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Having opened three months ago and occupying a prime spot on Shaikh Zayed Road — opposite Funky Monkeys Playland in The Safestway complex — the Reademption Library is a modern auditorium-like space that’s welcoming to the young as well as adult readers.
Jitesh Surjiani set up the cosy space (complete with large beanbags) for children to lounge and feel comfortable when discovering new books. Surjiani decided on this décor to make the premises appeal in particular to younger guests, making it fun and less academic, and therefore not intimidating.
Reademption’s mission is “to rescue minds, one word at a time”. Surjiani says, “I opened the library with a socio-economic objective in mind. Reading builds personality, creates balance and helps shape character.”
He believes such a venture is important since there is so much by way of entertainment for young people in Dubai, but not much that is intellectually stimulating. And considering its proximity to art edutainment centre Funky Monkeys he can per- haps point out the importance of intellectual nurturing to parents who pass by.
Surjiani doesn’t really need to rely on anything like that to capture interest. He says parents tell him they want their children to read more and ask him if he can encourage them to do so. But, he believes that the library can only get children to fall in love with books and become evolved readers. “We provide the environment, but parents have to instill discipline,” he says.
Reademption creates the perfect ambience to enable a child to read and enjoy the process. “The library is there to provide the stimulating content, but parents themselves also need to read to children,” says Surjiani.
Membership to the library costs Dh100 per month for a minimum of 12 months. This allows for an unlimited number of books to be borrowed throughout the year, with a maximum of seven books being taken out at once.
There are other privileges too, and depending on the membership that readers decide on, these include access to the mobile app and online library, e-books and audiobooks, home delivery and more. Both physical and digital books can be borrowed for 30 days and can be renewed in the library or online. Just like any traditional library, late fees will be incurred after that time. With digital books, access automatically expires after 30 days and late fees kick in.
Reademption invites members of the public to join its world and free their minds, and this is something Surjiani is passionate about, for adults as well as children. He says that some adult readers enter the library and compare the number of books on its shelves to the numbers that other, more traditional libraries in Dubai have on theirs. But he says that the library — just like a book—should not be judged by its cover. “We stock books that are new. We have no legacy titles on our shelves,” says Surjiani.
This is important for keeping the library modern. Surjiani believes that reference books, for example titles on business and management, should be up to date, since the environment changes frequently. “We only stock titles from 2012, since they are more relevant to our readers. Fifty per cent of the books on each shelf are new,” he says.
Older, more traditional libraries in Dubai tend to have titles published prior to this date, which Surjiani believes isn’t necessarily best for the reader. Reademption Library offers a different perspective. It’s about education and progression for adults and kids, which is why it has such a strong digital element.
It also provides progressive language learning through online tools such as Mango Languages. Surjiani has also just started a new book club concept at the library, which is run by children for children. The first session takes place at the library on Friday, from 5pm to 6pm. It’s a club for eight-year-old members only and is free to attend. Surjiani also operates a movie club for children and is contemplating starting public speaking sessions for adults too.
For a truly unique reading experience across a number of progressive platforms in a fun and vibrant setting, Reademption is a great option for adults and kids alike.
Open Saturday-Thursday, 10am-7pm and Friday, 4pm-7pm. Located in the Safestway complex, next to Mazaya Centre on Shaikh Zayed Road
Source: Angela Edwards, Special to Property Weekly