For the library’s extensive collection of literary classics and hard-to-find titles, put your hand up if you miss going to the campus even for a brief moment. It wasn’t uncommon for us to read the entire book on the weekends when we were in high school.

Some libraries in Manila are like a trip back in time when you visit it. It has the look of a shelf full of dusty, old books that have not yet been read in ages. On top of the outdated computers and dusty books, Manila City Council members stated that their public library wasn’t a top priority for the city government. Guests to the library will also be affected by the library’s poor WiFi service.

Unfortunately most establishments in Metro Manila, including public and private libraries, have been forced to close because of the rising cases of COVID-19 last 2020.

It’s a nice thing Metro Manila has libraries. If you ever get the chance to indulge your love of the written word, take this list of must visit libraries in Manila.

Top 5 Most-Visted Libraries in Manila

National Library of the Philippines

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The National Library of the Philippines is already 134 years old ever since it was built. There are more than 170,000 newspaper issues and over 200,000 books available for guests to peruse, as well as 800,000 manuscripts and other reading materials. Rare books such as the first edition of Noli Me Tangere by Jose Rizal as well as the actual manuscript of the Philippines National Anthem, “Lupang Hinirang”, can be found in the library’s enormous history book collection. However, visitors are more than welcome, but still the books are only for use in the library.

In August 2016, the nation’s “repository of printed and recorded cultural material” declared that the use of the P100-library card will no longer be required. With a valid ID and access to hundreds of documents, anyone can benefit from this program, regardless of their financial situation. Make sure they have everything you need in advance by checking their Web – Based Catalog. Additionally, the National Library of the Philippines provides copyright registration services as well.

Unfortunately the library was closed when the pandemic started, the good news is that the National Library of the Philippines decided to reopen its doors to the public last October 18, 2021. The official library of the country NLP is a decades-old “archive of written and recorded cultural legacy” that can welcome 60 visitors each day. Visits to the library must be scheduled one day in advance using NLP’s online appointment form. In order to gain entrance to the library, library users must bring their vaccination cards to confirm if they are fully vaccinated before entering the library.

Location: T.M. Kalaw Street, Ermita, Manila

Contact No.: 310-5035

E-mail: [email protected]

Website: web.nlp.gov.ph

Operating Hours:

Monday to Friday

8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Closed on Saturday and Sunday

Also Read: List of Popular Outdoor Dining Restaurants in Manila

Quezon City Public Library

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Quezon City’s public library is one of the best in Metro Manila, if not the best in the country. There are thousands of books at the library, and 71 computers are available for public use with the library’s online catalog. Visitors can also use the library’s free Wi-Fi service. Guests can obtain a library card, which allows them to borrow fiction books, for a small cost.

With a fully-automated catalog system, charging stations for your phone and laptop, and even a café in which you can eat pastry and enjoy a cup of coffee while you read or study, the Quezon City Public Library was named the country’s third-best libraries in 2016 by National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

The library will be able to accommodate 30 people a day under the standards of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases while Metro Manila is under Alert Level 3. Customers must submit an online registration form at least a day before they plan to visit the library of their choice.

Only people who have been completely vaccinated will be allowed into the facility. They’ll need to show visual proof of a vaccination card. There will be no walk-in customers allowed.

When Metro Manila was under quarantine in March 2020, the library was forced to close. It reopened on October 18, 2021, after some long strict quarantine lockdown.

Location: Quezon City Hall Compound, Mayaman Street, Barangay Central, Quezon City

Contact No.: 927-9834

E-mail: [email protected]

Website: www.facebook.com/quezoncitylibraryandinformationcenter

Operating Hours:

Monday to Saturday: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Closed every Sunday

Aurelio Montinola Jr. Library / Alliance Française de Manille

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Alliance Française de Manille, also known as Aurelio Montinola Jr.’s private library in France, is located in Manille (AFM). The AFM, which was established in 1920, is the place to go for individuals who are interested in French society. The AFM’s multimedia collection has more than 8,000 books, comic books, DVDS, CDs, and magazines, ranging from reference materials to current issues and everything in between. Everyone, both members and non-members, are invited to come to read or study at AFM. However, if you want to take some books or Discs home with you, you can become a member of the library for a small price.

