Got a chance to swing by this latest, much talked-about and exciting library today and I can say that the standard of our libraries here have gone up a notch yet again.
The library is huge, that even walking from one end to the other feels far and there are five levels of it. Do we really need so many books? (Yes we do!)
Looking at the amenities they even have charging points and nursing room? Thumbs up!
Pardon the reflection on the picture. I couldn’t find this layout on the NLB website so I took a picture from one of their digital directory guide in the library.
Starting from level 2, we can find all the books related to our every day lives. Be it sports, magazines, cooking, hobbies etc. I was busy admiring the displays and amenities on this floor than notice the range of books though.
Firstly, the library faces the view of a large, inspiring soccer field. Then there is this one and only bicycle reading table that you can cycle and read a sports book at the same time and be inspired by the sportsmen out on the field ‘live’. It looks like there may be more of this bicycle though since there is some empty spaces here.
Then you see nice, uncovered displays over the usual magazine racks that makes the magazines look more interesting.
Then you see this under renovation kitchen studio where cooking classes would be conducted and you’ll be inspired to grab some cooking books home just outside the studio.
And there is this big empty room with a huge screen showcasing our National day parade. Wow.
Going up to the 3rd level is Early Reader and Baby Books section. It’s kind of unexpected that they stationed this section here because they usually tuck this section down at basement level, far away from everyone because maybe it’s expected that this would be the noisiest section of all with all the excited toddlers and babies. For this case, I would expect the noise level to be higher than elsewhere because of this
Seriously? Do we really need a playground in a library? It seems unrelated to encouraging reading of any kind. The only good reason I could think of is for parents to have some time for books while the kids have fun just next door. But maybe the library has some other playground idea instead. It’s still empty for now so let wait and see. Could be really exciting if it’s a new concept playground! And hope the glass is sound proof!
I love the layout of books and shelves at this level.
Every book is displayed with cover facing out instead of stacked together with only the book spine facing out. Parents and kids and easily choose a book of interest (although mainly judging a book by its cover). But then again kids this age can’t really read yet so the picture on the cover says a thousand words. Brilliant! When I pick a picture book for my kids I also tend to look at the pictures and decide whether this book is suitable or not then pick it up and briefly read the contents to double confirm.
For the teens section, the emphasis is more on spaces for group revision and discussion. The rows of tables can be seen to be filled with teens and their laptops and notes, studying for the exams. This place is definitely more conducive than camping on the floor at Changi Airport, if you can find a seat. Only thing is you can’t eat here and blast your music on your Bluetooth speaker.
2 levels of compactly packed bookshelves seem too much for now as can be seen, they shelves are mostly half filled for now. Should be expecting lots of new books to fill in next time.
The shelves here can be seen to be more closely packed on these 2 levels and some walkways only allow single file walking. There are still abundant proper tables and chairs and sofas for us though they are still all fully packed.
Then we have this cool looking outdoor space which is closed for now but seems like a good idea for groups since the noise level is not so restricted.
Not sure if the crowd today is due to exam period or it’s going to be this crowded throughout the year, but I see that every single seat and sofa and table is taken up even though the place is huge