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Libraries Expats Can Use - Seoul

Libraries Expats Can Use -...

There are a number of libraries in Seoul, but they don’t all have English books nor do they all allow foreign residents to become members. Some that do accept foreign members and allow books to be either read on site or taken out are listed below (note that you will likely have to show your Alien Registration Card):

JEONDOK PUBLIC LIBRARY   (정독도서관 - Jeongdok doseogwan)
Location: within 500 metres of Anguk Station
Getting There: 
Subway: Exit #1 of Anguk Subway Station, stop 328.
Bus: get off in front of the Jongno Police Station and walk about 10 minutes. For list of bus numbers visit library website.
Parking available. Free for 60 min, after that W300 every 10 minutes.
Children’s Reading Room  9AM to 6PM  all year
General Reading Rooms 7AM to 11PM Mar-Oct / 8AM to 11PM Nov-Feb
Saturdays/Sundays 10PM closing.
Closed on 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month and national holidays
Tel: 02-2100-6779 (may be Korean speaker only)
Website has information in English 

NAMSAN PUBLIC LIBRARY  (남산도서관 - Namsan doseogwan)
A special feature is the 'Squirrel Library', an outdoor reading space.
Location: 30-84 Huam-dong, Yongsan-gu (on the road along Namsan Park)
Getting there: by bus # 02, 03, 402 and 405
March-October: Weekdays 9AM-8PM / Weekends 9AM -5PM
November-February: Weekdays 9AM-7PM / Weekends 9AM-5PM
Open Sundays
Closed: 1st and 3rd Monday of each month and national holidays
Tel: 02-754-7338 (may be Korean only speaker)
Website Korean only

SEODAEMUN PUBLIC LIBRARY (서대문도서관 - Seodaemun doseogwan)
Location:  1-116 Yeonhui 3-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul
Getting There:
Subway: Hongjae Station, Stop 324, Exit 3 or Shinchon Station, Stop 240, Exit 1
By Bus: get off in front of SinYeon Middle School (for a list of bus numbers see the website).
Parking: limited number (16) of spots available. Free for 60 min, then W300 every 10 minutes.Hours:
Children’s Reading Room  9AM to 6PM  all year
Study and Reading Rooms 7AM to 10PM Apr-Oct / 8AM to 18PM Nov-March
Open Sundays
Closed: 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month and national holidays.
Tel: 02-396-3158 (may be Korean-only speaker)
Website has some information in English

Opened in October 2012 in the 'old' section of the recently remodeled City Hall, the library has a selection of English books on the 4th Floor. Foreign residents will be issued a library card and can take books out.
Location: Sejongdae-ro 110,Jung-gu, Seoul
Getting there: Go out Exit 5 of City Hall Station,Lines 1 or 2, Stops 133 or 201.
Hours: 9AM to 6PM
Closed Mondays, National Holidays (Saturdays or Sundays may be closed when they overlap with national holidays) or temporary holidays designated by the government
Tel: 02-2133-0300,0301
Website has some information in English

YONGSAN MUNICIPAL LIBRARY  (옹산도서관 - Yongsan doseogwan)
Location: Hoam-dong, Yongsan-gu
Geting There: Bus # 402, 406, 02,03,06
Hours: Weekdays 9AM to 6PM / Weekends 9AM to 5PM
Closed:  2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month
Tel: 02-754-2569 / 3439
Website is in Korean only

An English library for kindergarten and elementary school aged children was established in 2010 in Yongsandong2ga (aka Haebangchon). Registered residents of Yongsan-gu, including foreign nationals, can both use the library and borrow books. Non-residents can use the library but cannot borrow books.
Hours: 10am-7pm Monday to Friday and 10am-5pm on Saturdays
Closed for lunch  from 12:30-1:30.
Directions: Top get to the library take the road that leads up into Haebangchon (from the kimchi pot store), and turn left at Kobawoo Supermarket. Take your first left and follow that road straight. Look for a white building with the library sign.
Tel: 02-798-4181~2.
Website is Korean only but English will reportedly be added soon. 

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF KOREA (국회도서관 - gukwhadoseogwan)
Location: Yeouido-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu
Getting There: Yeouido Subway Station Stop 526, Exit 3 or National Assembly Station, Stop 914. 
Shuttle bus from Yeoido Station every 20 minutes between 9AM and 4PM, Mon-Frid. No service at12:20 and 12:40, weekends and national holidays.
Parking is available on the National Assembly Complex as well as the Han Riverside parking lot.
Hours: 9AM-10PM Monday to Friday / 9AM-5PM Saturday and Sunday
Closed every 2nd and 4th Saturday and national holidays
With an Alien Registration Card - Issue of e-library card (daily or long-term library card) Entry (check at the entry gate)  
With a Passport - Submit a passport (Information Desk) Issue of e-library card and ID/PW Entry (check at the entry gate)
Daily library card: Automatic Issuing Machine is available for visitors after second visit.
English Tours: The Library offer customized English-language guided tour to foreign visitors. The tour may include a video presentation on the Library’s general information.
Info: 02-788-4143 or  E-mail:

NATIONAL LIBRARY OF KOREA (고립중도서관 - Gungnip Jungang doseogwan)
Location: near Express Bus Terminal in Banpo-dong, Seocho-gu
Getting There: Express Bus Terminal Subway Station, Stop 339, 734, 923, Exit 5 - Walk 7 minutes / Seocho Station, Stop 224, Exit 6  - Walk about 15 minutes. See website for bus options.
Hours: basically 9AM to 5:30 or 6PM (depending on the Room)
Main Circulation Desk:  9AM-5-6PM / Information Service Room:  9AM-10PM Mon-Fri / 9AM-6PM Sat-Sun
Open Sundays
Closed every 2nd and 4th Monday of the month and national holidays
Info: 02-590-0513,0514 re closing dates, location and admission
For contact details re specific rooms and other information visit the website. Information available in English.

Location: Located on the 2nd floor (previously cultural classroom) of the Yongsan-gu Office,  the Book Café has around 2000 books that anyone can read onsite. Note that most of these books are in Korean. The Café also offers free internet from the computer on-site.
Hours: 9AM-8PM weekdays and 10AM-4PM on Saturdays. Closed Sundays and holidays.
Info: Tel: 02-2199-7244 Sports and Tourism Department. If no English speaker contact the following helpline Seoul Dasan 120 or KTO's 1330.
Directions: Noksapyeong Subway Station, Line 6, Stop 629, Exit 3. Cross the street at the light, turn right going in the direction of Banpo Bridge. The Yongsan-gu office is the big building on your left (if you come to the Crown Hotel you've passed it).

NOTE: Even those library that have English section on their website, may not have English-speaking staff on site. Most will understand if you write what you need in plain English.

Video introduction to 7 of the above libraries (in the order in which they appear on the video) produced by Connor Smiley in November 2016.
1. Seodaemun Library
2. Jeongdok Library
3. Seoul Metropolitan Library
4. Yongsan Library
5. Namsan Public Library
6. National Library of Korea
7. National Assembly of Korea 

K4E Note:  Korea4Expats want to provide the most accurate and complete information possible, so if you notice an error or omission in the contents above, please contact us at If you have information on other locations in Seoul and around Korea, do let us know.

Photo: National Library of Korea



Last Updated on 2017-01-09

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