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TLDR? One of the best libraries in Medellin is Piloto Public Library.
Sometimes we just need to be in a quiet and peaceful place, without the noises of the city seeping in. And, sometimes we introverts just need a place where we can spend time in our own little world.
Well, in my book (no pun intended), there’s no better place to catch a break from the world than by spending time in a library.
Now, as I quickly discovered when I got to Medellin, libraries aren’t the same as they are in the US, and they can be a bit confusing to foreigners. However, once you know where to go, they’re great indoor respites from the hectic city life.
Here’s a guide to the best libraries in Medellin!
First up is Piloto Public Library, a building surrounded by greenery and with a huge antechamber with long tables. The tables really are long, big enough for up to 20 people to work at a time. Talk about getting some coworking done!
The library lets you borrow up to 16 books at a time, for a period of ten days. It’s not hard to check out books, either. All you have to do is apply for a library card (you can use your passport) and then fill out an online form.
If you’ll be heading out to some of the surrounding villages such as Jardin, these books can help pass the time on the bus.
Aside from the main library, there’s a mini-museum in the library. One room focuses on Colombian history in general, another talks about Antioquian history, and the last is a photographic archive.
The library also has a very colorful children’s area with reading clubs. And, they run regular workshops and movie nights for adults. There’s also a nearby coffee shop called El Laboratorio de Café where you can grab something to sip on while you hang out at the library.
El Poblado Public Library is, as you might have guessed, located in the El Poblado neighborhood of Medellin. The library is brightly colored and is situated in the middle of a park, so you can hang out outdoors after you’ve finished checking out your books.
The library isn’t very large, so you’re not likely to find a huge selection of books. However, you can request items online and the library uses an interlibrary loan to get you the book you want to read.
Poblado library offers a ton of different workshops, too. I took the computer basics course to help out with a school project, and I can tell you it’s definitely worth it.
The course teaches you about using excel and other useful tips and tricks to make using your computer easier.
Leon de Greiff Library Park is a place that’s really designed for you to get out and engage with the community. In the outdoor areas, there are walking trails and big open spaces for you to hang out in.
If you go indoors, on the other hand, there are tons of different books for you to browse through.
Honestly, the real perk of this place has to be the workshops and activities they run. They have several community talks, regular movie nights, and other cool events.
Once a month, the library puts on an event called Laderiando, where they perform traditional dances, tango, and more. You can also participate in dance classes if you want to move your feet yourself.
Address: Calle 59A Número 36 – 30
EPM Library is a private library, so they aren’t part of the city-wide interlibrary loan program. However, the place is big enough that they have a pretty good size collection of books of their own.
EPM Library has reading rooms, children’s corners, and even film and newspaper archives that you can check out. There’s also free Wi-Fi if you want to get some work done.
And, there’s a coffee shop if you want to eat something while you read. I love sipping on a cup of Colombian coffee and sitting down with a good book!
Right outside the building is the Parque de las Luces, or Park of Lights. It’s a must-visit in Medellín, so you can head out there after you’re done getting quiet time indoors.
Belén Library Park has a fountain in the middle of the park and a super zen atmosphere which is perfect for getting your uni homework done. Or of course, it’s also great for just relaxing with a good book.
This is one of Medellin’s public libraries and has a large interlibrary loan network. In other words, you can take out pretty much any book you like.
As with many of the other libraries in the city, this place runs regular workshops and seminars. The idea is to increase community engagement and to help educate the citizens of Medellin!
Although the workshops are all offered in Spanish, if you’re learning the language, it can be a fun way to get some practice.
There are quite a few libraries in Medellin, and all of them have their own benefits. Whether you catch a dance class at Leon de Greiff Library Park or you sit down with a book and a cuppa in Piloto Public Library, I’m confident you’ll find a place you love.
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