Posted on July 21, 2018

The Qatar National Library (QNL) has received more than 265,000 visitors and the number of  checked out books has touched approximately 480,000 since its experimental opening in November 2017.

Among the books checked out more than 286,000 are from the Children’s Library. “In fact, every book in the Children’s Library has been checked out at least once,” said Gihan Mohsen Baraka, Communications Manager at the QNL. “We are quite proud of that number as one of our key missions is to promote early literacy and that has obviously resonated with the community so far,” she told The Peninsula. “While the library has registered more than 77,000 members and welcomed more than this number and hosted hundreds of events of all kinds, and the public reception has been highly enthusiastic,” she added.

As the newest national library of the 21st Century, QNL was officially inaugurated on April 16 this year by H H the Amir by placing the library’s one-millionth book, a rare 843-year-old manuscript copy of Sahih Al Bukhari, on the Library’s shelves.  It also houses a rare collection in the Heritage Library and provides free access to resources on the Qatar Digital Library. The Heritage Library and its ongoing exhibition have welcomed nearly 65,000 visitors to see the display of items relating to the history of Qatar and the Gulf. “Qatar has truly embraced the Library, and we look forward to continued excitement about all we have to offer,” said Baraka.

QNL’s main collection features literature spanning an array of subjects and genres, including Arabic, English and other languages as well as dedicated sections for children and teens. Activities and services at the QNL are designed in a way making it a place for the entire community to gather, learn, innovate, contemplate, engage, and be inspired and empowered. “The variety of events offered at the Library has made them a major attraction for our members.  There is really something for everyone. It has been remarkable to see how quickly the Library has become a hub of learning and creativity in the community,” said Baraka.

QNL has remarkable collaborations and during the grand opening in April, it signed Memoranda of Understanding with the National Library of Turkey, the National Library of the Netherlands, the Azerbaijan National Library, and the National Library of China. It also extended the partnership with the British Library, in regard with the Qatar Digital Library (QDL) managed by the QNL. It is the world’s largest open-access digital repository for Middle Eastern history. “In January, we will commence with the next phase of our partnership with the British Library to continue digitizing its important historical collections about Qatar and the Gulf,” she said.

QDL is the most important outcome of the partnership between the QNL and British Library. It has digitized and provided free access to items from the British Library’s historical collections relating to history of Qatar and the Gulf, medieval Arab science and medicine. It has around 9 million users from around the world.

source: The Peninsula