Cover Desa Kampung Endah Library, a children's library in Selangor (Photo: GARISPXL.CO)

Get to know these cool community libraries and off-the-grid book cafes

This article was first published on March 3, 2021 and updated on August 29, 2022 

Raja Tun Uda Library

Originally meant to be a monument by the Selangor government to commemorate its status as a modern state in 2005, The Raja Tun Uda Library in Shah Alam was built at the recommendation of the Sultan of Selangor, His Royal Highness Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj, who believed that a library would be more beneficial to the community than a monument. Though temporarily closed in the early part of 2021, this public library kept busy delivering books to members during the lockdown via its 'BooksFly2U' initiative and offering e-book downloads through its website.

Located by a serene lake, this swanky six-floor building boasts comprehensive collections of children's and adults' books alongside modern facilities like a 3D theatre, a gymnasium, an open-air café, virtual reality rooms and a creative zone.        

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 9am – 6pm (Closed on public holidays) 

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The National Library

Located along the bustling Jalan Tun Razak, the National Library is beautiful to behold from the outside, its striking roof tiles resembling the patterns of kain songket, a traditional handwoven fabric. It's also packed with a variety of resources and archives hard to find at many other libraries, including copies of old newspapers, magazines and other periodicals.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10am – 5pm (Closed on Mondays and public holidays) 

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Desa Kampung Endah Library

A project by the Selangor Public Library Corporation (Perbadanan Perpustakaan Awam Selangor), this village children's library in Kampung Endah was revamped in 2020 by architectural firm Eleena Jamil Architect from its original flood-damaged structure spanning just 800sf to a bright, modern and cosy space for young readers. 

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Bukit Damansara Community Library

You've probably driven past this white corner building along Jalan Beringin in Damansara Heights without realising that it is actually a community library. Opened in March 2013, Bukit Damansara Community Library offers books for kids and adults, a children's corner, reading rooms, a meeting room, an IT corner and a special collection of works by the late Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid, the former Chief Secretary to the Government who was hailed for his efforts in preserving the musical legacy of P. Ramlee for future generations.                  

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10am – 5pm (Closed on Sunday, Monday and public holidays)

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The Kuala Lumpur Library

Reopened since February 2021, the KL Library is another spacious book lover's haven within walking distance to some of the most popular attractions in the city, including Merdeka Square. Its facilities include a mini auditorium, a multipurpose hall, a conference hall, two exhibition galleries, a children's floor with its own spacious reading area, a cafe and a variety of cosy corners with reading pods to curl up quietly with a good book.     

Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday from 10am – 6.45pm and weekends from 10am – 5pm (Closed on public holidays and the first Saturday and Sunday of the month)

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Book Barter Café

If you're in the mood to update your reading list spontaneously, book cafes are a great place to start. Book Barter Café in Cyberjaya's Tamarind Square is a gorgeous treehouse-inspired eatery that lets patrons engage in book exchanges over coffee and the occasional slice of cake. 

Note: Book Barter Café is temporary closed for private events till after August 2022. Get updates via its Instagram or Facebook or WhatsApp +6019-499 1408 for more information. 

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Bukku Café

Rustic indoor and outdoor seating, hearty meals, book exchanges and plenty of cakes and coffee to go around—Bukku Café in Setia Alam is a picture-perfect place to unwind with a good book in hand. 

Opening hours: Daily, 10am - 5pm 

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Me Time Book Café

How often does a café let you have some alone time to curl up with a book? Yet that's exactly what this book cafe promises to do. Inspired by Tokyo's unique Book and Bed hospitality concept, Me Time Book Café at The Square in Jaya One, Petaling Jaya, offers books, food, and dedicated privacy pods with bean bags and mini tables to relax with a book or even take a nap. Special meeting rooms like the Rainbow Room, the Pinky Room and shower facilities are also available. 

Opening hours: Daily, 11am - 8pm   

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Ink Library Café

For those who prefer light reading (and heavy eating), here's one for your Insta-worthy café-hopping adventures: Ink Library Café is located at Grandeur Labs in Puncak Alam, a library-themed coffee shop that serves up a dizzying array of delightful pasta dishes along with magazines and books.  

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 11am – 10pm (Closed on Mondays)

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