A new Sabaneta library opened recently in Sabaneta in Colombia with over 12,000 books and computers plus Internet and space for children. The new public library (biblioteca) in Sabaneta is officially known as Biblioteca Pública Municipal Juan Carlos Montoya Montoya.

The new library in Sabaneta includes about 105,000 square feet (9,750 square meters) of space and it has more than 12,000 books. The library has computer tables for children, an area with children’s books, a coworking space, video wall, smart monitors, classrooms and free Wifi in the library. Also, there are solar panels and an auditorium with capacity for 120 people.

Inside the new library

Inside the new library

Children using computers in the library

Children using computers in the library

The library was built with an investment of about $6.5 million USD (21.3 billion pesos). And 13 billion pesos of this came from a loan from the Development Institute of Antioquia (Idea), which will reportedly be repaid by the Sabaneta municipality. In addition, the Government of Antioquia contributed 4 billion pesos and the Metropolitan Area of the Aburrá Valley contributed 2.3 billion pesos.

On April 3, 2019 Colombian President Iván Duque inaugurated the new Sabaneta library, which is considered one of the most modern libraries in Colombia.

The new library is expected to average 280 users per day and the library is administered by Comfenaco Antioquia. And in the first quarter it’s open it is expected that additional books will be added to the library’s inventory.

Magazine section in the Sabaneta library

Magazine section in the Sabaneta library

How to Sign Up and Borrow Books from the New Sabaneta Library

I went to the new Sabaneta library recently looking to borrow some books in Spanish, as I have started reading some books in Spanish to improve my Spanish.

To sign up to borrow books was easy. They had me fill out a form that asked for my cedula number, address, phone numbers, birthdate and for three references – the names and phone numbers of three family or friends.  In addition, they wanted to see my cedula.

I asked if it was possible for foreigners to borrow books with a passport and they said no and that a cedula is required, as they want to borrow to people who are residents, not tourists.

I asked and the new Sabaneta library doesn’t have any books in English, only in Spanish. But it has some movies on DVD in English and Spanish.

When you borrow books or movies it is free and they date stamp the due date in the book or DVD. And the due dates for the books and movies I borrowed are in three weeks. Also, it’s possible to renew for a longer time-frame. And if you return a book or DVD late there is a penalty charge.

Biblioteca España, the most famous of the library parks in Medellín but now closed, photo by Gacha187

Biblioteca España, the most famous of the library parks in Medellín but now closed, photo by Gacha187

Libraries in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley

Medellín has a network of 35 libraries, which are located in the 16 comunas and corregimientos of Medellín. And nine of these libraries are considered library parks:

  1. Parque Biblioteca Belén
  2. Parque Biblioteca España, Santo Domingo Savio (currently closed)
  3. Parque Biblioteca Fernando Botero, San Cristóbal
  4. Parque Biblioteca Gabriel García Márquez Doce de Octubre
  5. Parque Biblioteca José Horacio Betancur, San Antonio de Prado
  6. Parque Biblioteca León de Greiff, La Ladera
  7. Parque Biblioteca Manuel Mejía Vallejo, Guayabal
  8. Parque Biblioteca Presbítero José Luis Arroyave, San Javier
  9. Parque Biblioteca Tomás Carrasquilla, La Quintana
Biblioteca España on April 1, 2019. Closed since October 2015 to fix structural defects.

Biblioteca España on April 1, 2019. Closed since October 2015 to fix structural defects.

The Medellín library parks were built between 2008 and 2011 and each includes a large public library structure surrounded by green park space for public use. These were strategically placed within some of the city’s most marginalized communities.

The library parks have received international attention and had a tremendously positive impact on the communities where they are located.

There are many other libraries in Medellín and in the other nine municipalities in the Aburrá Valley. Also, there are libraries at each of the universities in the metro area plus EPM has a large library.

These libraries offer more than just books. They also offer training and opportunities for meeting and they all seem have Internet available. And many have computers available for use. So, they are considered centers of the community and local development.

Furthermore, many of the libraries in the Aburrá Valley have spaces like auditoriums and other rooms that are available for reservations by the public for meetings.

View of Aves Maria mall from the new library

View of Aves Maria mall from the new library

How to Get to the Sabaneta Library

The new Sabaneta library is located close to the Aves Maria mall in Sabaneta. And it’s located about a five-minute walk from the popular Parque Sabaneta.

An easy way to get to Parque Sabaneta is to take the Medellín metro Line A south to the Sabaneta metro station. And the Sabeneta station is only about 10 minutes from the Poblado metro station.

Parque Sabaneta is located about a 10-minute walk east from the Sabaneta station. So, the new library is about a 15-minute walk from the Sabaneta metro station.

Metro buses at the Sabaneta metro station, the new library is about a 15-minute walk from this metro station

Metro buses at the Sabaneta metro station, the new library is about a 15-minute walk from this metro station

Also, there are frequent and inexpensive metro buses that use Civica cards that currently cost only 2,100 pesos, which run from the Sabaneta metro station to and from the park. Most noteworthy, these buses don’t drop you at the park, they drop you about a block from the park. And the integrated fare including both the metro train and Sabaneta metro bus is only 2,800 pesos.

In addition, there is a taxi stand at the Sabaneta metro station, which normally has taxis available. Furthermore, any taxi or Uber driver in Medellín will know where Parque Sabaneta is located. It’s also normally pretty easy to catch a taxi at the park.

Website: https://www.facebook.com/Biblioteca-P%C3%BAblica-Municipal-Juan-Carlos-Montoya-Montoya-133901079988392/

Address: Carrera 45 # 72Sur-25, Sabaneta

Phone: +57 (4) 440 6800 ext 3008

Hours: Monday to Saturday: 8 am to 7 pm; Sunday: Closed.

The entrance to Biblioteca Pública Municipal Juan Carlos Montoya Montoya

The entrance to Biblioteca Pública Municipal Juan Carlos Montoya Montoya

The Bottom Line: The New Sabaneta Library

The new Sabaneta Library is a nice library and Sabaenta has needed a new library as it has grown tremendously over the past few years. Sabaneta reportedly now has a population of over 100,000, which is up from about 43,000 in 2012. Furthermore, this library is kid-friendly with computers for children and a space with children’s books.

Also, it is important to understand that the libraries in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley aren’t just for reading and borrowing books. Some of the libraries have impressive architectures and some include exhibition halls, classrooms and auditoriums that host reading lessons for children and adults, as well as workshops.

In addition, the libraries in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley are considered a symbol – of the culture of transformation, innovation and inclusion.

Some Medellin Guru readers living in Sabaneta asked for information about the new Sabaneta library. And several readers have asked about the libraries in Medellín including how to sign up for borrowing books. Also, readers have asked if any of the libraries in the metro area have English books. So, we plan to look at some of the libraries in Medellín in more detail.

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