Muscat: Oman had 57 private libraries by last year-end, most of them in North Sharqiyah and Al Dakhiliyah, according to data released recently by the Ministry of Heritage and Culture.
The capital, Muscat, has the lowest number of private libraries, or civil public libraries as described by the ministry, with just three in the South Sharqiyah region followed by Buraimi which has just one private library.
Al Dakhiliyah and North Sharqiyah region topped the list with 19 and 14 private libraries, respectively, followed by South Batinah that has seven and North Batinah six. Al Dhahira has four such libraries and South Sharqiyah three.
All private libraries, or civil public libraries as per the ministry's nomenclature, need permission from the ministry which regulates such facilities under the ministerial decision number 229/2007, including supervising their entire functioning.
As per the law, Omani nationals can establish libraries and obtain a proper license from the ministry. The objective of the libraries should be to make access to books easy for students, researchers and scholars, encourage knowledge dissemination and provide the youth an opportunity to use their free time in activities like reading and studying.
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