To some residents of Torrevieja, the very thought of going to the local Library may seem to be an act that they left behind long ago on the shores of the British Isles. And while Torrevieja’s Municipal ‘Carmen Jalón’ Library may not be the biggest or best, last year the facility recorded a record 81,900 users, a 10% rise on 2008 with over 2,100 new members enjoying the services offered.

For those that have never ventured into the library, if you are registered on the Padron it’s free to join and you may be surprised by the selection to be found inside. Although one will find just a couple of shelves worth of English language books, those who have a command of Spanish will discover it to be a wonderful source of Spanish magazines and newspapers, to help with your knowledge about Spain.

Torrevieja's library attracts record numbers in 2009

In this electronic age, the library also has a decent selection of audio cds and DVD’s, many of them dual language versions and yours for free to borrow for up to two weeks plus, they even have a selection of Vinyl records, to play on what you thought was your defunct record player!

The Library is one of Torrevieja’s live wi-fi zones and users can connect for up to 3-hours each day, once they have asked for the daily password. There are eight computer stations that are available for up to an hour at a time too. It costs nothing to join the Library and anyone wishing to do so need only produce their passport, a copy of their padron and one passport photograph. Anyone with an expired membership card can exchange this for a new one.

Torrevieja Library

Along with the normal lending facilities, the library also has lectures, informative activities, specialist classes, children’s activates and last summer ran a short series of movies in their courtyard. With a population of just over 104,000, it may be surprising to note that over 16,000 members used the Internet facilities alone last year, with more and more expats discovering that the Library offers an excellent place to either take their laptop or use the computer system to answer emails and browse the internet for free. If you have not done so yet, take a few minutes and look around one of Torrevieja’s quality resources that’s hidden in plain sight. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you find and one of the best things for some; it’s all free!