I pass by the Quezon City Hall every so often, and I’ve always been curious about the QC public library they have there. It got a bit of press a while back about how it was a nice place to hang out (for a government institution at least), so I had a todo list item about checking it out.
Well, last week I did! I passed by on a weekday afternoon about 4pm after running some errands. The library was open until 7pm, so the timing was fine. I went up to the building and the guard asked me what my business was and I said I just wanted to check out the library. He told me that bags weren’t allowed inside so I had to go to the baggage counter. Oops, luckily I only had my sling bag and not the full backpack I usually had when carrying a laptop. I left my sling bag at the counter and went inside.
The space wasn’t as large as I thought it would be - the pictures on the website made it seem a bit larger in my imagination. The tables and seats were maybe 75% full, mostly with students and library staff. The main library area was in the first floor. Second floor seemed to be some offices and an outdoor cafe, I didn’t explore the second floor too much. I walked around the ground floor rooms for a bit, browsing the shelves. Aside from the main area, there was a separate room specialized for Philippine history and such, a room for kids’ books, a “puppeteers room”, and a smaller round room with periodicals and such.
There was also a small section for fiction books in the main area; the selection was decent, mostly mainstream titles like Hunger Games, some Robert Ludlum, a few sci-fi/fantasy titles, and so on. For the reference materials, it was about what you’d expect from a public library - most of it was dated and donated. The tech/comptuers sections had the sort of obsolete computer books you’d find at book sale - like “How to use Microsoft Access 95”, that kind of thing. There were The World is Flat by Friedman, and Obama’s book about hope or such.
Someone showed me how to use one of the computer kiosks to search the library’s catalog, and I was told it should be accessible via the website, so that seems fine. If you wanted to know whether they had a particular book, you could just check the website first. Also, the catalog said they had some Thor comics, but they were in the children’s corner, and I didn’t feel like going in there lol. I also tried connecting my iPad to the local wifi, but the internet wasn’t very good.
I came away not too impressed with the library. I’m not sure what I was expecting. I guess I was kind of hoping to see if it was a good place to hang out, maybe if I was stranded near city hall due to traffic or waiting around in that area for something. It seems like a fairly good place for students from nearby schools though, especially those with no internet access at home. At least my curiosity was sated and I managed to tick an item off my todo list!