Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Costa Rica National Library

Hello dear Readers,

Hope you all had a great weekend.

As a mentioned in my previous post, I want to share with you some of the book related places I used to go when I lived in Costa Rica.

One of these places is the Costa Rica National Library. I have amazing memories  about visiting this library. I used to go there to study for school, do homework, to read a good book or simply borrow old newspapers and read them. They have a pretty good collection of those there. 

The Spanish translation, National Library (Biblioteca Nacional), and its name, in honor to Miguel Obregon Lizano, one of the Benefactors of the Fatherland. He contributed to national education, teachers, children and the youth of our country. Two of his biggest contributions: founder of the New School in San Jose, which is the capital of Costa Rica and he promoted the creation of Public Libraries in our country. He also gave teachers the professional category, teaching as a professional career in Costa Rica.

The National Library was founded in 1888. It is a huge, two-story building inaugurated in 1971. Throughout the years, the building has suffered a few restoration processes in order to better preserve all the documents store in there and also the building has been improved to offer more benefits to the patrons. Benefits such as better internet, wi-fi, more computers for public use and bigger reading and studying rooms.

The National Library, with other 58 public libraries, plus one Bibliobus, its what is called the Costa Rica National Libraries System (SINABI-Sistema Nacional de Bibliotecas).

Bibliobus brings library services and materials to people from rural and small communities with no access to libraries.

The Costa Rica National Library has done an amazing job preserving old books, and special collections for everything: costarican authors, first editions, history, music, newspapers, magazines, most of those produced in Costa Rica. A collection of foreign books and magazines. And a collection of titles used as a reference and research.

One particular thing about the Costa Rica National Library is Patrons cannot check items out from the closed collections, they are more for study and research. You can read them but inside the library. That is why is often called the "Reference Library". You can also listen to music and some items can only be used under supervision.

Below some pictures of the Costa Rica National Library. And for more information on the National Library and the SINABI, you can visit

Next post: Used Bookstores in Costa Rica.


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