Fatma at the British Library

Our friend Fatma just came from England and Scotland. She was kind enough to write to us about her experience in visiting the British Library:


I really enjoyed being there in on of the great libraries of the world and the national library of the UK. when i entered the main gate i was amazed by the great building, design, and the whole atmosphere. It was crowded with people reading in the reading rooms and corridors.. the information desk was like a reception desk in 5 star hotel..you will feel proud of your self studying libraries and how important your

study is. i was dreaming that i can work there… they organize tours to guide you in the library but i couldnt join them, so i explored the building myself. the BL is spread over six levels. it includes
– Reading rooms (Asian & African studies, humanities, maps, manuscripts, rare books & music, science, social sciences)
– Business and IP centre
– Conference center
– Exhibitions and Galleries
– Facilities (Cafe, cash point, locker rooms, restaurant, shop, telephones, learning center, cloakroom, meeting point)
Since they are the national library of Uk, they preserve the nation’s collection of books, newspaper, maps, manuscripts, prints and drawings, photographs, patents, stamps, and much more. they have duty to care for and preserve the national collection. By law, the library must keep a copy of everything published in the UK in various formats-not just books. however, you have to register for a Reader Pass to enter the reading rooms. Most items in the library’s collections are kept in storage and have to be identified and requested using the online catalog. Only general references works and current science and business collections are available on open shelves in the reading rooms. Delivery of items from storage areas to reading rooms normally takes between 70 and 48 hours.


Thank you Fatma for sharing your visit with us.


8 thoughts on “Fatma at the British Library

  1. Thank you Mohmaed, i want to add that the BL also offers help for comprehensive search support. the researcher can use their dedicated Research Service with the help of information professionals. They can carry out research to meet the researcher’s specifications, budget, and deadline. As well as the document supply collection of books, journals, reports, and theses can be ordered via the library. The readind rooms have space for over 1,200 researchers.
    I wish we have like that kind of libraries in Kuwait.

  2. Like that in Kuwait ? there is nothing even close to that in Kuwait. the best thing you can have is at the University, and you know how is the situation in there. Anarchy.

  3. Thanks Fatma for sharing this with us.. well, I have visited the library in 2001.. it was marvelous, probably that visit made me decide to join the profession 🙂

    but I have a question to you Fatma.. when you said “Delivery of items from storage areas to reading rooms normally takes between 70 and 48 hours.” is is normal, I mean for all items.. is the storage far away form the main building of the library..

    I feel its time consuming for such a task..

    Mohammed its not about being of anarchy.. I feel that the situation here like “where I should spend my money” I think this is the most big question for a big person in the government..

  4. Thank you Saleh, i have to correct this:
    Delivery of items takes between 70 minutes and 48 hours..depending on where they are held..”that what was written in their brochure”. i think for a library with a huge collections of resources over 14 million books, it is not that much consuming of time.. from 70 minutes which means one hour to 48 hours “two days”. The user request the item and the library has the responsibility to deliver the item to the user..they save the user time searching the shelves between 14 million books, journals, or any specific item.

  5. LoooL, but anyway we understand what did you mean without correction.
    Mohamed we need spell checking software in the blog.

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