The Xanana Gusmão Reading Room (XGRR) is a non-governmental organisation that consists of a library, museum and general community space (all free to visit) in the heart of Dili. Our facilities include free to use computers and internet, an extensive collection of books and visual/audio materials (over 4000), an online catalogue, museum exhibitions, a children's area and various bookable community areas. We keep our vision, mission and values central to everything that we do.

Our Mission, Vision and Values

Our Vision: Create the reading generation in Timor-Leste.

Our Mission: To provide dynamic spaces for all people to access information and resources to improve their lives.

Our Values: Respect, Integrity, Quality, Community, Inclusivity. 

History of Xanana Gusmao Reading Room

The Xanana Gusmão Reading Room (XGRR) was established in June 2000 to serve as a safe place where children, youth, students, and the public at large, could access books and resources with a view to fostering a love of reading within the community. Since then, the XGRR has contributed significantly to library development in Timor-Leste and has hosted a range of educational and other activities aimed at nurturing pride in East Timorese culture and promoting skills development.

The Reading Room was established by Kirsty Sword Gusmão, the wife of Timor-Leste’s first post-independence President Xanana Gusmão. As founder and patron, Mrs Gusmão has been involved in its operation ever since it opened.
This complex houses loads of memorabilia from Xanana Gusmão, and there is a library, bookshop, exhibition space, audio visual area and internet available. Artwork on display includes those Xanana Gusmão painted while imprisoned in Jakarta.

Board of Governors 

It is the Boards' responsibility to ensure that the Coordinator is doing his job well and that the XGRR is not at risk. Regular board meetings are held, board members participate in events and fundraising. The board members are as follows:

Patron/Chair: Kirsty Sword Gusmao

Deputy of Chair: Joào Martires


  • Sebastian da Silva
  • Mara Bernades de Sa
  • Francisca Maia
  • Palmira Pires
  • Maria Isabel de Jesus Ximenes
  • Jenny Coles
  • Sandi Paul
  • Bernabe (Abe) Barreto

  • Del Bovill
  • Anya Dettman. National Library of Australia
  • Ina Fautua. New Zealand Embassy, Papua New Guinea     
  • Patti Manolis. CEO Geelong Libraries, Australia 

Staff Directory

Our staff is dedicated, wonderful and will be helpful when you visit the Reading Room. We love visitors. We look forward to hosting you. Our team members are as follows:

Permanent Staff:

  • Gaspar Freitas, Manager
  • Domingos Pereira, Team Leader – Library and Museum
  • Maria Amaral Guteeres, Scholarship Program Administrator
  • Arsenio da Costa, Digital Library Assistant
  • Felizarda Tilman, Finance and HR Assistant
Temporary Volunteers:


  • Jose Paulo Jeronimo
  • Inacio de Loiola Soares
  • Etelvina da Silva
  • Jeronimo Fernandez


  • Sam Knowles (UniVol – VSA)

Book Our Space

The Reading Room likes to host different types of events. We would love to discuss having your exhibition, training or event at our space. Inquire today!

Inquire about a booking