Naver’s Special Library: See Rare Books and Experience a Trendy Atmosphere

Korea has “Naver (네이버)” if there is Google in America. Naver is the most commonly-used portal site in South Korea. How much is it commonly used? – As much as 84% of Korean internet users mainly access Naver every day according to Daily News Korea. Indisputably, Naver is the number one search engine in Korea. Considering that, it seems to make sense that Naver as the best online search engine in Korea, has opened its off-line search engine – the ‘library’ in 2010. This library is famous for its beautiful design and its special books. It is open for everyone, so let’s read some books in the library!


One and Only Library

Naver Library (네이버 도서관) is located inside the office building of Naver in Jeongja-dong, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggido (경기도 성남시 정자동). Unlike other many companies who decorate their buildings with modern art works, Naver chose to build its own library instead of buying artsy products. Every visitor of Naver office building therefore can enjoy the soft atmosphere of the library. However, do not expect an ordinary library! This library is like no other libraries. For starters, there is a place for a cup of coffee inside the library – the book café. The cafe fills the air of the library with the aroma of coffee, which makes the atmosphere soft and tender. With a cup of good café latte, you can also have a small talk with your friends unless your voice disturbs other’s reading. As there is no scary librarian to ask you to keep silent, people can share thoughts and ideas with colleagues while reading. Furthermore, the books that Naver library possesses is also special: expensive design books, thick dictionaries, trendy brand new IT books and various kinds of magazines. You would not be able to find those books in other libraries. Also, what might catch your eyes would be the way the books are placed. In Naver library, the books are arranged on the shelf, showing not their spines but their covers. The people therefore can find books easily while taking a look at all the covers of books. Additionally, this library is socially praised for its employment guide. The library employs the old and the disabled for some jobs as barista and book manager, in order to give them an opportunity to work. So, you can have a special experience of having a coffee made by an old woman who may look like your grandmother in the library.


Books of Naver

Naver library collects unusual books in such fields of design, technology, and information. Concerning that Naver is famous for its information technology and its trendy design, it makes sense that Naver library is filled up with IT and Design texts. The library consists of four sections: the first section is the magazine section where almost 250 kinds of worldwide magazines are displayed. The second section is Design section which is the biggest archive in the library. There are as many as 17,000 books whose topics are only design and architecture in that section. The other sections are Encyclopedia and IT sections which are on the second floor of the library. There are 1,300 encyclopedias and 700 IT-related books. You may be able to see Naver’s competent programmers studying the philosophy of technology in IT section if you are lucky. For anyone who seeks for the expert information of IT or design, this place must be more than just worth visiting.


Naver Library Guide

Naver library opens from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm on weekdays while it opens from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on weekends. It closes on national holidays. If you are planning to visit the place, you must note that all the sections except Magazine section, close on Mondays of the second and fourth week. Further, do not forget to bring your identification card to go inside the library. Every single person who visits the place has to show their ID card. It takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes from Hanyang University (한양대학교) to Naver Library using public transportation. It certainly is a long trip but there is no need of worrying about getting lost, as the library is easy to find. [iv]


The Way to the Library

The nearest subway station to the library is Jeongja Station (정자역), so take a Yellow line (Bundang line (분당선)) to Jeongja from Wangsimni (왕십리). Get off at Jeongja Station exit no.3, and take no. 55-1 bus at the bus stop right in front of the exit. Then after two stops, get off at “Naver”. The very moment you get off from the bus, you will see the green building that is apparently the Naver building.


Source: Naver Maps


Other Special Library – Hyundai Card Design Library

There is another book archive which is as special as Naver Library. It is the Hyundai Card Design Library (현대카드 디자인 라이브러리) located in Gawhedong Jongno (종로 가회동), Seoul near Bukchon Hanok Village (북촌한옥마을). The place has borrowed the style of Hanok (한옥: Korean traditional housing); black stones are stacked up in the entrance, the windows are partially covered with traditional Hanji. The square inner court of a building also gives the old world atmosphere to the library. Plus, due to clear and wide windows, the visitors can enjoy the unhampered view of Bukchon area, inside the library. Along with the architectural beauty of the library, its book archives focus on “Design” books. The library has collected rare and important books in the field of design. Its book selection has been made with the best book curators in Korea, so it goes without saying that the quality of books is very high. In the fast-moving world, the library provides a place to rest and feel the analog sensibility while reading. However, unfortunately, the library is members-only. Only those who have Hyundai Card and their companions can enter the library. So, if you want to visit the library you have to bring somebody with Hyundai Card unless you have one.


Article by Ahran from Korea, a Junior in Business Administration


  1. Alesia Piol says:

    I love collecting old classic books I find in antique stores and thrift shops! This would be perfect for me 😍

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