Paris – Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, held a ceremony, at the Reem Island campus library, to mark the receipt of a valuable collection of Italian books translated into French, donated to the PSUAD library by the Embassy of Italy in Abu Dhabi. The booklist features major titles, published by famous Italian publisher Franco Maria Ricci, on culture, art, history and sports, notably the Forced Migration Review, Miraculous History, The Vatican and Ancient Mosaics, A Game of Golf in the Woods, and The Century.
Giorgio Starace, Italy’s ambassador to the UAE, said, “I am pleased to present these highly valuable books from the Marilena Ferrari collection to the PSUAD library, in light of closer partnership in the areas of education and sports with the university in Abu Dhabi,” adding, “Italy and France have always found common ground in promoting cultural dialogue across the world.
“We are well-aware that culture and education are the top priorities of development and progress in the UAE. We, in Italy, share this vision, and there has been significant cooperation between relevant institutions in our two countries in these areas.”
Prof. Eric Fouache, PSUAD Vice-Chancellor, welcomed the guests and highlighted the role played by the university as a bridge between the European and Arab cultures. He praised the generous support, both human and material, provided to PSUAD by the government of Abu Dhabi, especially by H.H. General Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Prof. Fouache asserted that PSUAD, despite its historic French name, remains an Emirati and global university, open to everyone, whose primary area of interest is scientific research. He noted that the PSUAD library supplements all study programs by offering books, periodicals, and databases, in addition to subscriptions to a wide range of online publications and databanks. The PSUAD library is constantly expanding its collection to best cater to the current needs and interests of students given PSUAD’s keenness to offer a first-class environment for students to enrich their minds and lives.
Dr. Alessandra Priante, Italian cultural attaché for the Gulf region, noted that the books donated to PSUAD were edited by Franco Maria Ricci, the leading art editor in Italy, whose published essays in cultural volumes and periodicals have added to national and international artistic heritage and whose art books have inspired many students, artists and experts on the arts scene today. Dr. Priante expressed her hope that these books and encyclopedias would benefit and inspire generations of PSUAD students.
Johan Engelbrecht, head of the PSUAD Library, observed that PSUAD has paid attention to the library since day one, since education at the university level, unlike previous educational stages, is characterized by the key role that should be played by the library in strengthening students’ cultural awareness, passion for learning, and educational curiosity.
“Conscious of the importance of having a library on campus, PSUAD was determined to build an academic library with a collection that responds to the course, cultural, and career needs of students. The university also recruited a qualified staff of specialists to offer informative and guidance services to students and teachers, in keeping with its educational message,” he said.
PSUAD enjoys a world-class academic library – a two-storey, 400 by 700 square meters structure that can hold around 200,000 works, and seats 400. The state-of-the-art library features the latest technology, web connections, security systems, a self-loan station, and library management system. The library offers a variety of major periodicals, documents, and references on art, literature, social sciences, and languages to students of these and other fields, such as archeology, geography, history, philosophy, economics, urban planning, communications, management, and business.
The library was inaugurated with the university in 2006 and is constantly expanding. It includes today more than 70,000 books in various knowledge areas and sciences; 20,000 books are added every year and titles are available in French, English, German, Arabic, Italian, and Spanish.