Hey guys! I recently worked on a story on unique libraries in Kuala Lumpur – which included a Japanese-themed one and a children’s library in a refurbished wooden village house. Being a book lover, it was awesome to be able to share their stories and make sure they got the attention they deserved.
One of the libraries I went to was the Rumah Attap Library & Collective at The Zhongshan Building in Kuala Lumpur. When N came visiting last year, I took him to visit the building, but we seemed to have missed the library as it is tucked in a quiet corner on the 3rd floor.
Like many of the tenants at Zhongshan, it’s hard to determine what exactly lies behind each unit’s closed doors – until you knock and take a peek inside. In Rumah Attap’s case, visitors will be welcomed by various posters of upcoming art events, shows and festivals on the walls.
While it’s not very large, the space is brightly lit and roomy, with plenty of sunshine filtering in. With a cosy couch in a corner and various paraphernalia lining one side of the wall, it feels more like someone’s apartment than it does a library.One of the most stunning fixtures in the library is the wall of books on wooden shelves. The library has over 3,000 books, mostly on art, culture, philosophy and sociology in the Chinese language, and a selection of English and Malay works as well.
Started in 2017, the library came about as a collaboration between three local arts and culture organisations, namely Amateur, In Between Cultura and Au Sow Yee Studio. It was decided that a physical space was needed for the orgs to host their programmes, such as book readings, film screenings and cultural talks – and when Zhongshan called for tenants to fill up its units, the library was born.
Brochures for upcoming events and activities.
Since the space is run by volunteers, it is only open on weekends. They regularly host programmes such as talks by scholars and book reading sessions, so keep updated on their Facebook page.
RUMAH ATTAP LIBRARY AND COLLECTIVE
84c, Jalan Rotan, Kampung Attap, 50460, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
**While you’re around the area: check out beautiful graffiti art on the walls of the adjacent building.