ABU DHABI’S FAVOURITE LIBRARY
The Club Library is a core recreational facility of The Club that seeks to promote the love of reading a ‘good book’ especially for Junior Members and provides a quiet haven to relax, read, browse or study at your leisure. Our choice of bestselling fiction and eclectic non-fiction titles is supplemented by a cornucopia of DVD titles for Library members who want to switch off with a captivating movie or binge on a boxset.
The Library began over 50 years ago, as a portacabin in the back of The Club car park and thanks to The Library’s longest-serving Senior Librarian, Tony Beale, the Library has since grown into a modern space for Members, with thousands of books and DVDs available at your fingertips – The Library is The Club’s entertaining, educational and cultural hotspot. Read Tony’s story below on the history of The Library, from the 1960s to its present day.
Sunday – Thursday: 10:00 to 20:00
Friday and Saturday: 09:00 – 20:00
The Library Team
The library information
For more information on our annual membership fees, please click on the link below.
Club Library membership lasts 12 months from 1 January to 31 December. Annual Library membership costs AED 330, enabling you to borrow up to eight Hardbacks and unlimited Paperbacks at a time. Pro-rata rates apply to members joining after 1 February. Only FULL members of The Club may join the Library. Visiting members or guests cannot borrow books or DVDs, but we always have a selection of quality used books and DVDs available for visiting members and guests to buy.
Hardback books can be taken out for a period of four weeks, paperbacks have no borrowing limit. You can renew books in person or by telephone. Newly arrived books (received within the previous four months) cannot be renewed and must be returned to the library. All other books can be renewed ONCE only, except when the book has been reserved by another member. Overdue books cannot be renewed by telephone – the member must return the books in person and pay the overdue fine incurred. If you have unreturned overdue books or DVDs on file, you cannot borrow further titles until the overdue books/DVDs have been returned and all fines paid. It is Library policy to charge an OVERDUE books’ fine of AED 5 per book per two weeks or part of two weeks overdue. If you lose a book or cause it to be damaged, then you will be charged the full replacement cost of the book’s UK price plus handling costs (the minimum charge for book replacement is AED 90).
You can reserve popular books on a waiting list. We welcome your suggestions for new books to be ordered. Please write your recommendations in the suggestions book. We accept donations of unwanted books or DVDs in good condition.
The DVD section is open to all current Library members. You pay a refundable deposit of AED 100 to be able to borrow either two single discs (seven days’ viewing) or two multi-disc sets (14 days’ viewing) DVD titles, free of charge. At the end of the 7 / 14 day borrowing period, please return the DVDs in person to the Library – there is no telephone DVD renewal facility, you will incur a fine of AED 5 per DVD title per day overdue. DVDs must be returned to the Library in person during opening hours, DVDs or books should not be left at the Club Reception desk or the gatehouse. If you have unreturned overdue DVD or book titles on file, you cannot borrow further DVDs/books until the overdue titles have been returned and all fines paid. It is your responsibility to replace or pay the full replacement costs (minimum charge AED 90) of any DVD that you lose or cause to be damaged. It is Library policy that Junior members (under 15 years of age) have to be with a parent or guardian in the Library to monitor and agree to their children’s choice of DVDs. Please treat our DVDs with the utmost care for others to enjoy!
Club members or guests are invited to use our suite of five Internet-linked PCs with our compliments. Printouts and photocopies cost AED 1 per page. Club members can also access the Internet on their personal laptops in the Library by using the Club’s free Wi-Fi facility. We regret that you can only use external flash drives with your own laptop.
The Club Library orders bestselling fiction, non-fiction and children’s books in hardcover format with a protective cover. In the searing heat and humidity of the Gulf, hardback books are more durable than paperbacks. When a hardback edition is not available, we do order paperback versions with a plastic sleeve cover according to the book’s merit and appeal. Please bear in mind that we have an extensive range of donated paperback books (2,500+) that Library members can borrow as well as our hardback titles.
We place orders every three to four months with our UK suppliers at Askews Holts Library Services that are couriered to Abu Dhabi. We target bestselling authors and non-fiction books that complement the current titles available and appeal to a wide audience. We are not a specialist, academic Library.
Children’s books are from the pre-school ‘read with mum and dad’ level through to age 11 or 12. The rationale is enjoyment and escapism. We do not seek to compete with school libraries. There is the crossover ‘Teenage Fiction’ section (where we order both hardbacks and paperbacks) for older junior members who have outgrown the classic children’s books – this segment is often termed as the ‘Young Adult’ market.
We are very happy to receive suggestions from members for books to be ordered and will try our best to obtain such titles that will be an asset to the Club Library.
The Senior Librarian, currently Tony Beale, is the arbiter of what books actually get ordered and he is mindful of the constraints and sensitivities of ordering books that are suitable for the cultural environment of the UAE.
The DVD sub-section is a ‘bonus’ feature of Club Library membership. Upon paying a refundable AED 100 deposit, the Library member can borrow two DVD titles. Single DVDs are borrowed for seven days’ viewing and a boxset/multiple disc title is available for two weeks’ borrowing. The entire DVD collection of 3,800+ titles started from the ‘job lot’ purchase of a Club member’s pristine DVD collection and the rest is history.
DVDs are grouped according to the genre, with ‘Family Entertainment’ unsurprisingly being the most popular section with viewers. We purchase DVDs from our UK suppliers Askews Holts Library Services and also from the local market. Despite the popularity of streaming and Netflix, our range of DVDs still manages to satisfy most tastes.
We are extremely grateful to Club members who kindly donate unwanted books and DVDs (in good condition please) to the Club Library. This is the basis for our fantastic paperback borrowing facility. Duplicate books and DVDs are offered for sale inside the Library.
While we never say ‘no’ to your generous donations, storage constraints can mean that we temporarily have to suspend accepting donations on occasions and ask you to perhaps check beforehand with the duty librarian before bringing boxes and bags of donated material to the Library. This is especially advisable in the summer period when members might be leaving Abu Dhabi or having a house/flat clearing. We are also happy to pass on surplus donated books to charitable causes.
Selling surplus donated books (mostly paperbacks) and DVDs is a vital source of revenue for the Club Library. Bearing in mind that Library subscriptions have been at the same rate (AED 330 to borrow unlimited hardbacks and eight paperbacks) since January 2014, it was decided in March 2021 to slightly amend charges for books / DVDs sold in the Library.
A dedicated group of book lovers meet once a month to discuss a particular book that they have read. These informal convivial gatherings tend to take place in a suitable venue at the Club or in The Club Library. Further details can be obtained from the Library desk.
Former Club Librarian Melissa Huxley was instrumental in setting up an official BookCrossing Zone in the Library for people to donate and receive books. The parent body is on the website www.bookcrossing.com where they describe themselves as:
“It’s the World’s Library. It’s a smart social networking site. It’s a celebration of literature and a place where books get a new life. BookCrossing is the act of giving a book a unique identity so, as the book is passed from reader to reader, it can be tracked and thus connecting its readers. There are currently 1,911,223 BookCrossers and 13,466,336 books travelling throughout 132 countries. Our community is changing the world and touching lives one book at a time.”
The Library has partnered with Askews & Holts Library Services, to bring the latest novels and DVDs to Abu Dhabi.