Qatar National Library acts as a steward of Qatar’s national heritage by collecting, preserving and making available the country’s recorded history. In its role as a research library with a preeminent heritage library, the Library fosters and promotes greater global insight into the history and culture of the Gulf region. As a public library, we provide equal access for all of Qatar’s residents to an environment that supports creativity, independent decision-making, and cultural development. Through all our functions, we provide leadership to the country’s library and cultural heritage sector.
The Library also supports Qatar’s transition from a reliance on natural resources to become a diversified and sustainable economy by providing support to students, researchers, and the public to promote lifelong learning and empower individuals and communities for a better future.
In addition to full-text online resources, the Library currently has more than one million books in its collections, along with more than 500,000 eBooks, periodicals and newspapers, and special collections. Our qualified librarians are experts in teaching, research skills, literacy, programs and knowledge management. Combining all these skills together with our strong service ethic, we offer many events, programs, and activities for the local community to do, learn and discover.
The Library project was announced on 19 November 2012 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation. The Library was granted the status of national library under the Emiri Decree No.11 of 20th March 2018. His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, officially inaugurated the Library at a grand opening ceremony on 16 April 2018.
Qatar National Library’s state-of-the-art building, located in the heart of Education City, is a community space for Qatar’s residents and helps facilitate the effective exchange of ideas and communal learning.
The 45,000-square-meter building encourages visitors to explore the progression of knowledge from the past to the present. It achieves a delicate balance between information availability and accessibility on the one hand, and content preservation and conservation on the other.
A Monument to Knowledge
World-renowned architect Rem Koolhaas’s design resembles two pieces of paper that are pulled apart and folded diagonally at the corners to create a shell-like structure, enclosing the open-plan interior.
The main interior space is designed to allow a precise amount of daylight to enter and maintain a connection to the world outside. Daylight filters through the glass façade, providing natural light that is conducive to reading and socializing. The bookshelves themselves are an integral part of the building itself, rising out of the floor and highlighting the value of books in Qatari culture.
A blend of classical materials, such as marble for the Heritage Library, and modern materials, such as stainless steel for the other collections, combine to emphasize the progression of knowledge from the past to the present.
The 21st Century Library
Innovative technologies are seamlessly integrated throughout the building, enhancing accessibility and efficiency without detracting from the overall aesthetic. These include:
- Automated self-checkout and return stations, and a radio frequency identification (RFID) book sorter system, allow for convenient access to the Library’s materials
- A people mover system transports library users throughout the shelving tiers, making the collection easily accessible for all visitors
- A wide range of computer systems, tablets, interactive screens and audiovisual equipment throughout the building
Preserving Qatar’s Heritage
As the repository for some of the nation and region’s most important cultural and historical items, the Library is committed to providing an environment that will preserve this information for generations to come. To achieve that, the building includes:
- Climate-controlled display cases in the Heritage Library and throughout the building to showcase the collection
- The dedicated Conservation and Preservation Laboratory that actively works to restore and protect items in the Heritage Library
- The Digitization Laboratory, which digitizes items from the Library and other collections and makes them available to scholars worldwide
A Community Space
The Library has numerous facilities for individual and group collaboration, research and study. These include:
- Assistive technology room including 16 computer stations with adjustable leveling, equipped with cutting-edge hardware and software technologies
- A dedicated area for young adults
- A 686-square-meter Children’s Library
- 4-room Innovation Station
- 2 instruction rooms
- A computer lab
- 8 group study rooms
- 28 individual study carrels
- 3 media viewing rooms
- 26 large interactive screens and 465 computers
- A 200-seat Special Events Area with lights, an LED screen, speakers and noise-dampening curtains
- A 120-seat auditorium
- A restaurant and a café
Become a Member
Any Qatari citizen or resident in the State of Qatar is entitled to obtain a membership card in the library for free. You will need to attach a copy of the Qatari ID / residence permit during the registration process. Your membership to the library is subject to the terms and conditions available for viewing here.
Link for Applying Membership