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Posted On: 22 June 2020 05:00 pm
Updated On: 29 June 2020 01:35 pm

Public libraries in Qatar: Find out all about them

Nabeela
Nabeela
Content Writer
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Books have been a source of knowledge for adults and children alike all over the globe and for centuries. However, at a time like today, when everything is becoming more and more digitalised with a shift towards electronic gadgets, devices and gaming, sometimes, it feels like the love of books and reading them is slowing disappearing. Not in Qatar, though!

According to The Planning and Statistics Authority, the number of books borrowed in 2018 has seen an annual increase of approximately 266% while the number of borrowers increased by 29%, especially since the Qatar National Library opened its doors towards the end of 2017. In fact, approximately 835,841 books were borrowed in 2018 as compared to 228,322 books in 2017, which shows an increase of almost three times.

Most of you already know the Qatar National Library and have probably been there, too (it's definitely my favourite place for books and to hang out), but how many of you know that Qatar also has a number of other libraries, too, that are open to the public?

Let's tell you all about the public libraries in Qatar along with their details, so you have some exciting places to check out once this coronavirus (COVID-19) spread is controlled and places reopen.

Please note: In light of recent coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Qatar, and in the interests of the safety and wellbeing of visitors and staff, all libraries are closed to the public for the time being. Once the libraries reopen, we'll update you. In the meantime, save this link so when they do open, you know where to go!

Qatar National Library

Public libraries in Qatar: Find out all about them

QNL, a-state-of-the-art purpose-built infrastructure, boasts of a vast collection of over one million books that include fiction, non-fiction and research, along with over 500,000 e-books, special collections, periodicals, journals, newspapers and a whole lot more. The library is also host to a whole range of online resources that cater to the interests of all kinds of individuals on a range of subjects for adults and children alike. Special talks, seminars and workshops are held at the library periodically that appeal to adults and children.

QNL has a specially dedicated space for children that is made up of over 100,000 children’s fiction and non-fiction books, educational materials, graphic novels and magazines, etc., that will keep your child busy for hours on end. Just the freedom to enter the Children’s Library and choose books based on interest and liking will excite your child, keep them occupied and make them want to come back again and again.

The Children’s Library also has educational toys and exciting electronic resources that have specially been picked to keep your children engaged and occupied for hours. There are study rooms and the latest computer labs available for older children along with a number of youth clubs and homework support.

Ever since the library opened its doors to visitors on 7 November 2017 and was officially inaugurated by His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on 16 April 2018 who placed the millionth book on the library’s bookshelf, it has seen thousands of visitors who come to borrow books and take advantage of the vast array of resources on offer.

Details

Address: Doha - Qatar
Timings: Saturday to Thursday: 8 am - 8 pm; Fridays: 4 pm - 8 pm
Tel: +974 4454 0100
Website: https://www.qnl.qa/
Facebook:
@TheQatarNationalLibrary
Instagram:
@qatarnationallibrary
Twitter: @QNLib

Maktaba Qatar

Public libraries in Qatar: Find out all about them
Image credit: Maktaba Qatar

Maktaba is not a traditional library. It's a space where, as you move from room to room you hear the sounds of parents reading to their children in a variety of languages or where from the Makers Room, you can hear the sounds of children busy crafting, experimenting and engineering. In the kitchen, families sharing their children’s snacks can be heard discussing the challenges of parenting.

Step outside and you see this library has taken note of the growing awareness of the importance of incorporating outdoor play and learning into traditional education in its community garden, where from October to April, children make the desert bloom. They plant, care for, and harvest vegetables, herbs, and flowers that we use for cooking adventures and art activities. Maktaba Qatar brings this time outside full circle through its weekly Garden Club using the books in its collection to help children strengthen their connection with nature.

Maktaba Qatar is a space where imagination comes to life through books, play, and thoughtfully conceived programming for children of all ages. The library encourages children to explore the world and use creativity to reflect on their experiences. It also encourages children to contribute to their community by providing outlets for their natural curiosity and fostering dialogue.

Join Qatar’s first Children’s Library.The benefits of your Maktaba Membership begin with:

  • Borrowing privileges
  • Free and unlimited access to story times and activities
  • Exclusive access to special events
  • A minimum of 10% discount on Maktaba workshops and merchandise

Details

Address: Al Mabahej and Saha 33, Al Mabahej, Doha - Qatar
Timings: Sunday to Thursday: 9 am – 5 pm
Tel: +974 4427 8810
E-mail:
[email protected]
Website: http://maktabaqatar.org/
Facebook:
@MaktabaQatar
Instagram:
@maktabaqatar
Twitter: @MaktabaQatar

MIA Library

Public libraries in Qatar: Find out all about them
Image credit: MIA Qatar

The Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) Library has over 21,000 books in Arabic, English and other languages, making the museum’s collections of books on Islamic art one of the largest in the region. These include specialist books and monographs on Islamic art, art reference books, museum collection and exhibition catalogues, scholarly periodicals on art including auction catalogues.

MIA Library also has a varied collection of 2,000 rare books in English and Arabic. Many of these books are unavailable anywhere else in the region. Many have been digitised and can be viewed via the Library catalogue.

An extensive collection of children's books including stories, art history, art activities, culture, history, science and general reference can also be found in this cosy library. In fact, from writing a book review for the ‘book review tree’, scavenger hunt to making your own bookmark, the library offers an exciting experience for all members of the family.

Note: Books cannot be borrowed or taken out of the library.

