Sharjah's House of Wisdom shortlisted for London Book Fair's prestigious library award

The event's International Excellence Awards will be announced in April

Sharjah's House of Wisdom is nominated for the Library of the Year prize at The London Book Fair’s International Excellence Awards. Photo: House of Wisdom
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The House of Wisdom has been shortlisted for the Library of the Year prize in the International Excellence Awards, organised by The London Book Fair.

The Sharjah cultural hub has been selected along with the City of Johannesburg Libraries in South Africa and the Fran Galovic Koprivnica Public Library in Croatia.

The winner will be announced during the London Book Fair 2022, which will run from April 5 to 7 at Olympia in the UK capital.

The exterior of the House of Wisdom in Sharjah, which opened in December 2020. Photo: House of Wisdom

Other prizes to be handed out at the ninth International Excellence Awards include the London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award, Audiobook Publisher of the Year, Bookstore of the Year Award, Educational Learning Resources Award, Rights Professional Award, Children’s and Young Adult Publishers Award, Literary Translation Initiative Award, as well as the Inclusivity in Publishing Award, which is eligible for entries from the UK only.

A total of 17 countries are included on the shortlist. Greece has been shortlisted for the first time, and Spain leads nominations with three entries, followed by the US, Egypt and France.

The Rights Professional Award is sponsored by Sharjah Book Authority, and Egypt's Fatimah Abbas from the Fatimah Abbas Literary Agency is up for the award, along with Spain's Anna Soler-Pont from The Pontas Agency and Taiwan's Gray Tan from the Grayhawk Agency.

Also from Egypt, publisher Al Kotob Khan is nominated for the Literary Translation Initiative Award, along with Europe Comics (Belgium) and Institut Ramon Llull (Spain).

"The publishing industry has done remarkable work over the past year, managing to tell new stories and deliver books to readers in the face of Covid, supply chain issues and other notable challenges. The dedication and passion for books shown throughout the global trade is truly inspiring, and we are delighted to recognise some of the most innovative companies, initiatives and individuals from around the world in this year’s International Excellence Awards shortlists," said Andy Ventris, director of The London Book Fair.

"We wish all our shortlistees the very best of luck, and look forward to announcing the winners of the International Excellence Awards at this year’s London Book Fair, as we come together in person to reconnect at Olympia London in April."

Sharjah's House of Wisdom opened in December 2020 in celebration of the emirate’s year as the Unesco World Book Capital in 2019. It houses a total of 407,500 books, of which 322,000 are in digital format and 85,500 books are in more than 12 languages.

Earlier this month, the House of Wisdom entered the metaverse with new NFT art. See highlights here:

Updated: March 17, 2022, 2:27 PM