Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development has officially launched the project to build the new Qatar National Library (QNL). The announcement was made by HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, the chairperson of Qatar Foundation (QF) , at a multi-media event held at the Student Centre of Hamad Bin Khalifa University yesterday evening, in the presence of the QNL project team and a number of international guests. Designed by architect Rem Koolhaas, the new QNL will officially open in late 2014 and is expected to become one of the most important and iconic landmarks in Qatar and the region. “Its singular design will help users feel relaxed, creating a perfect atmosphere for studying and learning,” a QF release said. The launch of QNL coincides with the 50th anniversary of Dar-al-Kutub, the Gulf Region’s first national library, which opened in Doha in 1962. “As a national resource, the library will preserve the rich archival heritage of Qatar and the cultural legacy of the Arab world accumulated over the past centuries. Yet, while embracing the country’s tradition and heritage, the QNL will provide a bridge to the nation’s future as a knowledge economy, in line with Qatar National Vision 2030,” the release said. “As a founding partner of the World Digital Library, QNL will provide innovative facilities for exploring interaction between devices and human beings to promote new ways of learning. “QNL will operate a Qatar Reference Service and provide access to over 60 online databases and websites and will have over 300 public computers, wi-fi and multi-media production studios.” It will partner with British Library to digitise 500,000 records relating to Qatar. An “eHub” will make millions of electronic books and documents accessible at the touch of a fingertip, and it will not even be necessary to visit the library in person, as the archive will be accessible remotely through a mobile phone or other handheld device.