Membership & Circulation Policy


Qatar National Library provides access to all its members and visitors to its collections, programs, services, facilities and resources. The Library's membership and borrowing policies ensure equal and fair treatment for everybody. The current policy will help users understand how to apply for membership and enjoy the Library's services, including how to borrow, return and renew items.

I. Purpose

This policy outlines the membership and circulation rules of the Library.

II. Scope

This policy applies to all members and covers membership and borrowing rules, privileges, responsibilities and restrictions.

III. Terms & Abbreviations 

  • Applicant: a person who makes a formal application to become a member of the Library
  • Member: a person who is a member of the Library
  • Valid ID: a Qatari Passport, Qatar ID or Qatar residency permit (RP) that is not expired
  • Item: a single physical object (book, DVD, kit, etc.)
  • Lend: loaning of an item to a Library member for a specified period of time
  • Renew: extending the loan period of an item
  • Hold: request by a member to be the next borrower when an item is returned
  • Recall: the procedure by which the Library can request that materials currently checked out be returned
  • Return: bringing back the borrowed item to the Library
  • Claims returned: when a member declares that he or she returned an item, but the item is either not available on the shelf or the member’s account does not reflect the return of the item(s)

IV. Policy

Eligibility for Membership:

  • To be eligible for a free Library membership, you must provide a Qatar ID or RP 
  • Driver’s licenses, health cards and other forms of identification are not valid for Library membership 
  • Cardholders may use the Library services within the limitations and guidelines set out by this and other Library policies
  • Library members may:
    • Request collection items for use onsite in our reading rooms
    • Remotely access electronic resources provided by the Library
    • Borrow Library materials 
    • Request materials not owned or provided by the Library through the Document Delivery Service and/or interlibrary loan.

Members should present their valid membership cards in order to check out materials. Library membership cards expire on the same date as the member's Qatar ID or RP. You can renew your membership here once you get your new QID/RP.

Responsibilities of Library Membership

As a member of the Library, you agree to:

  • Take responsibility for all activities and transactions relating to your membership card and account, as well as those of your dependents (age 17 and under)
  • Acknowledge that your membership card is not transferable to other persons
  • Return borrowed materials by the due date
  • Act immediately upon receiving recall and overdue notices
  • Promptly render payment of all applicable charges and fees
  • Respect Library materials—it is strictly prohibited to cut, tear, write in or on, or otherwise deface or damage any item
  • Follow all copyright laws of the State of Qatar
  • Follow all publishers' guidelines and terms of use when using databases
  • Renew your membership when it expires through this link once you get your new QID/RP
  • Update the Library about changes to your address, email or phone number
  • Notify the Library when you leave Qatar permanently
  • Return all borrowed materials before leaving Qatar permanently
  • Notify the Library immediately if your membership card is lost or stolen. You will be charged QAR 50 for a replacement card. 
  • Return your membership card to the Library if it is recalled
  • Notify the User Services Desk about the item you would like to borrow if it is damaged or in poor condition before borrowing it

Library Responsibilities

  • Member information will only be used for the purposes of providing Library services and is not given out to third parties except as required by law.
  • Personal information may be released only to the holder of the membership card or to the parent or legal guardian, in the case of a child or young adult.
  • Member registration records are purged after five (5) years if membership is not renewed.
  • The Library is not responsible for damage to any personal equipment, software or data incurred during the use of any Library material.
  • The Library is not responsible for the use of any ideas, concepts, images or data contained in materials borrowed by a member.
  • International intellectual property standards apply at the Library and will be posted and enforced at all times.

Membership Card Application

You may apply for a membership card through either of the following methods:

  1. Online: completely fill in the online application form; other optional information may be needed for some services
  2. In-person: bring your Qatar ID or RP to the User Services Desk in the Library to complete your registration and obtain your membership card

Applicants 18 and over

Applicants age 18 and older must fill in the online form and provide a clear scan of their Qatar ID or RP. A membership personal identification number (PIN) is only issued when a Library staff member confirms that the personal identification provided matches the information on the application form.

Children and Young Adults (17 and under)

The parent or guardian of a child or young adult (age 17 and younger) must fill in the registration form and sign the Terms and Conditions Form on behalf of the dependent. Parents or legal guardians must provide a scanned copy of both their Qatar ID or RP and that of the dependent. A child and young adult membership card will be linked to the parent’s card, with the parent accepting full responsibility for the materials borrowed and used on the dependent’s card.

Member Types

  Children & Young Adults   Age 17 and younger
  General   Age 18 and older
  Inter-Library Loan   Institutions that are part of the Inter-Library Loan Network
  Institutions   All institutions in Qatar


Borrowing Rules

Library members holding a library card may borrow materials according to the categories below:

  Membership Category Books DVDs Kits CD-ROMs
Loan Period Item Limit Loan Period Item Limit Loan Period Item Limit Loan Period Item Limit
  Children & young adults 21 days 6 14 days 2 14 days 1 14 days 1
  All other users 21 days 6 14 days 2 14 days 1 14 days 1
  Inter-Library Loan 21 days 10 --- --- --- --- --- ---
  Institutional Members 21 days 20 --- --- --- --- --- ---
  Visiting Researchers 21 days 6 14 days 2 14 days 1 14 days 1


A loan may not be transferred from one borrower to another, and no member may borrow on behalf of another person.

Institutional Membership

Any institution in Qatar with 10 or more staff members can apply for an institutional membership by filling out the Institutional Membership Form, signing it and sending it back to our User Services team at for activation. 

