Mags & Books Personal

Visiting the National Library During the Pandemic

When I posted about the National Library last year, most of the comments were regarding their operating hours which is 9AM to 1PM because it was as if they didn’t want anyone to visit the library. Well now with the pandemic, things just got a bit more complicated.

Last week I dropped by the National Library because I needed to flip through their newspaper archive. Usually you just give the security guard at the entrance your civil ID and then go in. But, because of the pandemic, they now have an appointment system like all other government offices. So while at the security desk I created an account at and booked an appointment before being let in. Once inside I had to have my photo taken at another security desk for some reason, that wasn’t there last year and they took my photo with my mask on so not sure what the purpose is.

I was told that nobody was allowed to go upstairs where all the books were. Instead, I needed to wait in a small room for someone to come to me so I could tell them what I wanted so they would go get it for me. This works if you know what you want exactly, but part of the experience of going to the library is finding books on a subject that you also didn’t know about.

I must have been the first person to ask to check their newspaper archive because they didn’t know how to go about it with the new rules. I spoke to two girls first who then had to call their boss who then told them to go get another guy, who then came and left again to go get someone else who finally could help. But he needed to know exactly what year and month of the archive to get (they’re large books archived by year and month). Luckily I knew which month and year so he was able to go fetch it for me but if I didn’t, not sure what the process would have been like.

So if you were planning to visit the library during the ongoing pandemic it’s no longer a good experience. I used to love dropping in randomly every now and then to go through their books and newspapers so it sucks that I can’t do that anymore. If you want to check out my previous post on the library, click here.

14 replies on “Visiting the National Library During the Pandemic”

They have 22 listed on the site including:
Public Authority for Housing Welfare
Ministry of Higher Education
Kuwait Fire Force
Ministry of Works
Environment Public Authority
Ministry of Communication
Directorate General of Civil Aviation

and more…

Maybe they should have a website of what is available so visitor can be prepared what they are looking for. This is too complicated.

I took an appointment and visited them last month, hoping I could do some online research and work on my masters report. However, they only allowed me access to the little dark bunker room on the ground floor, which wasn’t any use for me because they didn’t have any valuable books for my topic of interest and I wasn’t permitted to study.. even if I had bat eyes to see in the dark.

This is a shame, because I used to visit the library and study on the second floor very frequently before the pandemic, and even then, I’d only see 1 other person visiting the library every 8 or 10 of my visits. I don;t understand why malls can be overcrowded but the library that barely has any guests is still off limits 🙁 I need a quiet place to study.

Wtf why would they install an appointment system, no one even goes there. Such a shame, it’s a nice building and pretty sure with some interesting resources but not much effort is put to attract people to it and to emphasize its importance. Would be great to encourage 3rd level students to attend their online lectures there with a personal study space. Smh

The picture that you thought was taken is the thermometer to make sure that you have a normal body temperature.

As for the working hours, the problem is that there are no employees working besides the morning shift and it is very hard to find librarians or specialists that would work from the afternoon till evening.

Last point, you’re right, the services offered should be at a faster pace so you will not wait for a long period of time.

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