Posted on August 29, 2015

Qatar National Library (QNL), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), recently participated in the 81st IFLA World Library and Information Congress in South Africa to showcase Qatar’s array of state-of-the-art information services. Hosted at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), the Congress is a flagship professional and trade event for the library and information services sector. It is organised by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), which represents the global voice of the library and information profession.

The library was also recognised as the Regional Arabic Speaking Preservation and Conservation Centre (PAC) at the Congress. The QNL-PAC regional centre will utilise state-of-the-art technologies at its laboratories aimed at preserving precious heritage and culture archive materials available in Qatar and the wider region. Through this announcement, QNL will represent the 25 Arabic speaking countries in the Middle East and North Africa.  

Through its participation at this international event, QNL supports Qatar Foundation’s commitment to protecting and preserving Qatar and the region’s heritage and culture, making these accessible for future generations. Commenting on QNL’s participation at the Congress, Dr Claudia Lux, QNL’s Project Director, said: “The IFLA World Library and Information Congress provides our team with a unique opportunity to network with thousands of seasoned experts from the global information services industry. Members of our team exchanged ideas with experts from other countries and took part in numerous professional development sessions.”

QNL represents Qatar at IFLA 2 [].jpgDr Lux added, “QNL showcased the recent progress of Qatar’s libraries and information services sector to a global audience. Our booth welcomed hundreds of visitors who learnt about the various developments in Qatar’s information services, including the launch of Qatar Digital Library (QDL), the promotion of the concept of Open Access in Qatar through QNL’s online databases, QNL’s existing services and initiatives, and the library’s future plans.” The Qatar Digital Library (QDL), one of QNL’s landmark projects, is an online platform providing access to thousands of historical documents about the Gulf and the wider region as a whole. It provides rare insights into centuries of Arab history and culture, as well as the valuable contributions made by various Islamic scholars in the fields of science, medicine, mathematics and geometry. 

Eng. Saadi Al Said, QNL’s Associate Director, Administration and Planning, said: “Our presentation on QDL was welcomed by the participants and visitors at the exhibition. QDL is at the forefront of Qatar and the region’s digital revolution.” Eng. Al Said added: “QNL is collaborating with other stakeholders in Qatar and the region to preserve rare historical materials about the wider region. QNL’s announcement as the regional PAC centre will enable the library to reach out the wider region and greatly assist in preserving precious historical resources available in the various libraries.”

Commenting on her experience at the Congress, Abeer Al-Kuwari, in charge of QNL’s Branches Affairs, said: "IFLA is one of the world’s leading specialised libraries and information service conferences where I had the opportunity to meet seasoned practitioners from across the globe and hear their experiences. I attended various workshops and discussions, gaining valuable insights in the latest developments and findings related to libraries and information services sector. These insights will help us to further develop libraries in Qatar in the coming future.”

Samia Hassan Al Shiba, senior project coordinator, who presented an informative presentation on QDL, said: “This is my second time attending the IFLA World Library and Information Congress. Through a poster presentation, I had the honour of offering participants of the Congress an introduction to the QDL and its content. My attendance at the Congress was a success, not only was I able to enhance my professional development, but also expand my network of contacts with leading experts from around the world.” 

Qatar National Library is currently offering free online access to a vast collection of online resources, including the latest bestsellers, classical works, top academic journals and documentaries. Anyone who lives in Qatar and has a valid Qatari ID/Residence Permit is eligible for free library registration. To register, please visit  to gain access the complete list of online resources.