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Public Area & Main Reading Halls

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) main reading hall is distributed over seven levels within the main library public area (levels: F2, F1, E, B1, B2, B3, and B4). It accommodates up to 2,000 patrons simultaneously, on a first-come-first-serve basis.

In the entrance of each level, there is a Reference Desk where patrons may request assistance from the BA Reference Librarians. They can aid users with their search for materials and various inquisitions.

Throughout the reading area, standing computer workstations are available where users may access the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC). OPAC can be used to search the BA collection in its entirety, including an abundance of electronic resources. All standing OPAC stations are designated for quick searches, patrons requiring computer access exceeding 15 minutes should reserve a seated computer station through the main reservation desk.

Rules & Regulations

  • All library materials should be treated with care.
  • Books and other library materials retrieved from the open shelves should not be returned back to the shelves by users. Each level of the main reading hall is equipped with carts dedicated for used books to be reshelved. Our Stacks Management Staff is responsible for returning all materials back to the open shelves according to the BA shelving policy.
  • No more than four people may sit at any given study table and no more than one person in a single chair.
  • Users' personal belongings (i.e. purses, backpacks, etc.) are not allowed within the public area and main reading hall. Users are requested to leave their personal belongings in safe deposit boxes situated beside the ticket office outside the main library building located on Port Said Street next to the Commercial International Bank (CIB) .
  • Patrons are prohibited from bringing in food, eating, sleeping, smoking or using any other tobacco products in the library.
  • Running in the library building is prohibited.
  • The library maintains a quiet environment. It is requested that all patrons keep their volumes to a minimum and refrain from activities that create a loud source of noise (i.e. mobiles, radio, etc.).
  • Mobile phone usage is not permitted within the reading hall of the library. Violators will be subject to a fine of 10 EGP. Patrons may use the public payphone located on level B1 near the entrance of the BA Antiquities Museum. Other public phones are available outside the BA main building on Port Said Street .
  • Library patrons are not permitted behind the reference desks or in any other staff designated areas.
  • Damage, destruction, or theft of library materials or property is prohibited.
  • Harassment, verbal abuse, threats, fighting, or repeated unwelcomed advances towards other persons are prohibited.
  • Performing any type of business for personal gain or any service for a fee within the library is prohibited.
  • Using public restrooms for bathing and/or laundry or other public areas for personal grooming is prohibited.
  • Animals are not allowed in the library.

Patrons are kindly requested to report any problems to the reference desk staff.