The Daly Community Library opened in 1978, within the Community Centre inside the St Andrew’s Church compound that was then located on the Corniche.
The library opened with 500 books donated by the Ranfurly Library formed during World War II to provide troops serving overseas with books, which in turn had been given by public libraries in the UK when ‘weeding’ their shelves. By 1978 the Ranfulry Library was closing down as the original need had ended, but as there were no bookshops in Abu Dhabi at that time (and the ubiquitous paperback had not arrived), we knew that a library would fill a need.
We had no funds and Mr Michael Daly Snr kindly offered to provide us with shelves with lockable doors which could be fixed to the walls of the community centre. As his wife had recently died we decided to call it the ‘Daly Community Library’.
The plans for the current St Andrew’s Centre (where we are now) did not include any provision for a library. We were told that a room could be built but we would need to find the funds, and in addition pay a small annual rent and the cost of the insurance. This we have managed to do and in 1997 we were able to pay for a small extension, necessary to shelve the increasing number of books – currently about 7,000+.
The Library is open to all residents of Abu Dhabi, whatever their nationality or religion, and there is an annual subscription fee. All the books are in English, both fiction and non-fiction, and there is a separate section for children.
There are no books on Christianity… but some on Islam which have been carefully selected so as not to offend the susceptibilities of those around us.
The library is staff by volunteers, to whom we are very grateful.
The Daly Library is located inside the St Andrew’s Church compound, in the community centre building, located between the British School Al Khubairat and Shaikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Mosque.
Sundays: 3:30 to 7:30pm
Wednesdays: 11:00am to 1:00pm
Thursdays: 5:00 to 6:30pm
Saturdays: 11:00am to 1:00pm
Telephone: (02) 447 8386