El Salvador National Library: Preserving the Past, Inspiring the Future!

By Eddie Galdamez  | Updated on Nov 15th, 2023
El Salvador National LibraryNational Library of El Salvador. Image by @EmbajadaChinaSV

Located in the vibrant heart of San Salvador, the the National Library stand as a beacon of knowledge and culture. El Salvador’s new library will preserve the literary heritage of El Salvador while embracing modern technology and fostering a love for reading and learning.

The National Library was a donation by the People’s Republic of China. The library was inagurated on November 15, 2023 by President Nayib Bukele.

The new BINAES (National Library of El Salvador) is a non-refundable cooperation project (donation) granted by the People’s Republic of China. Its cost will be 54 million dollars (including equipment and books).” Nayib Bukele on October 3, 2021

The president of the republic, Nayib Bukele, officially inaugurated the National Library of El Salvador (BINAES) on a nationally televised event on November 14, 2023. The Government expects 5,000 daily visitors.

National Library of El Salvador
Library Inauguration. Image by Casa Presidencial.

SEE ALSO: Exploring El Salvador Culture: Embracing Vibrant Customs and Traditions with Warm-hearted People

The Library

The library is 24 thousand square meters, a significant difference compared to the 4,900 square meters of the previous national library. It houses more than 360 thousand physical books distributed over 7 levels.

Users of the National Library have access to more than 9 million digital titles and connections with other libraries worldwide. The library operates 24/7 so that Salvadorans can come at any time and enjoy this new Cultural Center.

Level one has an auditorium with a capacity for 350 people, a store, a coffee shop, a VIP room, and a consultation room.

Level two is for children from 0 to 7 years old; the area is designed and equipped exclusively for Early Childhood. It has books in English and Nahuatl, with which the government hopes to encourage the love of reading from an early age.

Level three is dedicated to Children and Adolescents ages 8 to 12. It has a LEGO area to develop creativity and a gamers zone.

Level four is aimed at our young people. It has reading rooms for Harry Potter and Star Wars fans. It also has a Game of Thrones-themed area, among others. This level has computer rooms, comics, mangas, and poetry books.

Level four has two computer rooms, one for research and another with specialized computers for graphic design training and web page development.

Level five has a general Collection of Latin American and Universal Literature for users to enjoy their favorite books in comfortable spaces.

Level six is designed to work and learn intelligently using new technologies. This level has a digital newspaper archive with 9 million copies, meeting rooms, interactive screens, and a LABCO Co-Creativity Laboratory.

The sixth level is designed for Salvadorans to experience first-hand the use of new technologies, a level focused on digital transformation and innovation.

It has a virtual reality room, a flight and drone simulation area, a simulation area for medical students, a robotics room, resin printers, and 3D scanners.

Library reading area
4th level of the national library. Image by Casa Presidencial.
Library reading area
4th level of the national library. Image by Casa Presidencial.
Library reading area
4th level of the national library. Image by Casa Presidencial.

A Donation from the People’s Republic of China

In December 2019, President Bukele announced that Chinese President Xi Jinping had just granted El Salvador a gigantic non-reimbursable cooperation managed entirely by the El Salvador Government.

In addition to the National Library, China will give El Salvador a large water purification plant, a new soccer stadium, and improved infrastructure along the Surf City project. It also includes a new pier and a theme park in La Libertad.

El Salvador National Library

President Nayib Bukele announced that the design of the library was based on El Salvador’s waves, reefs, and volcanoes. He also expressed that the library’s location was chosen to continue revitalizing the Capital City’s Historic Center.

One of the main elements of its architecture is that, like an open book, this structure opens and connects with the historic buildings around it. A place that will be photographed by locals and tourists. A place for culture and education.” Nayib Bukele.

The National Library of El Salvador will add another landmark to the San Salvador Historic Downtown, which will help increase local and international tourism.