The institutional membership allows its members to borrow up to 20 print books for 21 days, with two renewals. If you're looking for access to our e-resources for your institution, please write to our electronic resources team. 

Temporary Membership for Visiting Researchers 

Visiting researchers who are not residents of Qatar may apply for a temporary membership, which will let them borrow books from the Library and use its services. 

To be eligible for a membership, a letter from the hosting institution is required (for example, from the dean of a department of a school) explaining the purpose and time duration needed for the membership. 

The visiting researcher can register at the User Services Desk and obtain a temporary membership card which can be used to borrow items as per the Library’s borrowing policies. The temporary membership expires at the same time as the traveler’s Qatar visa. The books they borrow are renewable twice, as long as their membership dates are still valid.

Circulation of E-Devices

The Library has 20 iPads and 14 laptops available for use inside the Library. These items may be checked out from the User Services Desk and are subject to the Technology Borrowing policy. Members with overdue items will not be allowed to borrow these devices. 

Items That Cannot be Borrowed

  • Journals
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Print maps
  • Heritage Library items

Online Resources Access

Members must follow the terms of use authorized by the online resource provider. The Library does not own these online resources; we only secure the right to access them via license agreements. See each online resource for the exact terms of use, as different providers have different rules of use.


Books can be renewed up to two times either online or by bringing the book(s) to the User Services Desk, unless the book is on hold by another user, recalled or if the account is suspended due to overdue items. The renewal time for books is 21 days. DVDs, CDs and kits are non-renewable. Members are responsible for renewing the books online through their Library account or at the User Services Desk seven days before the due date.


Patrons must return all borrowed items by the due date in order to avoid suspension of borrowing privileges and/or application of fines. All borrowed materials can be returned to the User Services Desk, the return stations inside the Library or the 24-hour book drop station on the road in front of the Library's main entrance. Failure to receive/read a courtesy reminder does not constitute an excuse for not returning the item on the due date or not renewing the item. 


Members or the User Services staff may place a hold on a first-come, first-served basis. A maximum of two holds can be placed at any particular time. When the borrowed item is returned, the system holds it for the requesting member, who is then notified by email. Items will not be held for longer than five days.


Any borrowed item is subject to recall by the Library. Borrowers who receive recall notices are responsible for returning their requested items on or before the recall dates. Recalls can be placed at the User Services Desk or online. Members will be notified via email to return any item before its due date. Items cannot be renewed if they have been recalled. 


Items on loan become overdue if they are not returned or renewed by the due date. Before any overdue notices, borrowers receive a courtesy notice by email two days before the due date.

For any overdue item(s), borrowers receive: 

  • First overdue notice seven days after the due date
  • Second overdue notice sent 14 days after the due date
  • Third overdue notice sent 30 days after the due date
  • Fourth and final long-overdue notice 60 days after the due date
  • After the final notice, and if we do not hear back from the member, his/her Library membership will be permanently suspended, and he/she will be charged overdue fines of QAR 100 per item.


Members with overdue books will be charged QAR 100 per item after the fourth overdue notice (it’s a fixed fine) .

A QAR 20 fine per day is applicable to overdue CDs, DVDs and kits. Fines are applied on the first day after the due date and accrue each additional day. 

Important: Failure to receive/read an overdue notice does not constitute an excuse for non-payment of fine.

Fines may be reduced on a case-by-case basis under exceptional circumstances, subject to the discretion of the User Services Manager. Fines may also be totally waived by the User Services Manager in the case of emergency illness or death of a relative; members are expected to present supporting documents in these situations. Members will be blocked from borrowing Library materials if they have unpaid fines.

Lost Items 

An item is considered lost if a member declares that the item is missing. Members must pay double the cost of the lost item price quoted in the Library database and an additional QAR 50 processing fee. In case no price is mentioned for the lost item in the Library database, members will pay double the market price determined by the Acquisitions department, in addition to a QAR 50 processing fee. Lost items will not be accepted after replacement charges have been paid. Members can replace the lost items with new items of the same title, author and publisher, with an additional QAR 50 processing fee. For out-of-print items, the replacement charges will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Damaged items 

Items will be considered damaged due to the following:

  • Pages are washed out and content is not readable
  • Pages are torn
  • Content is scratched out or written over
  • Loss of operation, in the case of visual and audio materials

 Members are responsible for damage to the items they borrow and will be charged:

  • The replacement cost, according to the supplier
  • QAR 50 processing fee 
  • The replacement cost and processing fee are non-refundable, even if you find the book after payment

In case there is no quoted price for the damaged item in the Library database, members must pay the market price determined by the Acquisitions department, plus an additional QAR 50 processing fee. Members may replace damaged items with a new item with the same title, author, edition and publisher, and pay the overdue fine plus a QAR 50 processing fee.

Payment Method

Fines for CDs, DVDs, kits, lost and damaged items can be paid by credit or debit card at the User Services Desk. Cash is not accepted. 

Claims Returned

A “claims returned” is when a member declares that he or she returned an item, but circulation records show the item was not returned. The "claims returned" list is searched once a week. If an item is found within 15 days, the item will be checked in and the user record cleared. If an item is not found within 15 days, the member is notified and asked to continue looking for the book while a “claims returned” status is placed on the item. Members will be notified via an email if the item is found or not available in the Library. If the item is not found after 21 days, the User Services Desk librarian will decide the next course of action and the member’s responsibility.