While the sales of tablet computers and smartphones continue to rise in Qatar, the few libraries and bookshops here are struggling to survive.
The Ministry of Arts, Culture and Heritage is being criticised for not doing enough to increase the number of libraries in Qatar.
The country is spending billions of riyals on education, yet it has only a small public library, and the handful of bookshops fall short of the expectations of the average reader.
The state of the public library is such that most residents are oblivious of it. The boards saying ‘Library’ or ‘Bookshop’ at various stationery shops are misleading, say people. Such “camouflage” has been the subject of jokes in the country’s reading circles for some time…
Countries are judged progressive not only by their economic growth but also by the state of their public libraries. Here, not only does one face a hard time locating the public library, finding valuable books inside is just as difficult.