While I have the fortune and luxury of travelling around the world, I am absorbed in the world of academia, at least for some of the time!
Roughly, my aim is to work 4 days a week and be a tourist for the other 3. To do so, sometimes I work in my hotel room, if it’s comfortable and has a desk space. Sometimes, I need to get away from the distractions like repacking my bag or wandering around aimlessly because I am doing anything other than studying and I go to a library. This worked out well in Buenos Aires and I looked for the same vibe in Providencia, Chile.
There is a ginormous library in the centre of Santiago. Still feeling a bit poorly, I wondered if there was one close to my Ibis hotel. Google Maps showed up with a community library about 3 blocks from the hotel! Off I went on my adventure. I spotted the yellow building above and wondered… but no, it was a church (locked, but a church).
Here is was, in a 1980s building beside the town hall.
Inside there were two floors, a reading room with soft seats for those who wished to read the papers or periodicals, or a study space on the second floor, which had shared tables and which was busy every single time I went there!
There were only two socket points for laptops, which were usually occupied, but with 4 or 5 hours without needing to charge, my MacBook got me through nicely!
In the week I stayed in Providencia, the library was shut 3 times. Once for the Census Day, and both other times it was unclear why – a sign was on the door.
I got talking to the security guard on the second of those days and a homeless gentleman overheard the conversation and pointed me towards another small library within the town hall next door. Gracias!
This small library seemed to be for a particular local function, but it had about 10 small desks.
I had to sign in and state my purpose, but the ladies who worked there were friendly (and loud! Noise-cancelling headphones were needed!). It was chilly too and I regretted not taking a jumper with me.
Just outside the library was a pile of arts and parade items, including this drum which looked strangely like Thomas the Tank Engine!
The facilities in municipal libraries in Santiago are free to everyone, which is a great resource that I was grateful to use!