public libraries?


Apr 1, 2009
Hullo readers,

I'm heading over to BA in mid May for a year. just curious as to whether there are english language books at large public libraries, e.g. a state library? I'm hoping to do a lot of writing over there and I'd love to have access to a lot of Eng language books. :cool:

By the way, did anyone end up starting a thread on the Tropic of Capricorn?

You'll find many English books in both the congressional library and the national library -- that is, in their catalogues. When I've tried to conduct research in either, I've constantly been frustrated by the near-impossibility of actually receiving (from the closed stacks) the books requested, and those books were in Spanish.
So are the public libraries, like the one in Recoleta, similar to the states? That is, "browsable"?
zhaney0625 said:
So are the public libraries, like the one in Recoleta, similar to the states? That is, "browsable"?

In a word, no, at least not for the National Library in Recoleta. I've only been to this library a few times and the first time I went I was surprised by how restrictive it is (at least it was this way in 2007, so it may have changed). When I first walked in I had to fill out some paperwork regarding what I was researching and why. I also had to show ID and I may have had to leave a form of ID at the front desk, but I don't remember. At that time I was studying at UBA and was researching for a paper about Argentine history, so I was only allowed access to the floor with Argentine history. I couldn't go to other floors. Once I got to my floor I searched the computerized card catalogue for books that seemed relevant, then sent them, 3 at a time (if I remember correctly), to an electronic queue. You're not allowed to simply pick up the books and page through them; an employee sees the books on your list and finds them for you. Then you are allowed into a separate section (after locking your bag, coat and any other personal books into a locker) where you can read the books and take notes. You can make photocopies for a fee, of course. Once you're done with the 3 books you return them and go back to the catalogue and search for more, repeating the process.

As you can imagine, research takes FOREVER, so expect to spend hours there and take detailed notes. All that said, this was only my experience and it was nearly 3 years ago, so things may have changed. Also, perhaps access was so restrictive for me because I was researching history and the books are older? I don't know what it is like on other floors, but maybe it is easier.

For a browsable English library try the ICANA Lincoln library in Centro (calle Maípu). It's very small (just one room), but membership is cheap and you can browse and actually check out books to take home. For actual research it's probably not that good, but the staff is very friendly and may be able to help you track down other books in English.
yeah, ICANA is pretty good. if you leave your ID, they allow you to take the book you want out of the place and photocopy it.
also try . the suipacha building has a decent english library, and you dont have to be a member to check the books.
hope it helps.