Qatar National Library (QNL) recently participated in the 27th Doha International Book Fair, where they attracted thousands of visitors keen to learn more about the library and its functions and registered more than 1,300 new members.

The book fair took place from 30 November to 10 December at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC). During the fair, QNL organised a series of interactive presentations to raise the awareness of the library’s efforts in digitising and preserving historical materials.

QNL also hosted lectures on the different efforts taking place in Qatar to collect and preserve cultural treasures. Presenters included Ibrahim Fakhroo, a collector of Islamic artefacts; Mohammed Fikri, Director of Special Collections and Archives at QNL; and Jaber Al Hajri and Hamad Al Malki, founders of the first social media heritage preservation Instagram account in Qatar: Turath_Lawal.

In addition, QNL hosted an array of community activities designed to foster a culture of reading among people of all ages. These activities included a book discussion with the Qatari author Abdulaziz Al Mahmoud, and literature lectures with authors Hessa Al Awadhi and Dr Ahmed Abdul Malek. QNL’s dedicated children’s area welcomed more than 700 children and their families each day, where they took part in activities such as story time and young author sessions with the goal of teaching children to learn and express themselves in a creative environment.

Aseel Alarashi, a student at Qatar University, said:

I’m very proud to see QNL at the Doha International Book Fair in a bid to raise awareness on the various services it offers to the residents of Qatar. The role of libraries in every country is vital, and to have a facility offering public services at this scale is an admirable addition to our growing nation.’

Through dedicated Database Stations, QNL’s booth highlighted the library’s rich online databases and diversified information services. The QNL team was on hand to answer questions and to help visitors register to gain free access to the library’s wealth of digital resources.

Among the visitors to QNL’s booth were HE Sheikh Thani bin Hamad Al Thani; HE Salah bin Ghanem Al Ali, Minister of Youth and Sports; HE Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti, Minister of Transport and Communications; HE Dr Ghaith bin Mubarak Al Kuwari, Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs; HE Dr Issa Saad Al Jafali Al Nuaimi, Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs; HE Dr Saleh Al Nabit, Minister of Development Planning and Statistics; and HE Dr Mohammed bin Abdul Wahid Al Hammadi, Minister of Education and Higher Education. The QNL booth was also visited by many cultural figures, such as Qatari actor Ghanem Al Sulaiti.

QNL, a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), supports the nation’s journey towards a knowledge-based economy by spreading knowledge, nurturing imagination, cultivating creativity and preserving the nation’s heritage for future generations.

To learn more about QNL’s upcoming events and programmes, visit qnl.qa.