Bogota is entrepreneurship, innovation, and competitiveness; but it is also a hub of art and culture. In recent years, the networks of public libraries have been strengthened, providing free access to all, and offering cultural and educational spaces; so, each of them has become a space to foster a love of knowledge.
Invest in Bogota has prepared a list with the 7 best public libraries in the Colombian capital.
Virgilio Barco Public Library
Located in the Teusaquillo locality and surrounded by one of the best-equipped areas for sports and outdoor activities. It was inaugurated in 2001 and declared a National Cultural Heritage Site. It has an area of more than 16,000 square meters. This mega-library has more than 97 thousand volumes, including books, and digital and audiovisual archives. Likewise, it offers cultural programming for all ages, from reading workshops to artistic activities. The library’s name pays tribute to Virgilio Barco Vargas, former President of Colombia between 1986 and 1990.
Luis Ángel Arango Library
Inaugurated in 1958 in the historic center of Bogota, it is named after the general manager of the Banco de la República between 1947 and 1957. This library articulates the network of libraries of the Banco de la República. Among its multiple cultural offerings, there are conferences, music activities, art exhibitions, writing workshops, group game spaces, children’s entertainment, reading clubs, and much more. This library conserves more than 2.7 million copies in more than 45 thousand square meters. Researchers and scientists from all disciplines can be found in this library since its varied cultural offerings and excellent infrastructure make it one of the main research centers in Colombia and the region.
Perdomo Soledad Lamprea Public Library
It was inaugurated in 1994 in the Ciudad Bolívar locality and has been part of BibloRed since 2005. It has 88 reading stations, spaces for children’s entertainment, a newspaper library, and more than 15 thousand copies, including books, online catalogs, and audiovisual content. This library produces a podcast called “Viajeros Sonoros” and among its peculiarities, it lends musical instruments to young people and adults.
El Tintal Manuel Zapata Olivella Public Library
This space, better known as the El Tintal Library, is located in the Kennedy locality. Thanks to its geographic position in the city, it has cycle routes that allow easy access for the public. It was inaugurated in 2001 and is named after one of the most important representatives of Afro-Colombian literature. One of the most comforting stories about this place is that it was built as an intervention plan in a space where there was insecurity and inequality, but these were left in the past, due to the construction of a space dedicated to art and education, in which vulnerable people became the protagonists.
Gabriel García Márquez Public Library
Better known as the El Tunal Library. Located in the Tunjuelito locality, it was inaugurated in 2001 and named in honor of Gabriel García Márquez, Colombian Nobel Prize winner in Literature. The library has more than 84 thousand volumes and currently serves more than 2 million people in Bogota. Additionally, it has a robust infrastructure for research and entertainment available to the public.
Cultural Center and Public Library Julio Mario Santo Domingo
Located in the Suba locality. This library was the result of a public-private alliance in which the Mayor’s Office of Bogota participated. It was inaugurated in 2010 and has a complex of 23 thousand square meters in extension, consisting of the mega library and the Teatro Mayor. Currently, it offers its services to more than 1.2 million people in specialized spaces for early childhood, such as a library for children, a playroom, study rooms, and spaces for people with disabilities, among others.
National Library of Colombia
It is one of the oldest libraries in America. Founded in 1777, its first collection belonged to Jesuit priests. This library is a sketch of the need to impart enlightenment education and ideas in the eighteenth century. On its shelves rested the documents of the Botanical Expedition ordered by Francisco de Paula Santander. Thanks to its architecture and collections of Colombian writers and philologists, this library is recognized as being the main one regarding Colombia’s cultural heritage.
Do not miss the cultural programming in Bogota. Discover what this city has to offer you through the links attached to this article.