Malaysian Public Library, Research and Development Centre (马来西亚民众图书馆与研发中心), formerly known as Malayan Public Library Association (马来亚民众图书馆协会), was established on March 31, 1955 and has a history of more than 65 years.
In the early stage of the establishment of the library in 1953，the committees have taken initial steps to set up an “experimental”library in the new village in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor which 2 libraries in Jinjang and one each in Serdang, Sungei Way and Semenyih. They also set up fees system and charged each member; RM1.00 for adult and RM0.50 for student of entrance fee. However, monthly subscription fee for adult was RM0.40 and student was RM0.20. With the popularity of this “experimental”project in the five new villages mentioned above, the committee rapidly introduced this “experimental”project to other new villages and small towns all over the country.
In the beginning, as a central library, Malayan Public Library Association (MPLA) is located in the Chinese Assembly Hall, the collection of book has reached 50,000 by 1962. In year 1955, this Association was official launched and yet has established 62 libraries with a total collection of 150,000 books and a total membership of 20,000. The library also cooperates with local youth organizations and cultural and educational organizations to organize recreational activities as well as promote library services.
In order to be more “Malayan”element, the MPLA has established 22 Malay libraries on the eve of Malaya independence. This rapid development has brought MPLA into a peak period, moreover with the financial support of the colonial government, 400 adult language classes have been set up to teach Chinese, English and Malay in beginning of year 1956. By the end of the same year, there were 700 adult language classes。After three years of development, there are 150 Chinese libraries and 80 Malay libraries.