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Your Guide To The Libraries Of Singapore

Love reading? Or do you perhaps have children whom you wish to inculcate the love for reading as early as possible? You will be delighted to learn of the abundance of freely accessible libraries here, where you can transform your little ones into budding bookworms. Our island boasts a grand total of 26 freely available public libraries that are all conveniently situated and easily accessible via public transportation. From a wide selection of physical and electronic reading material to programmes that encourage a limitless thirst for knowledge, our libraries are a key part of our country’s aims to foster lifelong learning in Singaporeans. When you finally become a permanent resident, you can also enjoy the many services that our local libraries have to offer. Here is your guide to the wonderful libraries of Singapore.


Your Brief Overview Of Singapore’s Public Libraries

Open to all members of the public, the Public Libraries Singapore (PLS) aim to instil lifelong learning by ensuring that knowledge is a mere stone’s throw away from home. In addition, numerous literacy programmes are regularly organised by the National Library Board either free of charge or at affordable registration fees. Now, an online portal known as OneSearch is even available for you to peruse all the books and resources that our libraries have to offer at the comfort of your own home. If you wish, you can also easily request for the books that you wish to read to be delivered to any library of your choice for your convenience.

Selection Of Books

The libraries in Singapore all feature such a wide selection of books, you are guaranteed to find something that will keep you and your family occupied for hours on end. However, if there are any textual or audio-visual resources that are not in their collection, you can still request them by filling in the “Recommend a Title” form. The National Library Board will then convene and discuss which suggestions to add to the national collection. In fact, the National Library Board has now even extended its selection of reading material to electronic resources, such as e-books. One would only have to download the appropriate electronic reader and register as a library member online in order to gain access to a wealth of such resources.

Literacy And Enrichment Programmes

Public libraries also play host to a wide variety of literacy and enrichment programmes, aimed to encourage any kindling of interest that anyone might have. For instance, parents may wish to register their children under the ages of 6 in [email protected], a programme designed to combine fun and learning all in one. This is a perfect opportunity for parents to bond with their children, and provide them with a safe space to socialise with their peers. Children are not the only ones involved in the National Library Board’s plans for lifelong learning, though. Even senior citizens can partake in a wide selection of programmes, such as workshops on digital content creation. In these workshops, seniors can learn how to communicate their thoughts and ideas through the use of digital photography, videos, and even music.


How Do You Become A Member?

Singapore permanent residents are only required to pay a one-time registration fee of $10.50, after which they would be free to enjoy the perks of a basic library membership. This is unlike foreigners residing in Singapore on any other pass since they are obliged to pay an annual membership fee of $42.80. The only exception is foreigners who are enrolled in schools that are under the Ministry of Education’s purview.


Noteworthy Public Libraries

Confused as to where to start? Although all of our libraries are frequently revamped to meet the demands that come with changing technological landscapes, certain public libraries go above and beyond what you would expect of a typical library. Here are a couple of them:

National Library

Possibly the library with the most diverse collection in Singapore, The National Library boasts 16 storeys that cater to both businesses, academics, as well as individuals from all walks of life. Five of these levels are dedicated purely to the preservation of Singapore’s literary and publishing heritage in a section known as the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library. More famously, the National Library was also part of an extremely famous rock band’s promotional stunt, where a piece of paper with the lyrics to one of their songs was hidden in one of the books.

Library @ Harbourfront

Library @ Harbourfront was opened to much acclaim in 2019, with its stunning interior design as well as glorious, unbeatable views of Sentosa. Easily accessible by public transportation, the library boasts over 5000 books and 250 seats. It is also located in the heart of Vivocity, one of the largest shopping malls in Singapore. You could easily read a book there if you are ever early for a meeting with your friends!