A gateway to knowledge

 19 Nov 2017 - 18:22

The Peninsula

Qatar’s quest for the best has produced yet another jewel. This time it was Qatar National Library, which has become a shining example of excellence all over the globe. One of the commendable aspects of the project was that this feat was achieved at the time when Qatar is under the unjust siege imposed by blockading countries. This gateway of knowledge, which was opened this month, has become an example of country’s perseverance.

The state-of-art new facility of the Qatar National Library, a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), has been in the planning for five years, having been founded in 2012
by H H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of QF. In spite of the difficulties imposed by the siege countries in the last few months, the opening of this knowledge centre is a great example of Qatar’s steadfastness. And QNL is a jewel in the crown of Qatar.

As QNL Executive Director Dr Sohair F Wastawy said: “The opening of the QNL building is a landmark achievement for the cultural and education landscape in Qatar. QNL is a place where everybody can learn, collaborate, and create.”

A quick look at the facilities at the library shows that it is living up to its vision to be one of the world’s preeminent centres of learning, research, and culture; a guardian of the region’s heritage; and an institution that promotes discovery and the nourishment of the human spirit.

The collection includes books from all over world in 20 languages. The main collection comprises Arabic and English language texts, but also provides a wide selection of books in French, German, Italian, Portuguese,
Spanish, Tamil, Urdu, Tagalog, Sinhala, Malayalam, Bangla, Nepali, as well as Russian, Korean, Chinese and others, reflecting Qatar’s diverse society.

The QNL building, designed by renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and located in Education City, is the first new national library to open anywhere in the world in this millennium and it is one of the largest libraries in the world. Spread over an area of 45,000 square-metre, the library is fully accessible to visitors with special needs. It can boast of rare and unique collection and includes a joint atlas of which only 12 copies are available in the world. QNL also features a dedicated Children’s Library containing more than 150,000 books.

The Teen Library at QNL, is for visitors aged between 13 to 18 years, and has more than 30,000 books, magazines, computer labs, graphic novels, interactive learning tools, and a specially-tailored events space. Definitely, it is an institution promoting discovery and human development in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030 and the UN’s Global Sustainable Development Goals.