Book it! Public, private libraries you can visit again in Metro Manila

Steph Arnaldo
Book it! Public, private libraries you can visit again in Metro Manila

National Library of the Philippines, Ortigas Foundation Library, Alliance Library

These libraries' reading rooms are now accepting on-site guests again – here's how to book your visits

Bookworms, great news! Under Metro Manila’s Alert Level 2, public and private libraries are now allowed to reopen to the public at a greater seating capacity. Yay for knowledge!

If you’ve been waiting to pay a visit to any library for school, work, or research, or just for leisure, here are a few public and private libraries around Metro Manila currently open for on-site visitors. Ready to drown in books again? Book it!

National Library of the Philippines

The official library of the country reopened their doors to the public starting October 18, and is open from Mondays to Fridays, 9 am to 4 pm.

The National Library of the Philippines (NLP), a decades-old “repository of the printed and recorded cultural heritage of the country,” can accommodate 60 on-site visitors per day. Visitors are required to book their library visit a day before via NLP’s online appointment form.

The NLP complex is located in Ermita’s Rizal Park, facing T.M. Kalaw Avenue, beside the Museum of Philippine Political History and the National Historical Commission. Only fully-vaccinated library users will be allowed access and must present their complete vaccination cards upon entry.

Manila City Library

The Manila City Library’s (MCL) Reading Rooms have been accepting on-site visitors since July 5 from Mondays to Fridays 8 am to 5 pm (except holidays).

MCL requires visitors to reserve a seat a day before their intended library visit via an online form.

The public library founded in 1946 is located at 800 Taft Avenue, Ermita, Manila, and aims to provide Manila residents free and equitable access to library services and a “broad range of human knowledge, experience, and information in a convivial and caring environment.”

Aurelio Montinola Jr. Library

French private library Aurelio Montinola Jr., also known as Alliance Française de Manille (AFM), is open again starting November 21 to walk-in members the whole week, except Sundays. However, it is still encouraged to e-mail the library ahead of your preferred visit date at 

AFM will only accommodate a maximum of two people at a time for a maximum of 45 minutes per person. The library is open from Mondays to Thursdays from 8:30 am to 6 pm, on Fridays until 5 pm, and on Saturdays until 4:30 pm.

The AFM’s local library, which was founded in 1920, is a non-profit organization “committed to promoting the French language and culture through art and educational programs,” housing thousands of French novels, films, magazines, CDs, comics, documents, and more materials. It is located at 209 Nicanor Garcia Street, Bel-Air II, Makati City.

Ortigas Foundation Library

The non-profit organization is open once again for library services starting November 3 from Mondays to Fridays, 9 am to 3 pm. Proof of full vaccination must be presented upon entry.

The Ortigas Foundation Library (OFL) will allot a limited number of socially distanced seats per time slot, with time limits imposed depending on number of visitors at a time. Guests are required to email the library to set an appointment beforehand.

OFL “promotes the study of Philippine history, art, and culture through its extensive collection of historical books, periodicals, and photos.” Their new location is on the second floor of the McKinley Building, Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan City. The gift shop and Conservation Lab are also open. –

Steph Arnaldo

If she’s not writing about food, she’s probably thinking about it. From advertising copywriter to freelance feature writer, Steph Arnaldo finally turned her part-time passion into a full-time career. She’s written about food, lifestyle, and wellness for Rappler since 2018.