Books — Made in UAE
Reading is Fun! - Workshops for School Librarians

Reading is Fun! ©
How can children be encouraged to discover the joy of books, develop their creativity and their thirst for reading? The Goethe-Institut Gulf Region invited school librarians in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Sharjah to explore these questions in three interactive workshops.

The workshops were conducted by experienced reading promotion expert Gaby Hohm. The workshops were designed to encourage and support librarians from schools and public libraries in the UAE to try out new and interactive methods of reading promotion in their libraries. The methods were designed to actively involve the children in order to make reading and books an important part of every child’s life.The one-day workshops were be based on a „building block concept”. Each building block consists of a creative activity, a stimulating idea or an exciting method how to promote reading to children. From this wide range of building blocks, librarians can then choose those activities which are most suited to their needs and „build” their own reading promotion campaign for their library.

The participants’ experiences, problems and questions from their daily library work were constantly integrated into the workshop and methods and ideas adapted to their needs. Together, librarians and workshop instructor developed new reading promotion strategies that are practicable, easily implemented and that can be adjusted to different library profiles and requirements.


„Every school librarian wants children to discover the joy of reading”, explains Susanne Sporrer, director of the Goethe-Institut Gulf Region. „This is done most effectively by offering creative and exciting activities that playfully involve the children. If the library is a place where children feel comfortable, where they experience inspiring and exciting events together with other children, books and reading become a natural part of their lives. We want to support school librarians in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Sharjah, so that their libraries turn into such places of reading fun.”

The workshop in Abu Dhabi were organised by the Goethe-Institut with the friendly support of the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority/The National Library. In Sharjah, the workshop was organised by the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY), the Goethe-Institut Gulf Region and Knowledge without Borders. In Al Ain, the workshop took place in cooperation with the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalid Al Nahyan Future Generation Society. The book material for all three workshops was generously donated by KALIMA.


Gaby Hohm has worked from 1980 till 2010 for the Stiftung Lesen (German, literal translation: Reading Foundation) – Europe’s largest and most influential reading promotion initiative – which she largely helped to establish as head of programming and strategies. She was mainly responsible for the planning of nationwide reading promotion initiatives. In recent years she has given lectures and conducted workshops about reading promotion and reading research in Beirut, Tripoli, Ramallah, Cairo, Gent, Bologna and London among others.