Best School Librarians of UAE honoured at special ceremony in Emirates Airline Festival of Literature


In a prestigious ceremony held this week at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature (31 Jan-6 February 2024) the winners of the School Librarian of the Year Awards were announced. The highly-prized awards are presented by the Emirates Literature Foundation, in association with The Executive Council of Dubai, to recognise those individuals who have shown exceptional commitment in promoting reading for pleasure among their students and to raising academic and literacy standards in the school.

The ceremony was attended by HE Aisha Miran, Director General of Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), Shumous Majid Bin Faris and Maryam Al Falahi, Advisors, The Executive Council of Dubai.

Almost 100 nominations were submitted from around the country. Finalists were assessed by a panel of judges who visited the shortlisted librarians in person to make a final assessment. The award was judged in two categories – school librarians working in public (government) schools in the UAE and school librarians working in private schools in the UAE. Within each category, there were four prizes awarded for School Librarian of the Year, Best Use of Resources, Best in Innovation and Best in Community Involvement.

The winners were presented with their awards by representatives from The Executive Council of Dubai, Isobel Abulhoul, Founder, Advisor and Trustee of Emirates Literature Foundation and Ahlam Bolooki, CEO of Emirates Literature Foundation, Director of Emirates Airline Festival of Literature and Managing Director of ELF Publishing

The winners from public school libraries are:

  • School Librarian of the Year – Amna Saeed Alshehi
  • Best Use of Resources – Shaima Alshehi and Afra Alyammahi
  • Best in Innovation – Yasser Mohamed Abdul Mutalib
  • Best in Community Involvement – Ebtisam Almurashda

The winners from private school libraries are:

  • School Librarian of the Year – Raghunathan Manheri Othayoth
  • Best Use of Resources – Tracy Ammoury
  • Best in Innovation – Marlon Almonte
  • Best in Community Involvement – Marina Kiniotou

Other initiatives celebrated at the Festival include the Voices of Future Generations, which launched its fourth anthology of winning stories; OUP Story Writing Competition; RGS Guildford Dubai Children’s Letter Writing Competition; Chevron Reader’s Cup; ENBD Poetry For All; Book in a Box and Digital Storytelling competition; and the announcement of the third cohort of fellows for the First Chapter: ELF Seddiqi Writers’ Fellowship.

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature Festival is held with Founding Partners Emirates Airline and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated authority for heritage, arts, and culture. It is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai.