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M'sians Criticise Local Libraries After Photos Of A Stunning Library In Jakarta Go Viral

Upon seeing the revitalised library in Taman Ismail Marzuki, in Jakarta, Indonesia, Malaysians wished that local libraries had the same aesthetic and accessibility to cultivate a genuine interest in reading and literature.

Cover image via Manual Jakarta & Twitter

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Perpustakaan Jakarta Cikini in Taman Ismail Marzuki, Jakarta, Indonesia has been revived with a new look and Indonesians are not the only ones that are fascinated by its transformation

A number of Jakarta residents knew about the existence of the library before its revitalisation due to its secluded location.

More people are interested in visiting the library and becoming members now that it has a new look that matches modern aesthetics and is more accessible to the public.

Image via Manual Jakarta
Image via Manual Jakarta
Image via Manual Jakarta
Image via Manual Jakarta
Image via Manual Jakarta

According to Manual Jakarta, Perpustakaan Jakarta Cikini has more than 100,000 books, gathering spaces, private reading rooms, and many more facilities. The library is also located in the same space as Pusat Dokumentasi Sastra Hans Bague Jassin, making it easier for the public to access local literary works.

Malaysians who came across photos of this beautiful library on Twitter were mesmerised and wished that libraries in Malaysia could be improved as well.

A netizen who tweeted the photos expressed disappointment in local libraries

She tweeted, "How my heart aches. If only the library in Kuala Lumpur was as beautiful and friendly as this, maybe we wouldn't have to wait in long lines at expensive bookstores. Perhaps we could revive the interest in literature and the national language without (the need of) coercive acts."

The 'coercive act' is believed to be referring to the proposed RM50,000 fine by the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) board chairman for anyone disrespecting Bahasa Melayu.

Apart from the aesthetic, the revival of Perpustakaan Jakarta Cikini has Malaysians raising the issue of accessibility of libraries in Malaysia

Many expressed their dissatisfaction and criticism towards local libraries.

A netizen pointed out, "Look at the roof of the Kuala Lumpur Library that has unwanted trees with cracks here and there. Sad."

Image via Twitter

Besides, people also commented on the accessibility of digital literary works. A netizen tweeted, "This!! And only if the ebook overdrive is updated frequently with an increased quantity."

Image via Twitter

Another netizen expressed disappointment in the late opening time of libraries, saying, "I yearn for beautiful, accessible libraries. I hate that libraries here are so difficult to get to and they open late. 10am is late for me."

Image via Twitter

Contrary to most reactions toward the revitalisation of Perpustakaan Jakarta Cikini, a netizen reacted more positively to the tweet by promoting the Raja Tun Uda Library (RTU) in Shah Alam

Image via Twitter

Many students vouched for the beautiful and comfortable library.

Image via Twitter

Besides RTU library in Shah Alam, check out these other local libraries that have beautiful designs and great facilities: