The Oman Library serves as an educational space that strives to effectively engage the community and provide an abundance of resources regarding the Middle East region. While the library is available to the public, only members of the Middle East Institute will be able to receive library cards and checkout items.

The Oman Library is home to the most comprehensive English collection of source material on the Middle East in Washington, D.C. outside the Library of Congress. A valuable resource for scholars, students, policy analysts, and corporate executives, the library houses some 19,000 volumes, maps, DVDs, CDs and other materials. The collection includes works in English, French, German, and Farsi, and it also houses an impressive collection of material in Arabic.

Eligibility and Registration

Any persons over the age of 18 may use the Oman Library resources by showing current photo identification. Members and staff of MEI have the right to obtain a library card at no charge. Patrons must have cards renewed every year. Persons who work or attend classes at MEI are issued a library card at no charge upon presenting acceptable identification and proof of employment.  


All borrowers must be registered and have a valid patron card to borrow library materials. Patrons must fill out an application form to register for a new library card. By signing the application, the patron is agreeing that they will be responsible for all materials signed out by their library card. Patrons will receive the library’s circulation policy, the patron code of conduct, Library Patron Rights and Responsibilities, and the Internet Policy upon receiving their card.

Library Card Policies:

  • In order to obtain a library card, one will have to be a member of the Middle East Institute.

  • A library card at the Oman Library allows members to check out books and access resources online.

Lending Rules & Procedures:

  • Each library member will be able to checkout a maximum of 10 items.

  • The loan period for books will be two weeks.

  • Patrons can renew books library books in person, by phone or online at

  • Each library material can be renewed up to two times, either in person or by telephone. 

  • Patrons are to return items to the library by the due date and are responsible for the items until they are discharged from their accounts.  All items are to be returned during the library hours in the front office or directly to the library. 

  • The patron will be charged 40 cents for each day overdue materials are not returned.

  • Failure to return library materials by the due dates will result in fees.

  • If a patron acquires a debt higher than $5, the patron will not be allowed to checkout any additional materials until the debt is forgiven or paid.

  • Publications and Magazines are for use in the library only.

  • Overdue notices and bills relating to lost items will be sent by mail or e-mail in timely manner.

Behavior and Age Policies:

  • In order to use the library, a patron must be at least 18 years of age.

  • Absolutely no food or beverages are allowed in the library.

  • Cellphone use, discussing loudly, and playing loud music in the library is not acceptable.

  • Damaged materials

  • If materials are damaged, so as to be judged by the library as being unsuitable for the collection, the patron must pay the replacement cost.

Special Services

Ask a librarian: patrons can address their queries by email to [email protected] or by phone 202-785-0183

Printing: patrons can print from the library databases for a cost of 15 cents per black and white page and $1 per colored page.

Scanning: patrons can scan library resources with the help of the librarian with $1 a page.

The library was established in 1946. It is located in a pleasant, converted nineteenth- century coach house overlooking the MEI’s garden at 1761 N Street, NW, Washington, DC.