The Library

A vast modernisation project

Share the page

Il n’est pas de lieu plus noble en ce monde que la selle d’un coursier ni de meilleur compagnon qu’un livre.
Al-Mutanabbi (915-965)

The library has a rich and diverse (multidisciplinary and multilingual) collection of works. It implements a dynamic acquisition policy that embraces the effervescence of the contemporary Arab world, while consolidating the traditional sources of Arab culture.

In order to pursue its aims, attain its objectives, expand its services, develop its documentary resources, and make them available to the general public in a context that encourages the desire for discovery, exchange, and conviviality, the library has been undergoing a vast modernisation project (requiring its closure) over the last few months.


This comprehensive renovation project is focusing on a range of improvements:

  • The (re)computerisation of the management system is underway. It will culminate in the online publication of the catalogue in the last quarter of 2016.
  • The diversification of the documentary resources, which is underway, will make available a great variety of highly important classical texts that are indispensable for research work, and a broad range of cultural, historical, political, and sociological information will be made available to the general public, for whom a wide range of multimedia and digital resources will also be available.   
  • A home lending service will be introduced, in response to the strong demand from the general public, who will be able to borrow a large part of the printed material collections, along with fiction films, documentaries, and music CDs.  E-readers will also be available, providing rapid access to numerous texts, particularly literature.
  • An expanded online offering will enable Internet users to view the online catalogue, digital and digitised resources, bibliographies, thematic files, and a selection of bookmarks. E-services will also be available for acquisitions, reserving documents, renewing loans, asking the reference service questions, and so on.

Extended opening times are being considered. The extension of the opening times would include Sunday opening, based on the desire to attract more diverse audiences and improve the role of the library in the AWI’s cultural offering. This new orientation is also aimed at adapting opening times to the general public’s lifestyles.

  • Complete renovation of the areas. In the library, we believe that the architectural designs of the different areas should act as a form of cultural mediation that conveys a love for reading and a passion for writing. The current renovation project is transforming the library areas into an itinerary that helps visitors to discover the library in a fluid manner and creates highly attractive workspaces conceived for the specific profiles of readers and the general public. To complement the facility of access of all the library resources, the functional elements of the areas, and research material, the newly designed interior adds to the aesthetic appeal and general comfort of the area.

In the new library, as they access floor 1, visitors will enter an area designed for the general public that provides printed, multimedia, and digital resources relating to the contemporary Arab world. These resources will focus on the notions of ‘discovery’, ‘relaxation’, and ‘understanding’, based on three fundamental themes: literature, the arts, and contemporary issues. This will be complemented by audiovisual resources (film and music) and a ‘News’ area (online and printed press, and a bookcase with periodicals and the latest publications).

The areas on floors 3 and 5 are specifically designed for study and research. A wall of books will be erected that focuses on a more specialised offering. There will also be areas for self-study and group work.

Despite the temporary closure, the library is maintaining its links with the general public.

Please contact:

If you have any questions:


Inscription à la newsletter

Pour recevoir toute l'actualité de l'Institut du monde arabe sur les sujets qui vous intéressent

Je m'inscris