Details

Address: Level 1, Education Centre, Museum of Islamic Art, Corniche Street, Doha - Qatar
Timings: Saturday to Thursday:
Tel: +974 4422 4420
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.mia.org.qa/en/library

Mathaf - Arab Museum of Modern Art Library

Public libraries in Qatar: Find out all about them
Image credit: Mathaf

The Mathaf Library, or Maktaba in Arabic, is a research library housing a comprehensive collection devoted to modern and contemporary Arab art from the region. The library has one of the largest and most comprehensive collection of books and publications on general art history, modern art world wide and art history, with a special focus on the Arab world. Publications are in English, Arabic and a number of other languages.

The library is the perfect place for quiet study and research. You will be surrounded by over 7,000 books as well as works of art dotted around the space. If you are researching one of our temporary exhibitions, our curators, if available, may also be able to assist you.

Details

Address: Education City, Doha - Qatar
Timings: Sunday to Thursday: 7:30 am – 3 pm
Tel: +974 4402 8855
Website:
http://www.mathaf.org.qa/en/research/library

Al Rayyan Public Library

Al Rayyan Public Library is open for the general public and includes 36,000 books in Arabic and English. The library aims to provide various information resources necessary to offer informational and bibliographic services to the public of intellectuals and scholars in the geographical area in which it is located. In addition, it provides the service of external lending of books to members of the sub-library.

The library also aims to conduct cultural activities and lectures periodically as well as during certain cultural events such as World Book Day. The library also receives school visits to create awareness among students of the importance of the library, how to use it, how to identify its contents and ways to benefit from it.

Details

Address: Al-Rayyan Al-Qadeem, Doha - Qatar
Timings: Sunday to Thursday: 7 am – 2 pm; 4 pm - 6 pm
Tel: +974 4480 5966

AlKhansa Public Library

AlKhansa Public Library is the first women’s library in Qatar and was established in 1981. The library houses around 42,934 books in Arabic, and around 5,091 books in English.

The library aims to provide various information resources necessary to offer informational and bibliographic services to the public of intellectuals and scholars in the geographical area in which it is located. In addition, it provides the service of external lending of books to members of the sub-library.

The library also aims to conduct cultural activities and lectures periodically as well as during certain cultural events such as World Book Day. The library also receives school visits to create awareness among students of the importance of the library, how to use it, how to identify its contents and ways to benefit from it.

Details

Address: D-Ring Road, Doha - Qatar
Timings: Sunday to Thursday: 7 am – 2 pm
Tel: +974 4455 4320
E-mail:
[email protected]
Website: https://www.mcs.gov.qa/en/mcs_centers/alkhansa-public-library/

Al Wakrah Public Library

The Al Wakra Public Library was established in 1985. The library is made up of around 37,205 books in Arabic and about 2,728 books in English. The library aims to provide various information necessary to offer informational and bibliographic services to the public of intellectuals and scholars in the geographical area in which it is located. In addition, it provides the service of external lending of books to members of the sub-library.

The library also aims to conduct cultural activities and lectures periodically as well as during certain cultural events such as World Book Day. The library also receives school visits to create awareness among students of the importance of the library, how to use it, how to identify its contents and ways to benefit from it.

Details

Address: Al Wakrah - Qatar
Timings: Sunday to Thursday: 7 am – 2 pm
Tel: +974 4463 0012
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: https://www.mcs.gov.qa/en/mcs_centers/al-wakra-public-library/

Al Khor Public Library

The Al Khor Library is situated in the city of Al Khor. It was established in 1977 and comprises of around 39,041 books in Arabic, and around 4,013 books in English. The library aims to provide various information necessary to offer informational and bibliographic services to the public of intellectuals and scholars in the geographical area in which it is located. In addition, it provides the service of external lending of books to members of the sub-library.

The library also aims to conduct cultural activities and lectures periodically as well as during certain cultural events such as World Book Day. The library also receives school visits to create awareness among students of the importance of the library, how to use it, how to identify its contents and ways to benefit from it.

Details

Address: Al Khor - Qatar
Timings: Sunday to Thursday: 7 am – 2 pm
Tel: +974 4472 0112
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: https://www.mcs.gov.qa/en/mcs_centers/al-khor-public-library/

Al Shamal Public Library

Located in the city of Shamal at the northern tip of Qatar, Al Shamal Library was established in 1979, and houses around 60,726 books in Arabic and around 2,779 books in English language. The library aims to provide various information necessary to offer informational and bibliographic services to the public of intellectuals and scholars in the geographical area in which it is located. In addition, it provides the service of external lending of books to members of the sub-library

The library also aims to conduct cultural activities and lectures periodically as well as during certain cultural events such as World Book Day. The library also receives school visits to create awareness among students of the importance of the library, how to use it, how to identify its contents and ways to benefit from it.

Details

Address: Al Shamal - Qatar
Timings: Sunday to Thursday: 7 am – 2 pm
Tel: +974 4473 1158
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: https://www.mcs.gov.qa/en/mcs_centers/al-shamal-public-library/

    Dar al-Kutub al-Qatariyya

    Dar al-Kutub al-Qatariyya is one of the oldest national libraries in the Gulf and the Arab world and one of the most outstanding cultural landmarks in Doha. It was established in 1962 by merging the Public Library and the library of the Ministry of al-Ma'arif (Education) into one body. Inside the library, you'll find is a vast collection of books amounting to around 319,478. The Arabic titles include books on Islamic texts, hadith, ancient history, geography and culture. There is a small English collection of titles as well which is more contemporary, and comprises of fiction and non-fiction books about international relations, medicine and other subjects, along with a smaller collection of Japanese and French titles. The library also houses a collection of rare books you may not find elsewhere.

    To borrow books, you will need a membership, which is free.

    Details

    Address: Ras Abu Aboud Street, Dawar Dar Al Kutub, Al-Ghanim Al-Qadem, Doha - Qatar
    Timings: Sunday to Thursday: 7 am – 2 pm; 4 pm - 6 pm
    Tel: +974 4438 9888