The Role of Libraries in Nurturing Gifted Individuals

By: Dania M. AbuFodeh, Information Services Librarian
Translated by: Hadia Hajo, Editor and Publications Specialist
gifted child


The cultivation and enhancement of talent is an essential aspect of life, and educational and cultural institutions play a significant role in discovering and nurturing students' talents at various stages of their lives.

Giftedness is an educational term closely associated with students who possess unique abilities and capabilities that set them apart from their peers. These students demonstrate exceptional potential and abilities that qualify them for advancing their academic and cultural achievements. Gifted students possess innate readiness and extraordinary skills or outstanding performance in one or more areas, such as intellectual excellence, innovative thinking, creativity, and other cognitive or personal skills. They require specialized educational support that is not fully available in regular programs.

Gifted individuals share common characteristics, including:

  1. Rapid development of reading and writing skills, often learning to read before starting school.
  2. Quick mastery of fundamental skills without requiring extensive training.
  3. Enhanced ability to comprehend abstract or theoretical concepts and work with them efficiently to draw conclusions based on a wide range of information.
  4. A strong inclination towards independent work from an early age, relying on their independence for extended periods, along with the ability to concentrate and focus.
  5. Excess energy and high vitality, sometimes exceeding normal levels.
  6. A preference for friends who are older and rarely forming friendships within their age group.

Given these distinctive traits, children and adolescents who are gifted require unique programs to support and develop their talents. This is where libraries play a crucial role as an essential part of supporting the educational process for gifted individuals.

The library is often the first resource that teachers turn to for supporting the education of gifted students. It is a place where gifted individuals can find additional information and resources related to their interests and engage with like-minded peers in a stimulating and supportive environment.

Gifted children and high-achieving individuals require general educational and pedagogical programs just like their peers. However, programs designed for gifted children aim to develop their special talents and capabilities further.

Some of the most important programs that Qatar National Library offers to empower and support gifted individuals include:

Reading Support Programs:

These programs aim to shape the cognitive development of gifted individuals by providing a variety of reading materials within their areas of interest. They help gifted individuals discover additional sources that support their educational journey. Gifted individuals are always eager to explore more about topics that pique their interest. They are naturally curious and have a passion for knowledge beyond the standard curriculum. Therefore, libraries offer a vast array of materials to satisfy their curiosity and promote their learning.

Book Clubs:

Book clubs provide gifted individuals with an ideal environment to share their ideas, develop critical thinking skills, engage in discussions, and reinforce the habit of reading. Gifted individuals benefit from guidance to navigate their interests in the right direction and to accept constructive criticism from others, encouraging purposeful, open discussions.

Contrary to popular belief, gifted individuals can be highly sociable and eager to meet new people, especially those who share their hobbies and skills. Often, they form friendships with older individuals who share common interests. Therefore, the library serves as an ideal community and cultural hub for gifted individuals to connect with others who share their talents and passions.

Cultural Competitions Organized by the Library:

Regular reading competitions organized by libraries help instill a reading habit in children and adolescents, encouraging them to invest their free time in activities that enhance their skills. These competitions foster a spirit of competition and fair play among participants, boosting their confidence and pride in their achievements.

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