Malaysian Library System

Have you been to any of Malaysia’s library? If you have, you might know what I’m about to say here. If you haven’t, then you don’t know what you’re “missing” out on.

I’m going to share my experience with two libraries. One is our National Library in Kuala Lumpur and the second one is MPPJ Library in Petaling jaya.

National Library (Perpustakaan Negara)

To be a member of the National Library, you need to fill a form (need to pay for the form), then proceed to another counter to pay for the membership card. Can’t recall how much they cost.

After receiving your membership card, you proceed to the entrance. A security guard stops you. He checks and says:

“Dik, ni semua tak boleh bawak masuk ni. Beg tak boleh, file tak boleh, gunting tak boleh, botol air tak boleh masuk, etc. Kena letak dalam locker”

By now, you’re like WTF?

Last time my partner and I myself went to National Library, here are some of the items that can’t be brought in:

1. Bags
2. Handbags
3. Plastic Folder
4. Water Bottles
5. Scissors (National Library, if I wanted to steal any part of your books, I can just rip it off la! No need scissors).

In the locker area, you then get harassed by the locker dudes (experienced by my partner). He’ll ask you questions like:

“Dik, nama ape? Duduk mana? bla bla bla”

Not in a polite courteous kind of way but rather flirtatious kind of way. You get the picture.

Then in the library, man, it’s friggin hard to find books. You ask help from the library assistant, unhelpful.

My conclusion. I’M NEVER GOING BACK TO NATIONAL LIBRARY. Unless of course, I was forced to.

MPPJ Library (Petaling Jaya)

Ok, this library is an interesting one. To be a member, you have to pay. I don’t actually mind paying RM1 or even RM2 at most. But RM30 ?!?!?!?! Also, that’s cost per year! So much for encouraging people to read.

Ok ok, another interesting thing, to get in, no BAGS. Ok, understandable (even though I don’t agree with that policy). Need to leave them at the bag holding area. Fortunately, the person guarding that place was quite friendly.

In the library itself, you will discover some “amazing” things. First of all, for all music aficionados out there, sorry, no MP3 Players, no Walkmans, no Music Players. There was this once, when I was there, there’s this neighbouring dude listening to some music on his MP3 player. Guess what happened? A security guard confiscated his MP3 player. I mean seriously, since when do MP3 players disturb people? It’s not like we’re bringing in a huge boombox and set the volume at 30!! Geez.. Plus, MPPJ library has no right to confiscate anything.

In terms of the amount of books, ok la. But most of them can’t be loaned. There are some selection of fiction books (most of them, not interesting), but you can only borrow two (or was it three?) at a time for 2 weeks. Only three? Brisbane Library, you can borrow up to 20 books. They are due in 1 month.

MPPJ Library Assistants, unfriendly. If you ask for help, they’ll make a face, as if you’re a leper or something. Kalau nak macam tu, tak payah lah pakai tudung kak. Contradicting betul. Buat malu je. (Maaf kalau tersinggung, kalau tersinggung, bukan masalah saya).

So, there you go, my experiences in two of Malaysian libraries. No wonder we Malaysians hate to read.

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