The Library reflects on being a national resource and a home of cultural heritage

Qatar National Library Celebrates Successful First Year

Qatar National Library Celebrates Successful First Year

Qatar National Library will celebrate tomorrow, Tuesday, first year anniversary of the official inauguration by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on 16 April 2018.

In this short span of time, the Qatar community has embraced the Library as a beacon of knowledge, guiding their individual journeys of personal discovery. The Library has given the community access to a wealth of resources, including books, journals, electronic resources, and a full program of over 900 curated events.

Designed by renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, the iconic Library building welcomed 738,636 visitors. With more than one million books borrowed since its opening, the Library registered 139,551 new members.

“On the auspicious occasion of the Library’s first anniversary, you just need to be here to get the sense of the scale and scope of what is the world’s most beautifully designed national library and the many people using it - expansive yet at the same time personal. People of Qatar voted with their feet on its value when more than 738 thousand people came through its doors in its first year of being, and borrowed more than one million books,” said Dr. Sohair Wastawy, Executive Director of the Library.

The growing demand for membership has also contributed to the popularity of the Library’s dynamic programs, with more than 21, 000 people registering to attend the year’s events.

The Library’s use of online resources is highly valued by users. Qatar Digital Library received over 2.5 million views. It makes available more than 1.5 million pages of historical records on Qatar and the Gulf, which were previously housed in the British Library, and thanks to a partnership agreement between the two libraries, are now being used by scholars and students from anywhere in the world.

These resources as well as the rich collection of valuable texts and manuscripts, reaching 174, 866 rare items, held at the Heritage Library has made the Library as an institution of reference for Arabic and Islamic heritage and civilization, and one of increasing global importance. The Library also digitized 4,215,652 pages of history.

As part of a series of public events commemorating the Library’s remarkable first year, Her Royal Highness Princess Dana Firas, UNESCO Global Ambassador and President of the Petra National Trust, will deliver a lecture at the Library and take part in a panel discussion, “Cultural Heritage and its Role in Preserving History, Identity and Cultural Legacy,” tomorrow, Tuesday, 16 April, from 5:00 PM – 6:10 PM. His Excellency Dr. Hamad bin Abdul Aziz Al Kawari, State Minister, will also give a speech during the event.

“This Library is a testimony to the vision and wisdom of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser in propelling learning for all. The Library’s powerful environment of learning, sharing and togetherness is transforming the society into a deeply engaged community. We are grateful to the entire community who have embraced this public space of discovery and knowledge, and we are motivated to continue to offer new services,” said Dr. Wastawy.