Instituto Cervantes Library

biblioteca madridAnother great library is the Instituto Cervantes Biblioteca.  In order to receive your card you fill out a quick form and they make a copy of your NIE (you don’t need to be enrolled in their school).  You will receive an email letting you know when your card is available for pick-up.  This library is great if you are attending school or taking Spanish classes AND they have a large selection of films.  It is also a great quiet little hide away where you can use the wifi and is never super crowded.

I hear their spanish classes are great but a bit costly like most classes in Madrid.  However, if a class is backed by instituto cervantes then it is supposed to be quality.  I just couldn’t  vouch for it but their library is great!

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Find your nearest biblioteca.

Spain 093The first thing I do when I move to a new city is open a library account.  If you are in Madrid you can head to your closest Biblioteca pública municipal.  Last year I went to Iván de Vargas to get my library card.  The process is simple; all you need is identification, your local address, zip code and maybe a phone number.  Tell them that you want a carné de la biblioteca and they’ll hook you up right there and then.

The library card is valid for all public libraries of Madrid city council, including the Bibliometro ( the reading points in the Madrid metro).  It works like any old library card; you can borrow 3 books for 30 days (except reference books), 3 multi-media items (CDs, DVDs, etc.) for 7 days, and 3 magazines for 7 days.  Nothing can be renewed.

Their catalog can be accessed here, where you can look for and reserve content.

The card also gives you access to internet/computer stations and Wi-Fi in certain libraries. It is free so take advantage of this excellent resource especially if you live right by one, there are about 17 around the city (find your nearest here). Flyers for all listings can be found at your respective library.