National Library of Indonesia


Credit: @hartohu


The first time I visited National LIbrary in Jakarta was around a month ago, when I was attending Bookish Indonesia workshop. When you are entering the first lobby of this library, you will be greeted by the miniature of a ship, called Perahu Aksara. Beside this object, you will see a brief history of anything related to books and literature, such as the history of aksara (character) in Indonesia and its variation, various types of paper, etc. Ultimately, this is like a mini museum..

If you go further, you will meet the new building. Here, you will be greeted by a big and tall bookshelf where many classic books stand. To be honest, I was enchanted by its view. it made my jaw dropped. There are many facilities in this building, for illustrations, canteen, community room, discussion spots, audio visual, etc. Overall, the facility in National Library seem very nice. It’s like you can find anything you are looking for. However, in my view, this library does not meet my expectation. As the biggest library in Indonesia, I thought I would find a large amount of books here with a great number of genres. However, I only found mostly documentary books. Maybe the other books were in the floors I didn’t visit.

On the other hand, I am not fond of the access that connected each floor of this building. Unless using the emergency stairs, we can only move from one floor to another by lift. I personally don’t like using lift because it makes me dizzy. So, I used emergency stairs to go to another floor. The problem is, I felt like a thief while using it. It’s like I was ‘playing’ hide and seek with police officer. I think it would be really nice if they also provide escalator or common stairs just like in the first four floors.

Despite of the weakness of its facilities, I would say that this library is worth to be visited. Perhaps, due to its new opening the facility is still under improvement. If you want to go there, you don’t need to worry about getting lost. The library is just across South gate of Monument Nasional, Jakarta.


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