Bibliophiles, are you looking for a quiet spot amid the hustle and bustle of the city? Perhaps you’re in search of a different reading nook apart from your humble abode? Look no further! We’ve curated some of the best libraries in the Philippines that offer a conducive place for you to indulge in reading and learning. From public and private book repositories to culture and language institutions, there’s always a space for every reader!
Must-visit libraries in the Philippines for book lovers
1. CCP Library and Archives, Pasay City
The Cultural Center of the Philippines is a government-owned corporation established “to preserve, develop, and promote arts and culture in the Philippines.” Its complex serves as a space for performances, exhibitions, events, cultural research, and publication. But what a lot of people don’t know is it also houses a special library called the CCP Library and Archives. Here, researchers, artists, cultural workers and the public can access its vast collection of reference materials about culture, history, and humanities.
Address: CCP Complex, Roxas Blvd, Pasay, 1300 Metro Manila
For more information, visit The Cultural Center of the Philippines’ official website.
2. Aurelio Montinola, Jr. Library, Makati City
Have you been wanting to learn French — one of the most beautiful languages in the world? The Alliance Française de Manille is your go-to centre for French language and culture studies! It is one of the oldest and most prominent international organisations established in Manila. Through their art and educational programs, the AFM hopes “to encourage friendly relations between the Filipinos and French.”
Located at the AFM, is a multimedia library that comprises over 8,000 documents about the French language and culture. Here, you can also access a wide range of DVDs, CDs, magazines, and other publications and reference materials. Ultimately, it offers a conducive language learning environment, which easily makes it one of the best libraries in the Philippines!
Address: 209 Nicanor Garcia Street, Bel-Air II, Makati City
3. Filipinas Heritage Library, Makati City
The Filipinas Heritage Library located at the Ayala Museum in Makati City prides itself as the Philippines’ “one-stop digital research centre.” It is home to various collections — with over 10,000 Filipiniana volumes, rare publications, archival photos, and other materials focused on Philippine history and culture. Its mission is “to spark and stoke interest in the visual, aural, and printed story of the Filipino.”
4. Quezon City Public Library, Quezon City
A hidden gem for bibliophiles up north would be the Quezon City Public Library! It houses a children’s book corner, a function room, and a cafe for those who wish to sip on fresh brews while reading. To date, the QCPL’s library catalogue comprises nearly 20,000 publications and reference materials. Additionally, it offers multimedia services and computers on the second floor for general public use. So if you’re looking for an unadulterated spot in the city for some peace and quiet, this book haven is the place to be!
5. Reading Club 2000, Makati City
On the outskirts of the Makati City CBD sits the Reading Club 2000. It is a free-for-all library which Hernando “Nanie” Guanlao set up just outside of his ancestral home. The idea is to let anyone freely borrow and return or keep books from its collection. According to Nanie, he hopes to encourage the local community to take part in his passion for books and reading. Here at the Reading Club 2000, there’s no requirement for memberships, library cards, or IDs. Everyone is welcome to indulge in a good book!
Address: 1454 Balagtas, Makati, 1204 Metro Manila
6. National Library of the Philippines, Manila City
Of course, this list of libraries in the Philippines wouldn’t be complete without the country’s premier repository of printed and recorded cultural heritage. With a library catalogue consisting of over two million books and records, the National Library of the Philippines continues to be the largest library in the country. Here, you can also find the original works of national hero Jose Rizal like the Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. Apart from providing access to resources, the National Library has a mission to collect, organise, and preserve Filipiniana reference materials.
Address: 1000 Kalaw Ave, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila
For more information, visit the National Library of the Philippines’ official website.
7. Ortigas Foundation Library, Pasig City
The Ortigas Foundation Library encourages students, researchers, and the general public to appreciate the fascinating stories of our nation. That said, it is fully committed to promoting the study of Philippine history, art, and culture through its unique collection of publications. The OFL makes available a vast range of historical books, periodicals, and photo archives in a quiet and peaceful setting, perfect for reading and studying. Plus, it also offers spaces for interdisciplinary events such as conferences, seminars, and programs.
Address: 2nd Floor McKinley Parking Building, Service Road, Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan, 1503 Metro Manila
For more information, visit Ortigas Foundation Library’s official website.
8. Lopez Museum and Library, Manila City
The Lopez Museum and Library is an art and history institution located in Manila City. It is the oldest privately owned museum and library that specialises in significant Philippine materials. In its library, you can find over 30,000 Fiipiniana titles from over 10,000 authors. Their invaluable collection includes rare books, manuscripts, documentaries, literary works, maps, archival photographs, and microfilms. Additionally, you can find the works by internationally acclaimed Filipino painters Juan Luna and Felix Hidalgo, as well as other important fine art.
Address: 6/F Tower 3, Rockwell Business Center, Ortigas Ave., Pasig City, Philippines
For more information, visit Lopez Museum and Library’s official website.
9. Goethe Institut Philippinen, Makati City
The Goethe Institut Philippinen language and culture studies institution houses a multimedia library about the German language. Much like other foreign language schools, it aims to encourage and promote international cultural exchange among Filipinos. To achieve this, they provide language courses and reference materials that aid in better understanding the German vernacular and culture. Its library collection consists of books, magazines, film, and music — allowing you to experience different ways of learning!
10. The Book Stop Project, Manila City
Trade your books for other books at The Book Stop Project in Intramuros, Manila. This pop-up library aims to get more people to appreciate literature and encourage the sharing of ideas through book redistribution. Here, you don’t have to worry about running out of books to choose from since it follows a fast-paced swap system. This means there are new volumes and titles on the shelf, always. Think of it as a community market, but for preloved books! Pretty neat, huh?
Address: Plaza Roma 1002 Intramuros, Manila
For more information visit The Book Stop Project’s official Facebook page.
Also read: New Instagrammable Library in Sorsogon Will Give You K-Drama Feels
That about does it for our list of the best libraries in the Philippines for bookworms and knowledge-seekers! Sure, you’ll find other quiet spots in the city to settle down with a good book, whether at a neighbourhood cafe or co-working spaces. Until then, these libraries will always be available for your endless learning!
Featured image credit: Filipinas Heritage Library | Official Facebook Page