Friday, September 22, 2006

National Library: revealed!

Those who have read everything are thought to understand everything too: but it is not always so. Reading furnished the mind only with materials of knowledge: it is thinking that makes what we read ours.

I went to a national library on Salemba Raya 28 this noon to satisfy my curiosity about public libraries available in Jakarta. How come? If you read completely my previous posting entitled “Traveling to Jakarta, Indonesia”, you must’ve figured it out. One of my blog viewers –who I’ve recognized as ‘pengamat’- rebated my statement saying that we don’t have any public libraries here. Yet (s)he gave me this URL.

Thus I decided to experience myself how a public library works here. The one on Salemba Raya 28 is pretty far from my residence, but whatever… my curiosity was driving me crazy! LOL.

My first impression when I found the building; okay, it has a wide parking area and esthetical fountain in the middle. Nice.

Today is my first time visiting this national library. No wonder when I put my first step into the building, my eyes were shortly attracted to a huge sculpture(?).

I was browsing around and found its new collections on the display. It has some interesting collections in vary languages (as I saw on the display); English, Dutch, French, etc. I wasn’t able to access their library to see their collections, since the access are given to member only.

Below are facts I’ve had during my visit;

  1. National library has a lot of collections from almost every category (books, manuscripts, papers, magazine, newspapers, audio-visual, etc) which are compiled and classified into 9 different floors.
  2. The library opens on weekdays from 9 AM to 4 PM.
  3. Visitors are divided into two categories; members and non-members. Both of them have to fill the guestbook.
  4. Members are opened to students and public. You will be charged IDR 10,000 per year and given a member card.
  5. Visitors are provided lockers to deposit their carriage since they are not allowed to bring along bags, backpack, jacket, food and drinks, and plastics. Visitors are required to wear appropriate clothes. Otherwise, you will be penalized for administration charge. However, you are allowed to bring notes and stationary.
  6. Visitors (both members and non-members) are prohibited to take library’s collection home. What a weird condition to be regarded as a public library.
  7. Members have privileges to read and make a copy of collections to read it at home.
  8. Non-members have access only to browse the catalogue on the 2nd floor. You can’t read there or make a copy.
  9. Most of the visitors coming from high schools and college students nearby.

Finally, I’ve made up my conclusion; it’s NOT a public library. It’s just a NATIONAL library. Public library lends its collection (for free! Except for the late charges), free access for everyone, provides cozy place to read on, and free membership for all (based on my research of public libraries overseas). No wonder, reading-as-a-habit is not very familiar among Indonesians in general. You know why; it’s hard to find a public library in the city. All you can see is bookstores transforming as public libraries. Nice try.

Updated on Oct 1, 2006: this posting has been reviewed by Jakartass on Sept 29, 2006. Thanks for the grammar correction as well.


  1. I'll go to the library tomorrow...hahuahuauhauhuahua

    tar gua kasi poto2nya dan keterangan tentang library disini yg bebas uang dan boleh pinjem buku sampe lo gila...huahuauhauhuahua

    udah ah tidur dulu gua...udah ga tidur2...LOL

  2. Today is my first time visiting this national library. No wonder when I put my first step into the building, my eyes were shortly attracted to a huge sculpture(?).

    keren aja gak pernah ^%&^

  3. if reading as a habit is not that familiar, try reading as a hobbit!

  4. Add me to ur links and let me know, i will add u, thanks :)

  5. koq di benerin lagi ? kemaren da di benerin ngoceh minta balikin .... dasar ANEH

  6. Haha. That's why there are hordes of people at Aksara, Kinokuniya and QB World... since they get to read the books for free, and the ambience is nicer too.

    Another book reading scheme is to swap books with friends. It almost has no costs (well, there's Tiki if your friend is on the other side of the country.) The only downside is you have to 'catalogue' what your friends have...

  7. dont u hv a ... not sure what to call it. but it's a bookstore where it sells the book to you. you read. sell back to them lesser by RM2 or RM3.


  8. Hi Devi
    How are you going with your exams?
    We are all very excited about our visit to Jakarta, we arrive on Oct 5th for a week.

