As a cosmopolitan city, Jakarta boasts a number of libraries around town that will let you escape from your daily routine in, whether working or studying. Realising the importance of libraries to improve education and also as spaces in which people can escape from the hustle and bustle of Jakarta, we decided to round up these seven libraries around Jakarta for you to visit. As Dr Seus once wrote: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
1. National Library of Indonesia
The revamped look of the National Library of Indonesia is quite groundbreaking. First, it contains more than four million books. Then it is the tallest national library in the world with a whopping 24 floors all jam-packed with books in every corner! With its towering height, it’s no wonder that you can find almost anything in this building from ancient manuscripts and foreign books (Dutch, English, you name it!) to Indonesian heritage materials and even braille books. The green building concept also house a nice café where visitors can fill up when they are hungry while reading their favourite books.
Jl. Medan Merdeka Selatan No. 11.
Weekday- 8.30am to 4pm
Saturday- 9am to 4pm
2. Freedom Library
The Freedom library finally re-opened its doors after being closed for some time. You can find some unique collections here. First, it has its own books published by the Freedom Institute with various subjects and themes. Next, because you can’t borrow books, you have to copy the pages or books that you need inside the library photocopying service. This library is really comfortable for students who would like to do their homework or essays—there’s plenty of reference books, a WiFi connection, and private partitions for those who need full concentration or privacy. There’s also a meeting room that is open to the public, but be sure to make an appointment first.
Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said No. Kav, B-1, 12920
Weekday only-9am to 4.30pm
3. The Open Book
The Open Book is a children’s library that is filled with comfortable, plush seats, and it contains numerous English titles to satisfy your child’s curiosity. However, not all of them are English books—there are plenty of Indonesian storybooks, too. Their book collection varies from picture books to board books, light novels, middle-grade novels through to young adult novels. It offers monthly and annual memberships, so it will suit kids who stay in the Southern part of Jakarta. The Open Book also offers an amazing programme called tutoring time, and you can send your children there to complete their homework with the assistance of professional staff. It is also a great venue to host your child’s birthday party.
Jl. Darmawangsa VI, RT.5/RW.1,12160
Weekday- 10am to 7pm
Saturday- 10am to 5pm
Sunday- 11am to 3pm
4. Bank Indonesia Library
Bank Indonesia library is run by the National Bank of Indonesia, and it supports research and education by having a large collection of books with monetary topics as well as topics that cover financial system stability, payment systems, money management, and other topics related to natural resource improvement. It also has a good IT facility with complete infrastructure for visitors. With more than 30,000 books available for you to read for hours, either university students or inquisitive minds in general will surely satisfy their thirst for knowledge in no time.
Jl. M.H. Thamrin No.2, RT.2/RW.3, 10110
Weekday- 7.15am to 5pm
5. Ministry of Education and Culture Library
The ministry library boasts more than 25,000 books in its collections. You don’t have to be staff of the Ministry of Education and Culture in order to borrow books from the library because it is accessible to the public as well. Aside from its general collections such as the Harry Potter books and classical novels by Jane Austen, this library also boasts a huge collection of law materials for law students or law practitioners to pore over as well. Located in Central Jakarta, it is the perfect spot for relaxation as you can just lose yourself in a book while being enclosed in a cool and spacious room. Bring your kids, too, as it has a number of collections for children.
Jl. Jenderal Sudirman Senayan, RT.1/RW.3, 10270
Weekday- 8am to 4pm
Saturday- 9am to 2pm
6. The Reading Room
Located in Kemang, The Reading Room provides readers with a calm and serene space as well as ambience to browse melange of books, or sip coffee while listening to calming songs through the speakers. The Reading Room is determined to provide an oasis for book-lovers to hang out with their friends while poring over some good books, and this is why regularly events will be held, such as short movie screenings or discussions on various topics—so make sure to check its Twitter account for more information. Also, don’t forget to try the light-bites while you are there. They are delish!
Jl. Kemang Timur Raya No. 57
Sunday to Wednesday- 10am to 12pm
Thursday to Saturday- 10am to 2am
7. Goethe Institut Library
The Goethe Institut is the cultural institute of Germany and is principally intended as a learning hub for German language and culture. Aside from being a place of learning, it also contains an up-to-date selection of books in its library that is open for public. It is safe to say that it provides the best selection in Jakarta when it comes to print and audio-visual media in German language. It has also been active in bringing German literature to the country as it has a grant to support non-German publishers to publish German literature, so that those of us who don’t know how to read German can read their works.
Jl. Sam Ratulangi 9-15, 10350
Monday to Thursday & Saturday- 12.30pm to 7pm
Friday- 11.30am to 7pm
Sunday- 11am to 3pm