The Mesmerizing Indonesia's National Library

Perpustakaan Nasional Republik Indonesia

Indonesia National Library (Perpustakaan Nasional or Perpusnas) is unlike any library I've seen in Indonesia. It's located across Monumen Nasional (Monas), a historical, tourism icon in the heart of Jakarta. From Monas, you only need to step out from the exit-parking area, use the zebra cross in front of it to cross the street, and voila in less than 1 minute you have arrived at the treasure place! So once you've finished the tour in Monas, why not chill out in Perpusnas and enjoy the facilities easily and with no cost?

I'd like to blow your mind with several facts about Perpusnas. First, it has more than 4 million books. I believe this National Library provides almost every piece of literature that you've been looking for. You can find it either in the building or through their online library. Second, Perpusnas is the tallest library in the world with the height of 123,6 m. The library consists of 24 floors with different functions and facilities. Some of them are tailored towards parents, children, and people with disabilities. There is also room for young entrepreneurs and a nice cafe to fill a hungry stomach.

The National Library consists of 2 buildings. The first building is small with a colonial architecture. Don't be mistaken. Even though the building has an old style, the exhibits are very modern and "Instagramable". This building serves as the museums space for historical items. They have a permanent showcase and a temporary one. When I went there in February, the theme of the exhibition was Oceania. The story is about a sunken boat that brought many barrels filled with precious treasures, including knowledge and books. The exhibit had such a meaningful message with an interesting interpretation. What amazed me more is that this exhibition was created by Indonesian youth. I salute the government trusts to give youth the opportunity to make an important exhibition in a very prime location.

Now, let's talk about the "it" building, the tallest library in the world. In the lobby, we are greeted by a tall bookshelf almost the height of 4 stories. That bookshelf is the home for approximately 300 books. It's the iconic spot of Perpusnas. When we look up, we can see an installation that forms the shape of Indonesia. This installation is inspired by a library in the USA. Much of the building takes inspiration from several places around the world.

This front lobby is only the beginning of the more astonishing adventure. One of the floors that gave me the goosebumps is the Nusantara Manuscript area. Many of the manuscripts are included on the UNESCO Memory of The World. As a public visitor, you cannot see the original manuscript as the ones on display are replicas. On my visitation, I came as Rotary Indonesia Literacy Ambassador so I was given the opportunity to go inside the restricted area, and saw the ancient manuscripts.

From my trip to the library, I received a lot of information that gives me a better understanding of how important it is to love literature, especially the ancient pieces. It emphasized how rich and smart my country is. At the end, I'm very grateful to have this experience and think you will be amazed at this place. An hour and one-time visitation are hardly enough to appreciate the awesomeness of this National Library. I can't wait to be back in this place and be inspired by it.

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