American Center Library, INSPIRE Library, General Sciences Library, and Idecaf Multi-library are four worthwhile venues for students in the city.
American Center Library: 34 Le Duan Boulevard, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
Located on the eighth floor of the Diamond Plaza building at 34 Le Duan Boulevard in District 1, the American Center library under the Public Affairs Section of the US Consulate General in HCM City is a popular address frequented by students of English and the expat community.
Visitors are simply required to show their ID to gain access to the library. Those coming to the center on a regular basis can register for membership with staff at the center, or make online registration on its Facebook page or the US Consulate General website.
The venue, equipped with modern facilities and a library of over 2,500 books and 50 magazine titles and 600 documentary and entertainment DVDs, is where Vietnamese people can get updated on new policies on the economy, trade, security, foreign affairs, culture and education of the US.
Those wishing to search for opportunities to study abroad in the US, practice their English skills and delve into the American history and culture also could contemplate dropping by the library.
The center also has an area providing a rich source of materials about study in the US with many books and resources about US universities, colleges, courses of study, scholarships and testing preparation materials (for TOEFL, SAT, GMAT, and GRE). Those having demand can also register to receive free advice from staff there.
When it comes to the American Center, public events such as film screenings, exhibitions and fairs, and discussions on books and articles should not be missed as this is a good chance for young students and those majoring in English to talk with native speakers and boost their English proficiency.
The public events are organized free of charge on a monthly basis but due to limited seats, those interested should follow the Consulate General website and the Facebook page of the center to book a seat in advance.
Yen Tran, an alumnus majoring in English of the HCM City University of Social Sciences and Humanities, recalled in an encounter with the Daily late last week that when still a university student, she would visit the library to join discussions and workshops delivered in English, and to stay abreast of the American political and social developments.
“Thanks to active participation in the programs of the American Center, my spoken English has dramatically improved after graduation which assisted me to easily secure a good job as an interpreter for foreign companies,” Yen added.
The American Center is open from 8.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. every weekday, except Saturday and Sunday.
INSPIRE Library: 19 Nguyen Huu Tho Street, Tan Phong Ward, District 7
The international-standard library called INSPIRE Library of Ton Duc Thang University in HCMC’s District 7 officially opened its door in mid-July last year and heaped praise from thousands of students inside and outside the university.
Covering an area of around 8,600 square meters, the seven-storey library, which was developed at a total cost of up to VND129 billion (US$5.67 million), can accommodate more than 2,000 students at a time, and is one of the most state-of-the-art libraries in Vietnam.
The facility has been furnished with modern equipment, abundant learning materials and numerous advanced devices meeting international standards where students can feel free to gain access to thousands of foreign-language books and references, and experience hi-tech services.
Participants must attend a two-hour training course to manifest their understanding on the operation of the library and learn how to use modern equipment and learning materials in a convenient and effective way. Then, they have to go through an assessment test so as to be eligible for becoming a member of the library. When entering the building, all students are required to communicate in English with staff members there.
The INSPIRE Library is open around the clock except public holidays, and even ready to provide accommodation for those having demand to spend an overnight stay at the library.
General Sciences Library: 69 Ly Tu Trong Street, District 1
Nestled on the busy Ly Tu Trong Street and in close proximity to high-end commercial and financial centers, General Sciences Library has been well-known as one of the oldest libraries in HCMC attached to university life of many generations of Vietnamese students.
The long-established library came into operation in 1972 and has captured the attention of a large number of visitors thanks to the greenery space replete with trees and other ornamental plants as well as a spacious reading space and abundant materials.
Especially, thousands of book titles ranging from education, literature, economics, psychology to reference books used for further research are available on the shelves of the library while foreign audiences and those loving the English language are able to find publications of leading English-language newspapers and magazines such as Forbes, The Saigon Times Daily and Vietnam News.
The library opens its door to serve audiences every weekday, except Friday and public holidays.
Idecaf Library: 31 Thai Van Lung, District 1
The Idecaf Multi-Library has emerged as a top place of choice for French-speaking students and the French community in the city where they can browse for more than 25,000 French-language materials ranging from newspapers and magazines to novels, literature works and dictionaries.
The library is also where a range of cultural and entertainment events of the French community such as Reading Day, French Language Week, Cannes Film Festival and Charity Book Fair are held for the public.
Furthermore, the venue is designed with a private space for kids, featuring comic books, novels, educational books and a collection of CD/DVDs, including French documentaries, cartoon movies, educational collection series and French study series.
The Idecaf Library is open for public viewing from Tuesday to Saturday.