Qatar National Library

Good habits die hard they say and so if there’s one thing you could pick up this year I’d say give reading a shot. I personally never was a voracious reader at least not until I hit my teens. It was one of those Sidney Sheldon books that got me hooked on and since then there’s been no turning back. What and how I read has obviously changed a lot over the years and although in all honesty my reading has gotten a lot slower and minimized to one book a year (thanks to my little one) i’ve never stopped.

Last week while I was over at Qatar Foundation I found some time to go check out the newest of structuers to hit the educational / art scene in Doha and boy was I impressed. Let me just say that I absolutely admire both architecture & literature and what it does to lift the human race. I can usually find words to describe the profound effects of an object or experience however this one threw a curve ball at me and I was completely lost for words upon entering the stunning space.


In this post I am to the best of my ability going to find the words to encourage you to go see and be inspired not only by the structure but also by the words and books available to explore.


About Qatar National Library

The structure itself now Iconic to a new and fast developing Qatar is designed by the renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. This state of the art structure house thousands of books and study material and is aimed to be a one stop shop ( although library books can be borrowed for free) as a national library, a research-level university library, and a central metropolitan digital public library.

Getting a membership 

Membership is for free and available to anyone holding a residence permit or valid Qatari ID. The registration process is easy and hassle free. I’ve listed out the 3 step process below:

  1. Sign up with all your details using any of the screens available at QNL.
  2. At the end of the process you will get a bar code. ( take a picture of the bar code with you hand held device. Not compulsory but adviced)
  3. Head to the registration desk and hand over you Qatari ID to a representative. The system should recognize your details and the rep. will approve the sign up handing over a QNL library card with your password that can be changed immediately or at any time in the future.
  • Library cards are available starting from age 0 months to 17 years. Parents just have to sign a consent form in addition to the online sign up.
  • Sign ups can be done for people not present at the library as long as a digital copy of RP / QID is emailed.

What does the card entitle you to?

The card lets adults borrow 4 books at a time and children get to borrow 10 at a time.

Each book can be extended for 21days a time with a maximum of twice  = 42 days in total.

You must renew the borrow 2 days prior to the expiry date. This can be done online by logging into your account, selecting items to be renewed and pressing submit. Alternately you could go to the library and physically extend it. Short overdues are charged 0 QAR however longer ones cost 50 QAR. More on QNL’s rules and regulation online 

Automated return stations



The Space

QNL is divided into 3 tiers and holds books of all genres. The list below will give you an idea of reading material available. If you have a specific book in mind you can look it up through the system and find a corresponding code no / location. If not just browse the system before you decide to get overwhelmed and lost within the Tiers.

There are plenty of traditional study tables but also some unconventional ones. Lazy boys for some chillout reading or in my case and many other sleep deprived moms a much needed quite nap .

If you’re looking to fuel your mind the space has 2 cafe’s one run by serving decent coffee and delicious treats at pretty reasonable prices.

There’s a cafeteria just behind the kids library section that serves hot meals in case you find yourself researching all day.

The Kids Library

This section is every parents dream come true. If you’re trying to inculcate good reading habits in your children then this where you need to take them. The library is massive and is equipped with an educational play area for the younger ones.


Screens for the older kids and books of every genre. As mentioned kids are allowed to borrow 5 books at a time.Getting them into the habit of selecting, reading and returning books back in a good condition is a valuable lesson that teaches them to make choices for themselves, to care for things that don’t belong to them and responsibility of course.

Library of classification system 





In age where information is passed on freely without fact checking or understanding the repercussions of  spreading false and misguided news this new structure provides hope to a generation of diminishing readers and proves that there is so much more we don’t know and need to explore. Lets try to make 2018 less about social media and fake news and more about real facts literature and knowledge.


I wish you all happy readying.


Questandmark X


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