As a cosmopolitan city-state that enchants visitors with its towering, iconic skyscrapers, Singapore is often seen as a place that where the fast pace of life can only be matched by the vibrant bustling of the city streets. But the country offers more than just sights of lofty, high-rise buildings, it is home to beautiful libraries that are far from the conventional and stuffy space that most associate libraries with. If you are a bookworm looking for a place to rest and relax after a long day or even looking or a fruitful outing with the family, here are some libraries worth checking out, especially if you have just moved into the country.
Best Public Libraries in Singapore
Located on Victoria Street, the prominent library is noted for its impressive size and a wide collection of materials. Functioning as a borrowing, reference and a digital library, the history of the National Library dates back almost a century. Today, you can find seven of the National Library’s sixteen stories occupied by the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library. Named after the Lee Foundation’s S$60 million donations, the library includes a collection of over 600,000 reference items, hence making it one of the country’s premier knowledge institution. Interestingly enough, the library received a significant number of architectural awards before it was even opened to the public. If you are looking for a spacious corner with a breathtaking view, then grab a book and head to the roomy reference section. The study rooms on the upper floors offer great panoramic views of the city when you feel like giving your eyes a break. Besides the reference and the lending library, the National Library is home to exciting exhibitions that depict the country’s history through a number of mediums, performance spaces, including a Drama Centre.
Looking for a quiet place to relax and unwind in after a long day of shopping? Then the library@orchard is the place to be. Pick up your favourite read, find a cosy corner and let time fly by as you lose yourself in your book. Situated in the third and fourth floors of Orchard Gateway, the premise is conveniently split into two areas, namely, The Studio and The Loft. the vast array of titles filling the shelves include books and materials on technology, travel and applied art. Additionally, the stylish and elegant interiors are nothing short of impressive and inviting. One of the unique features of this library is The Book Trees, multi-platform displays that are integrated into the product, space and the visual design collections in the library. And that’s not all, the library comes with its very own self-collection lockers, a useful and effective feature that allows users to efficiently retrieve reserved titles. Do note that although the library is located in a mall, it closes at 9 pm.
Nestled in the third floor of the Esplanade, Theatres on the Bay, the Library@Esplanade is renowned for its plethora of resources. The library carries compact discs, music scores, books, literary journals, magazines, and books. Additionally, the library features four areas set aside for dance, music, film and theatre. Needless to say, this library is nothing short of spacious, consists of 2,300-sq-metres, the place is adequately furnished with sofa seats and chairs to invoke a more conducive and cosy space for readers. Besides its inviting ambience, the library contains several dedicated spaces for users to practice the piano, screen films, improve their movements in the dance alley and even conduct silent jam sessions. Apart from the abundant resources available in the library, the premise provides visitors with stunning vistas of the iconic Marina Bay Sands when viewed from the Esplanade Theatres on the Bay.
Singapore Sports Hub Library
If you are a sports aficionado, then this place is a must-visit. Specialising in sports and healthy activity resources, the library strives to promote healthy lifestyles in a number of ways. One way it does this is by promoting awareness and offering the public unlimited access to information related to athletics such as athletes’ biographies, training, medical texts and more. Additionally, the library has a designated area for children where they can play chess, virtual sports and Subbuteo. Although the Singapore Sports Hub is a private library, it provides free Basic Membership for all Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs), at the same time, the library also offers memberships for visitors and corporations. Prepare to spend a significant chunk of your time while you are here, as you will be probably perusing through the heaps of audiovisual, print and electronic resources cater to a myriad of genres including coaching, sports, biographies, science, medical, health and fitness, business management and more.
No matter what your area of interest is in, the various libraries and bookstores in Singapore can help you find what you need. Discover these spectacular places and perhaps dabble into some local literature for yourself, and see how they put a new spin on learning!