JEDDAH – King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, has approved the King Abdullah Project for the Development of Public Libraries.
Some SR150 million will be spent over a period of five years to spruce up 81 public libraries functioning under the Ministry of Culture and Information.
The Ministry of Finance is tasked with opening an account in the name of the project at the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency and depositing SR30 million to enable the ministry to upgrade and digitize these libraries.
Serving as a consultant for the project, the ministry is allowed to spend 10 percent of the deposited amount to cover the dues of the consultative committee and the cost of studies. Public libraries in the Kingdom are administered by a number of government bodies including, the Ministry of Culture and Information, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Haj, the General Presidency of Islamic Research, Ifta and Propagation, and the General Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques etc.
There are important libraries established either by individuals or private foundations, which include Dar Al-Jouf Lil-’ulum, established in 1962 by Abdul Rahman Al-Sudairy in Sakaka; the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies Library, established in Riyadh in 1983 and the King Abdul Aziz Public Library, established in 1988 by King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, who was Crown Prince at that time.