Luis Ángel Arango Library

Bogotá, Colombia

Luis Ángel Arango Library

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Luis Ángel Arango Library (Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango or BLAA) is a public library located in Bogotá, Colombia. It was founded in 1958 as a small library with a few books on economics, currently its collection has about 2'000.000 works. Today the library has been expanded and occupies two entire city blocks spanning about 45,000m² (nearly 54,000 sq. yards). Its collection has grown to become the country's premier library and has come to be considered the most important public library in Latin America, and one of the most visited in the world. It has over 1.1 million books and seating for 1900 readers; it received 6.7 million visitors in 2008. The library is named after the lawyer and businessman Luis Angel Arango, the general director (Governor) of the "Banco de la Republica" in Colombia from 1947 to 1957, and a champion of culture and literature for all. The library is part of the cultural affairs wing of Colombian Central Bank (Banco de la República), Banrepcultural network, which today runs 23 additional libraries, cultural centers and museums across Colombia.

Notable Books and documents of its collection include, multimedia documentary materials of the Colombian Constitution, rare books and manuscripts purchased from private collections from around the world, as well as the Luis López de Mesa periodicals archive (Hemeroteca) which is an extensive newspaper archive collection. The Library also offers a collection of audio-visual materials. Additionally, there is a Concert Hall, art exhibits, reprography service, a cafeteria and parking facilities. It centralizes the "digital collection" and the "Virtual Library" (Biblioteca Virtual del Banco de la República) a growing repository of digitized content from the network of libraries of the Banco de la República. The Botero Museum is housed in one of the contiguous buildings purchased for the expansion of the library. The main entrance features a bronze statue of Athena or Minerva, Greek goddess of wisdom, the arts, trade and defense.

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