PHNOM PENH (Khmer Times) –The National Library of Cambodia is located to the west of Wat Phnom, opposite the National University of Management, next to the Sunway Hotel. When you arrive at the gate, make sure to look around first so that you won’t miss the fresh view and cool air of the gardens surrounding a building which stands tall at the end of the sidewalk.
The National Library was built in 1924 during French colonial rule and was intended for French researchers. However, it was handed back to Cambodia after the colonial occupation collapsed in 1953.
The National Library now serves as a public library for people of all ages and races. Every person, regardless of age and nationality can visit and enjoy their reading activities here.
The environment inside the library is enjoyable for those who like being away from noisy disturbances. There are shelves on every side, teeming with hundreds of books on a huge range of subject areas. In addition to books, readers discover newspapers, magazines and manuscripts.
Head of the National Library of Cambodia Khlot Vibolla said that the institution is a place where all types of documents relating to Cambodia have been collected and stored. Anyone who wishes to know more about Cambodia can come and conduct their research here.
“They can even borrow any book to read at home. However, they need to register as a member of the National Library by making a card and paying one dollar per year as a contribution,” she added.
In addition to reading materials, the National Library serves as the only place in Cambodia, where a publisher can obtain an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) code for their books.
According to Mrs. Vibolla, the service is free of charge, however the publisher is required to contribute at least five examples of their publication to the National Library.
In addition, the National Library is also a place where significant events are held such as the annual Cambodia Book Fair, which is set to be held in December this year.The head of the National Library took the opportunity to announce that volunteers are needed to help organize this year’s Book Fair. Interested members of the public are invited to go to the Facebook page of the National Library for more information.
National or international visitors can come to the National Library at any time during working hours, which are divided into two sessions. Session one is from 7:30 am to 11:30 am and session two starts from 2:00 pm and runs until 5:00 pm. The library is open every day except weekends and public holidays.