Qatar National Library marked International Literacy Day with a series of public lectures highlighting the importance of a literate world.
The theme of International Literacy Day 2019 was “Literacy and Multilingualism,” recognising that embracing linguistic diversity in education and literacy development is central to addressing literacy challenges and to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
In keeping with the theme, the library hosted “International Literacy Day: Our Children and Books” on September 7, attended by parents, educators and professionals in the area of child development. The event sought to emphasise the importance of establishing an early relationship with books to give children a head start on the path of lifelong learning.
The lecture focused on early childhood development and highlighted how children are naturally drawn towards printed material. Senior librarians presented simple but effective ideas on how to build a home library and tips to encourage reading throughout everyday family life. Participants learned how to evaluate and understand different books and to appropriately support their children in selecting reading material.
On September 8, the library presented a lecture in collaboration with the Qatar National Commission for Education, Culture and Science. In “Literacy and Multilingualism: Future Prospects,” Dr Hassan Ali Diba addressed Qatar's efforts to combat illiteracy while highlighting the importance of learning languages throughout history. He also discussed the impact of technological progress on the literacy of future generations. The lecture was followed by an introduction to the Mango Languages interactive database, which provides step-by-step lessons in more than 70 languages, including Arabic, Spanish, French and Russian.
Saleh Hamad al-Nabet, a high school student who attended the lecture, said: “The lecture gave me insights on how to improve my English skills by using the Mango Languages application and other online resources provided by the library for free to members.”
Mohamed Ali al-Buridi, another participant at the event, said: "The event was very useful. I learned about the library’s valuable electronic resources, which I will use to expand my knowledge and improve my language abilities."