Books for All

The Global Book Collection curates books in various foreign languages for NYU Abu Dhabi’s wider community.

Alongside the wide array of academic books and resources, NYU Abu Dhabi Library’s bookshelves now include books in Urdu, Malayalam, Hindi, Punjabi and Tagalog – languages commonly spoken by many of the University’s diverse community.

As a joint partnership between the NYUAD library and the Office of Social Responsibility (OSR), the Global Book Collection contains over 350 foreign titles that were curated after surveying contracted staff on their favorite books and genres. The Global Book Collection was inspired by Class of 2014 alumnus Jin U Bak, who started a used books program as a way to give a new life to used books and promote a culture of sustainability at NYUAD.

NYU Shanghai Class of 2024’s Yuxuan Li and NYUAD Class of 2023 Rawan Shaaban are two OSR student assistants who helped catalog and tag the literature for the launch.

Yuxuan Li, NYU Shanghai Class of 2024
Rawan Shaaban, NYU Abu Dhabi Class of 2023

Li had heard about this project while looking for opportunities to do more beyond her academic work during her semester at NYUAD. “I think it’s an amazing initiative to give back to the contracted staff who supports the day to day running of the campus,” Li said.

Brendalle Belaza, a domestic worker who lives on campus, welcomes this initiative. The self-proclaimed book lover looks forward to visiting the campus library during her free time to peruse the collection.

"As I am starting to write my own stories, I love reading stories which are in Tagalog," Belaza said. 

Brendalle Belaza, an NYU Abu Dhabi community member. Image provided by Belaza.

“People often think that the library is only for students. With the global collection, it’s a space for everyone. I really like the initiative, and the fact that the books are in so many languages makes it very inclusive,” Shaaban added.

More Titles To Come

With support from the library, OSR will be growing the Global Collection every year. “We hope to add more titles and diversify the range of languages,” said Aasna Sijapati, Assistant Instructor from OSR. A suggestion box situation by the collection also meant that NYUAD community members can request books and authors they would like to see included in the collection, Sijapati added. 

"The Library is thrilled to partner with the Office of Social Responsibility to build a collection around the interests and needs of our contracted colleagues, in their preferred languages. We look forward to continuing to work with our colleagues to develop the collection further based on their recommendations," said Beth Russell, Associate Director for Research Services and Strategy.

The Global Book Collection is open to all NYUAD community members based on an honor system. 

The Global Book Collection inside the NYU Abu Dhabi library.