Res­i­dents wel­come new li­brary with open arms

The Jakarta Post - - CITY - Ivany Atina Arbi

Greater Jakarta res­i­dents have been long­ing for a modern yet homey li­brary that pro­vides a wide col­lec­tion of books, and the new Na­tional Li­brary (Per­pus­nas) on Jl. Medan Merdeka Se­la­tan in Gam­bir, Cen­tral Jakarta, is just the an­swer to that dream.

Lo­cated just across the cap­i­tal’s iconic land­mark, the Na­tional Mon­u­ment (Monas), it is not dif­fi­cult to find the 27-story build­ing that Pres­i­dent Joko “Jokowi” Wi­dodo claimed was the high­est li­brary in the world.

When first en­ter­ing the newly built li­brary’s lobby, vis­i­tors are wel­comed by pho­to­graphs of the coun­try’s pres­i­dents, from found­ing fa­ther Sukarno to Jokowi.

In the cen­ter of the room stands a tall on which books are neatly ar­ranged, as well as an in­for­ma­tion board show­ing what peo­ple can find on ev­ery floor of the build­ing.

Those who want to sign up for a li­brary card that would al­low them to bor­row books and read them at home can reg­is­ter for one on the sec­ond floor.

Prospec­tive mem­bers are re­quired to pro­vide their per­sonal de­tails in an on­line ap­pli­ca­tion form that can be ac­cessed through the li­brary’s com­put­ers, be­fore hav­ing their photo taken for their card.

Dozens of com­puter are avail­able, so ap­pli­cants will not have to line up to com­plete their reg­is­tra­tion process.

One visi­tor, univer­sity stu­dent Kau­man Nurza­man, 21, told The Jakarta Post that he was cu­ri­ous to see the li­brary him­self af­ter read­ing claims that it was the high­est li­brary in the world.

The univer­sity sopho­more drove to the li­brary us­ing his mo­tor­cy­cle from his home in De­pok, West Java, on Satur­day, as the li­brary is closed on Sun­day.

“This place is in­deed modern, quiet and clean. I bet it also has a wide range of books,” Kau­man said, adding that he planned to reg­u­larly visit the li­brary to look for ref­er­ence books.

“I will visit this li­brary of­ten as it is placed in a very strate­gic lo­ca­tion, in the heart of the city. Be­sides, it has many cozy spots to read books and to do my pa­per­work,” he added.

Ev­ery floor of the build­ing pro­vides com­fort­able so­fas and wooden ta­bles.

The chil­dren’s read­ing room on the sev­enth floor is even equipped with tra­di­tional games like con­gk­lak (man­cala-based wooden board game), and other fun-filled of­fer­ings, such as mini cars and a playpen.

Merry Pe­lu­dia, 35, who vis­ited the li­brary with her three chil­dren, em­braced the new fa­cil­ity.

The house­wife from Gro­gol, West Jakarta, said her fam­ily reg­u­larly vis­ited book­stores on week­ends be­cause of her chil­dren’s fond­ness for books and read­ing.

With the open­ing of the Na­tional Li­brary, Merry said she would not have to bring the chil­dren to book­stores any­more.

“All the books they like to read are avail­able here. Be­sides, this place is also equipped with toys, so the kids can play when­ever they get bored read­ing,” she said.

Ac­cord­ing to spokesper­son Nurhadis­a­pu­tra, the Na­tional Li­brary’s old seven-story build­ing in Salemba, Cen­tral Jakarta, will now serve as a book and doc­u­ment stor­age fa­cil­ity.

“Hope­fully, by the end of Septem­ber, all of our col­lec­tions in Salemba can be moved to the new build­ing,” he said.

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