the content he is searching for, either directly or through programmes he uses to benefit from this content. It also provides virtual information services to researchers and beneficiaries, spreading an information culture among all strata and segments of society, collecting Arab digital content from Saudi libraries, followed by Arab holdings in Arab libraries, and then unique Arab holdings in international libraries.
Visit website of Arab Digital Library on www.aruc.org/digital-library