Qatar National Library to Begin Phased Reopening from 15 July

Qatar National Library is delighted to announce it will begin welcoming people back to its building in Education City from Wednesday, 15 July. During these recent challenging months, the staff at the Library has continued to facilitate access to knowledge through its digital services and online workshops. The Library will slowly resume its services in bringing access to information and knowledge to its community and patrons, with safety as the utmost priority.

Patrons will now once again be able to borrow books from the Library’s extensive collection, as well as continue to make use of the digital options available.           

The Library’s acclaimed building will once again open its doors to the public, with scaled-back services initially, and gradually phase in its regular offerings in accordance with recommendations from Qatar’s Health Protection and Communicable Disease Control Office of the Ministry of Public Health. The Library’s reopening phases place the well-being of staff and visitors at the forefront and will be based on the safety protocols to control the spread of COVID-19.

The Library will operate with a lower capacity initially, and patrons will be required to pre-book their visit slot online for a morning (9:00  11:00 AM) or afternoon (12:00 2:00 PM) visit.  Precautionary measures to ensure the health and safety of patrons will be in place, such as thorough cleaning and disinfection of high-touch areas to be carried out before and after each slot, reduced capacity of elevators and rooms, and closure of the bookshelves as well as certain Library spaces.  The building will remain closed on weekends.

The Library will welcome patrons aged 13 to 60 years old,  and all entrants will be required to wear masks at all times and have their temperature checked upon arrival. Visitors will be expected to show their Ehteraz app, follow the social distancing stickers, and keep formal and informal gatherings restricted to five people or fewer.

Visitors will initially only be allowed to collect pre-reserved books, and will have to request books 48 hours in advance via email, with no borrowing of DVDs, CDs or electronic equipment permitted. Items may be loaned only through self-checkout stations, with book return stations inside the Library and bins made available for returning books. Members can also use the drop-off station outside the building, which will be open from 1 July, and any books received from the public will be kept under isolation for five days before recirculating. Additional services will be introduced in the next phases and will be announced accordingly.

Registration and reference services will continue online. The restaurant and café will be closed to the public until further notice, with bus and valet services also unavailable.

Lolwa A. Al-Naemi, Manager of Facilities and Interim Leadership Committee Lead at Qatar National Library, said:

“We are pleased to be able to welcome people back through our doors once again. We want to assure our visitors that we are committed to the highest standards of health and safety, and all measures within the Library are in line with national and international guidelines.

“The reopening plan will follow the guidelines given by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) for book handling procedures and social distancing within libraries. Therefore, our interim book circulation procedure ensures minimum contact with books to avoid any associated contamination risk, as our aim is to strike a balance between public health and the service offerings.

“Although our services will be restricted in the initial phase of our reopening, our members can also continue to enjoy the wealth of online resources and events available for our members to use.

“We look forward to welcoming people back to Qatar National Library.”

Visitors are advised to visit the Qatar National Library website and social media channels in advance of their visit and to read the Questions and Answers section to fully comply with guidelines.