Our National Library, the Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia, has been in my to-do list for a very long time. As a Malaysian, I have not stepped into the building, ever since its opening at Jalan Tun Razak more than 20 years ago. Since I am so free .. If not now, then when?
But, their location at Jalan Tun Razak really puts me off going there. Not only that, who will want to accompany me? “Hey, about we check out the National Library this weekend?” Friends must have thought that I have gone off my head.
So, I do what I have gotta do. I set out to go by myself, and live to tell the tale.
If I were to craft a 30 sec elevator pitch, this is what I have gotta say:
“Why can’t they make things simple? Our National Library bears a resemblance to KLIA2: confusing like hell. On a positive note, they have multi-lingual books, and some of the books do appeal to me. So, that’s a plus.”
You need a car, unfortunately. Or, take LRT to Ampang Park (KJ9) station or Titiwangsa (SP3) station, and 5-15minutes taxi ride from there.
There are more parking bays for staff, than for visitors. Due to sheer confusion, I managed to enjoy free parking, by parking at Menara PNM. Level 3-5 at Menara PNM are for visitors, but parking is limited. If you park at Wisma Sejarah (where the lending services for adults are housed), then parking is chargeable.
Update 10 Aug 2016: RM 5 flat rate parking at Wisma Sejarah and some free parking bays in front and at the side of Anjung Bestari.
This KLIA2-feel maze has 3 buildings altogether:
- Anjung Bestari
- Wisma Sejarah
- Menara PNM
For normal public, you just need to know the whereabout of Children Library and Cafeteria, at Anjung Bestari’s Ground Floor, Member’s Registration Counter at Anjung Bestari Level 1, Lending Services For Adult at Wisma Sejarah Level 3 & 4, but access through Level 3 and free parking at Menara PNM, Level 3-5.
As a first-timer, I ended up walking all over the place. Walking out from Menara PNM, I found my way to the Adult Lending Section at Wisma Sejarah. After browsing some books, I was told that I had to get my registration done at Member’s Registration Counter, at Anjung Bestari. From there, again, I walked back to Wisma Sejarah. Good exercise, indeed.
Free for Malaysians (not sure about foreigners), just need to register online at computer terminals provided at Member’s Registration Counter at Anjung Bestari Level 1. No membership card issued.
Each membership is allowed to borrow six books, up to a period of 4 weeks. You will need to show your MyKad or MyKid to borrow and return books. Overdue books will incur fines of 10 cents per day.
They do not have my favorite authors’ books, but there are plenty options to choose, both fiction and non-fiction. They even have language, marketing, management, cooking, etc books.
Mainly English and BM books, but there are also Chinese and Tamil books.
Children library seems a bit bare to me, and most kids were playing games on computers.
- Free parking at Menara PRM, level 3-5, and in front and at the side of Anjung Bestari
- There are some staff parking bays in front of the cafeteria’s outdoor seating. Public is allowed to park on weekends
- If you are lost, the security guards are more friendly than the staff. More security guards greeted me with a smile, than staff
- Wifi is available, no password is required
- People commented that it’s cold, but no, it wasn’t cold at all for me
- The cafeteria’s food looks unappetizing, eat before you come to the library
- Children below 12 years old is not allowed at Adults Lending floor
- Bags are allowed inside the library
- Deserted during weekdays; perfect for some quiet time
By the way, why are there private companies, such as EMSR Steel Sdn Bhd, Zeffree Azmi Advocates and Solicitors, etc located inside the National Library?
Update 10 Aug 2016
Today I went back to return two novels, and also to investigate a bit on the baffling location of the Adult Lending Library. It was a shock to discover that Wisma Sejarah is a building by itself; the Adult Lending Library is NOT part and parcel of the National Library! That explains why the parking is chargeable! How can that be possible … the National Library is such a huge space!
Lifted this from Persatuan Sejarah Malaysia (PSM)’s website:
Wisma Sejarah ialah milik Persatuan Sejarah Malaysia [PSM], iaitu satu badan bukan kerajaan [NGO]. Wisma Sejarah dibangunkan sebagai dua (2) blok individu. ANJUNG [Blok A] setinggi 5 tingkat dan MENARA [Blok B] setinggi 10 tingkat. Anjung [Blok A] menempatkan Ibupejabat PSM yang terletak di aras 3, dewan dan bilik seminar di aras 2 serta perpustakaan di aras mezanin (M). Manakala di MENARA [Blok B] yang setinggi 10 tingkat ditawarkan untuk penyewaan.
It says that Wisma Sejarah belongs to Persatuan Sejarah Malaysia, and it’s a non-governmental organization (NGO). So, does this means that two floors were rented out to our National Library, to house the Adult Lending Library?
Update 15 Nov 2016
Driving all the way to the Library, only to be told that “system down – no lending, only returning service today” … #$%^
Update March 2017
If you child’s membership is with the Children section, but now is already “qualified” for adult lending section – no new membership is required. All you need to do is to show your child’s My Kad for borrowing and lending at adult lending station.
As of now, all books have to be returned at counter. There are 2 types of machine in the vicinity of Anjung Bestari and Wisma Sejarah: U-Pustaka and PNM (Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia) machines. U-Pustaka machine is NOT applicable for PNM’s books. Do not repeat my mistake – the PNM books I dropped into the U-Pustaka machine is still “lost” somewhere, and I might need to pay a fine for no reason. The PNM machine is still not functioning, since my first visit.
Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia
232, Jalan Tun Razak, 50572 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 2687 1700
Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia – Adult Lending Section
Level 3-4, Menara Wisma Sejarah,
230, Jalan Tun Razak
Opening hours: 10:00am to 7:00pm, Tue-Sat, 10:00am to 6:00pm Sun (Closed every Mondays and Public Holidays)