From November 21 through December 31, it will be open to walk-in members seven days a week, except on Sundays. However, it is still recommended that you contact the library at [email protected] at least one week before your planned visit date. Only a limit of two people would be able to use AFM at the same time for a total of 45 mins per member every visit.

Location: 209 Nicanor Garcia, II, Makati, Metro Manila

Contact No.: ​​(02) 8895 7585

E-mail: [email protected]

Website: www.alliance.ph/accueil-en

Operating Hours:

Monday to Thursday: 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM

Friday: 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM

Saturday: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Closed every sunday

Manila City Library

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It was established in 1946 and is headquartered at 800 Taft Avenue in Ermita. Its mission is to give Manila people with free and equal accessibility to the library resources and services as well as a broad spectrum of experience, knowledge, and some information or data in a friendly and kind atmosphere. The city’s mayor, Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso, officially dedicated the newly restored Manila City Library on October 12th. Visitors can now use advanced equipment like computers, Devices, and a wireless internet connection at the library, which was previously unavailable.

Additionally, the Mayor talked about the importance of libraries for the youth, even in this day and age of technological advancement. He remarked that now the government should ensure opportunities for residents to broaden their knowledge through educational possibilities. Although the pandemic is still ongoing, the Mayor of Manila stated that the city council of Manila would then continue funding and enhance the library.

Since July 5, the Manila City Library’s Study Rooms have already been open to on-site visitors from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, except on holidays (except holidays). Visitors to the Library are required to book a seat online at least one day ahead of their planned library visit using an online registration platform.

Location: 800 Taft Ave, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila

Contact No.: 0916 699 7303

Website: manila.gov.ph/citylibrary

Operating Hours:

Monday to Friday: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Closed every Saturday and Sunday

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Ortigas Foundation Library

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There are more than 23,000 books, images, serials, and documents pertaining to the History of the Philippines within Ortigas Foundation Library (OFL), which has been in operation since the 17th century. The library is a study center with a selection that includes some that date back to the 17th century. The Library encourages the study of the Nation ’s history, culture, and art via the use of its large collection of historical documents, journals, and photographs, which is housed in a historic building.

The Ortigas Foundation Library (OFL) also holds conferences and makes its meeting rooms available for lectures, seminars, group meetings, exhibits, and other interdisciplinary activities for members of the academic and industrial sectors, as well as for members of the general public. The overarching purpose of the organization is to encourage Philippine education by implementing innovative activities in a friendly environment.

On November 3, the non-profit organization will reopen its doors for library services, which will be available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. At the time of entry, proof of complete vaccination is required. Depending on the number of visitors at a time, the Ortigas Foundation Library will only allow a limited number of socially isolated chairs every time slot. Time constraints will be enforced based upon the number of socially isolated seats allotted. It is necessary for visitors to contact the library in advance to schedule an appointment.

Location: 2nd Floor McKinley Building, Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan City, Metro Manila, 1503, Philippines (Landmark – Unimart)

Contact No.: (+63) 977 728 5130 / (+63) 947 426 1432

Website: www.ortigasfoundationlibrary.com.ph

Operating Hours:

Monday to Friday: 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Closed every Saturday And Sunday

Where to Find the Best Libraries in Manila

Even in the midst of the Pandemic, there are still some libraries operating in Metro Manila to relieve boredom after being locked down at our own home for nearly two years due to the virus.

However, before visiting these libraries, make sure to bring your vaccination card as well as some other essentials to keep yourself safe from the virus that is spreading. Additionally, keep a safe distance between yourself and other individuals to avoid becoming infected by the virus.

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