Rejoice, bookworms: the National Library is open once again!

franz miko verzon wikimedia commons
(Image: Wikimedia Commons/Franz Miko Verzon)

If you’re finding it hard to concentrate on your WFH tasks to the zealous chickens in your neighborhood, or the Internet doesn’t seem to have the stuff you need for your academic research, here’s a great alternative: pay a visit to the newly-reopened National Library of the Philippines in Ermita, Manila.

That’s right — after temporarily closing its doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, bookworms can now borrow reading materials and work in peace inside the NLP Reading Room, as announced by the NLP on Friday. What’s more, through the project “Free Wi-Fi Internet Access in Public Places” initiated by the Department of Information and Communications Technology, Internet access inside the NLP is now available when you connect to the “Free Public WiFi – Pipol Konek” Wi-Fi network.

The best part? After NLP waived the P100-library card back in 2016, the use of the library is staying free-of-charge for all.

Those interested may book an appointment through this link ahead of their date of visit. Reserving your slot will be on a first-come-first-served basis, and the NLP can only accommodate up to 100 library users a day. 

Then, fill out the NLP Health Declaration Form. Once confirmed, you will be assigned a Library User Reservation Code (LURC) and seat number, which you will present to the guard on duty for confirmation. 

NLP also encourages library users to browse the NLP Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) ahead of their scheduled visit to verify the availability of the materials they intend to use. 

Upon their visit, library users are required to follow NLP’s health guidelines. This includes wearing face masks and face shields, disinfecting your shoes at the entrance, and maintaining physical distancing and respiratory etiquettes. Also, visitors may only use the toilet on their designated floor.

If you’re wary about how tedious the entry process may be, take it from renowned Filipino historian Ambeth Ocampo, who was first in line when the National Library reopened. Ocampo’s experience was, for him “not perfect but a good job” — their service was fast, the place was cool, the staff was pleasant, and books are sanitized after every use.

The National Library of the Philippines is located at T.M. Kalaw Street in Ermita, Manila. The NLP Reading Room is open from Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 3 PM. For news and updates, check the page of the National Library of the Philippines on Facebook.


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