The National Library function collects and provides access to global knowledge as well as heritage materials relevant to Qatar and the region. The University and Research Library supports education and research at all levels, and the Metropolitan Public Library delivers library services and information for everyone to enjoy reading, meet people, and become information literate.
Managing the move
The QNL found an experienced library move specialist to carry out the complex operation. Rob Townroe, group general manager for the UK-based firm Specialised Movers, said:
“The building consists of 45,000 square metres and is constructed in one big hall with three main terraces. An advanced sorting system using RFID integrated with the Qatar National Library management system would help to take part of the collection up to the terraces, and additional space for the other parts of the collection would be offered by compact shelving areas able to accommodate over 1million items.”
A project management team was sent to live and work in Doha over the 15 week project period. The project team created the processes required to get the stock on the shelves, using a local team of 25 operatives and endless trucks supplied by a company in Doha. “In many ways the setting up of the processes and procedures for the move were similar to creating a type of manufacturing plant from scratch. The local operatives had to be trained in library classification systems and how to use the internal conveyor belt systems and sorting machines. The local transport company had to get the stock to the library in a 'just-in-time' approach, relying on every part of the process working in synergy to make this whole process run smoothly, efficiently and to schedule.”
A success story
Two weeks before the end of the of the scheduled move, all books were on shelves, in order and completed to the client’s satisfaction.
The team expressed immense pride in their achievements, and also in being associated with such an important project. Their time in Qatar was enriching, living in a different country and learning about different cultures, working with people from all over the world. “They loved the country, the food, and most of all the people. Returning to the UK on a rainy afternoon, they still had smiles on their faces. Paul, our senior project manager from Barnsley, said that it may be cold and wet, but it's still better than a day temperature of 54 degrees, where even a swim in the sea is like taking a hot bath!”