EDIT: As of 3.10.2021, there’s no need to have a prior appointment to visit the Library anymore. Please check on www.qnl.qa for an updated list of precautionary measures.
Did you know that Qatar National Library has a special section dedicated to the little ones? It’s the Children’s Library, a place where kids fall in love with reading and explore their curiosity.
The Children’s Library holds a truly impressive collection of over 100,000 books! But it’s not only about books – there are also educational toys, games, online resources, as well as a plethora of events, hosted at the Library (limited to online at the moment, due to the pandemic).
And the best part? It’s all free of charge! All you need to do is pre-book your visit.
But let’s start from the beginning…
Where is the Children’s Library located?
The Children’s Library is a part of Qatar National Library and is located inside it. You can drive there (parking is available onsite), or take a taxi. The great news is that it’s super easy to get there by Metro, too! Just get off at the QNL Metro Station and you will be only a short walk away.
Here’s the exact location of the Library:
What are the opening hours?
The Children’s Library is open Saturday-Thursday, from 8 AM to 2:30 PM.
Within those timings, two slots are available for visiting: 8 AM – 10 AM and 10:30 AM – 2:30 PM.
In case you’d also like to visit QNL (the “adult part”), there’s an additional time slot available between 3:30 PM – 8 PM.
How to book your visit at the Children’s Library?
Back in the days before the pandemic hit, the Children’s Library used to be available on a walk-in basis. Nowadays, you can still visit, but it’s mandatory to book an appointment online beforehand (this is as of August 2021, I will update this article if anything changes).
You can do it through this link:
All they ask you to do is to fill in a form and select your preferred date and time slot. You will then receive an email to confirm the booking, and then another email with a booking confirmation & QR code, which you need to have available when entering the Library. Note that each adult needs to fill in a separate form! Children can be “attached” to an adult form (there’s an option to do so).
Are there any restrictions because of the pandemic?
Yes – the main one is having to book your visit online and being limited to a time slot. There are some other rules in place both for the Children’s Library and for QNL in general.
The most important ones are:
— Green Ehteraz is mandatory for all adults, and all visitors over the age of 60 need to be vaccinated (and present gold Ehteraz as proof).
— Pregnant ladies sadly cannot enter, unless vaccinated (info from the helpdesk, as of Aug 2021).
— Face masks are obligatory and body temperature cannot exceed 37.8’C.
— Gatherings of more than 5 people are prohibited.
— Toddler entertainment areas are closed, and visitors are advised not to touch the books unnecessarily.
Is it possible to borrow books in the Children’s Library?
Children can borrow up to 5 books, and adults up to 4. The only requirement is having a QNL membership.
If you’re not a member, it’s super easy to become one. You can either register online (HERE), or head to a customer service desk inside QNL with your QID – the helpful staff will complete your registration. If you’ve registered once and then your membership expired, it can be renewed on the spot, with your new QID.
Is it possible to leave your child at the Library to explore freely, or does the parent need to be present?
It depends on your child’s age!
According to the QNL website:
Due to potential safety hazards for young children left unattended, children under the age of 9 must have a parent or adult caregiver in the immediate vicinity of, and in visual contact with, the child at all times. If the child is attending a closed Library program, the parent/caregiver is expected to remain in the Library building and immediately join the child at the end of the program.
Children ages 9 to 12 may use the Children’s Library on their own, but a parent/caregiver must be present in the building. Children ages 9 to 12 should not be given the responsibility of monitoring younger siblings. In such cases, younger siblings will be escorted by security to the security office until parents are located. This is important for their safety.
Young adults ages 13 to 17 are treated the same as adult users and are allowed to be in the building without an adult. However, they are still legally the responsibility of their parents.
Want to know more?
You can visit the website of the Children’s Library – HERE.
You can also follow them on Instagram – HERE.
I’ve posted many stories from our visit on my own Instagram account, you can find them in the highlights on my profile – HERE.
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