The digital transformation edge: Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation (AHSF) incorporated an advanced digital strategy for the post pandemic era that radically altered its operations


Emanating from the belief that culture is a necessity rather than a luxury, the Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation (AHSF) was established by Arab Bank in 1978 as a pioneering non-profit initiative to support cultural and social responsibility initiatives in the Arab World. The Foundation aims to serve as a beacon of light in Jordan and the Arab World by laying the groundwork for a society that nurtures reading, caters to scientific research and innovation, and promotes cultural enlightenment.


Founded in 1986 as the first computerized and fully equipped public library in Jordan, the Abdul Hameed Shoman Public Library contributes significantly to the achievement of the Foundation’s goals. For the past 35 years, AHSF has been continuously working on developing an operating model for public libraries to serve as active learning centers that offer accessible and diverse resources, as well as services and opportunities for self-development for all.


The venue-based sectors (such as libraries, museums, performing arts, cinema, etc.) are the hardest hit by long-lasting lockdowns and social distancing measures. Moreover, the Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation’s (AHSF) yearly budget was reduced to 30% in 2020 and 2021.


AHSF has responded rapidly with accelerated digitization strategy aiming at increasing efficiency, adapt to a greater operations agility and ultimately, unlocking new cultural experiences for its beneficiaries beyond its physical locations.


Subsequently, three main pillars evolved from the AHSF library digital transformation strategy as follows:


  1. Internal Systems: Digitization will not only provide a better solution for our beneficiaries, but it will help us in the decision-making process, by forming a better understanding of our beneficiary’s behavior, thus, helping us in developing our programs as if they are tailored to them, so developing our awards and program systems was a no-brainer. The Foundation digitization process was implemented internally, by developing an internal calendar and documents centre aiming to share the knowledge acquired by The Foundation’s employees.


  1. Program Services: In the journey of unlocking new cultural experiences, several programs were designed to invite the beneficiaries that cannot participate physically in our activities and events. That is why we launched the reading competition “Read in 10” and redesigned our Reading Marathon enabling us to implement it in thirteen locations at the same time through our mobile application.


  1. Beneficiary Services: As part of the digital transformation process, the e-library for children, youth, and adults was developed providing e-books and audiobooks in Arabic and English.

To keep up with the latest technologies and learning tools, The Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation started producing Podcast episodes internally.

As mentioned earlier, we developed The Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation mobile app. This application provided an excellent solution for our beneficiaries to access the events monthly calendar, search for books (e-books and paper books), and get fast responses to any questions, suggestions, or feedback instantly through our live chat and Chatbot.

The library’s subscription is no longer done manually. Beneficiaries can subscribe through our app or website easily without being physically inside the building, and each beneficiary has a special account through which he can reserve books, and meeting rooms, get recommended books based on his/her interests, search history, the due date of returning books, and much more.

To enhance the relationship between The Foundation and the beneficiaries, the e-rewards system “Nuqati” (My Points) has been developed, which grants points to each beneficiary within his/her account on the SSO (Single Sign On) registration system when he/she participates or attends any event and rewards him/her a number of points which can be exchanged with different prizes and rewards.

Currently, The Foundation developed 26 systems internally and manages 19 external systems, allowing 113753 beneficiaries to access our programs and services digitally.

Digital transformation is a key result in The Foundation’s 5-year plan (2023-2027), as it will help the Foundation to implement operational institutional excellence; an important priority, and that will be fulfilled through a number of programs and activities focusing on the employees, beneficiaries, and partners.