  9. kali itu maksudnya orang2 di atas sana, dev.. yang penting di indonesia: bebas buta huruf tapi tetap bodoh.. pinter cuma buat orang2 kaya.. :(

  10. Yang di daerah Green Ville ada 'semacem' perpustakaan juga, itu apa yach dev?

    Tapi bingung nya tiap gue lwat sana kalo sore2, di depan nya malah anak2 kecil pada maen bola;p

  11. @jenny: Hi Jen, my mid-session begins on Sept 27 until Oct 10. Will you contact me during your visits by any chance?

    @hengky: ikutan deh ya :p btw kemana aja lo heng...menghilang dari peredaran hehe

    @icha: wah ga tau tuh cha, ga pernah kesana hihihi...

  12. aaiihh (CiCi) ^)__(^ hahaha.. hmm first of all.. thank you for the follow-up.. that was really nice of you to do that =P thanks once again.. but I'd love to see more pictures.. *especially since i'm abroad now* =P .. umm.. and u forgot to mention about the MOBILE LIBRARY pink metallic car!! That (kijang)'s really pretty!! haHahAhaHA.. i reallii miss indooo!!!.... it's not good here in australia!!!... mauu pulaaaang!!!.. (oh and btw i'm not in queensland! but the on the opposite coast)...

    dan terakhir.. sori aku telat ngecek blogmu... =P .. semoga hasil ujian2xmu memuaskan yah?! daa!! GBU 4eva!!

  13. kalau masalah perpustakaan lokal sih di sini banyak banget memang.. di mana2x ada.. dan keanggotaannya gratis.. tapi memang indo bukan saingan australia dalam bidang ini.. indo banyak menang di bidang laen.. dan aku ngga betah tinggal di sini!!!... (I don't like staying here in australia.. sorry Jenny, no offence [if you happen to read this].. ;-))

  14. ooh kyknya gw mau nambahin satu komentar lagi deh..

    the national library of australia is not even (i don't think) up to nine storeys unlike the one in jakarta!.. hmm.. and the state library here in wa is not that good either =P ... (oh but it does go up to four-five floors).. hmm yeah that's about all..

  15. Halo Pengamatkuw...

    Let me tell you the truth; I don't even know about those mobile library! LOL. Just took the picture. The staffs were unfriendly so I didn't ask much about the library. Hm, di Perth sih ya? Why Perth? Kota-nya elderly LOL! Gpp lah ya, namanya juga sekolah..untung ga di Greenland hihihi~

    Libraries overseas rata2 emang ok bgt, ada internet gratis juga wonder ppl love to go to lib..

  16. internet gratis (dan cepet) sih iyaa.. tapi paling cuma ada lima komputer.. jadi mau pake pun ngga enak... (percaya deh.. perpust di sini ngga senyaman itu ;-)) hehehe... ngga ada dunia yg sempurna.. =P [kyknya aku mesti buat blog jg nich dan ngepos foto2nya hAhaAhaHa...]

    hahahaha greenland... kabarnya nama greenland itu seharusnya dipake buat iceland dan vice versa.. soalnya tanah di greenland bersalju dan di islandia berumput (?!) hahaha..

  17. oh dan ngomong2x.. koleksi(novel)nya ngga lengkap dan ngga up-to-date... [tp kyknya itu tergantung anggaran masing2x kelurahan..] ... sejauh ini aku belum nemuin yg koleksinya lumayan menarik (*>buatku<*) ;-)

  18. About greenland & iceland: iya bener, ketuker tuh! Hahaha..

    Klo perpus, hm di Melbourne sih ok bgt tuh di suburb Box Hill, ada sekitar 40 komputer dan tempatnya cozy bgt (according to my bro) hehehe...

  19. Haha perpus favorit ya. My favourite is on Melbourne Uni's Parkville campus, Rowden White Library. Isinya LPs, CDs, computers for gaming, novels, manga books, videos... everything fun and relaxing to be exact. The librarian even puts a "please do not study" sign on the reading table.


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