National Library of Singapore
The National Library of Singapore on Victoria Street can trace its history back nearly a century when the Hullett Memorial Library became Singapore’s first public library. Today, seven of the National Library’s sixteen storeys are occupied by the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library (LKCRL) named for the Lee Foundation’s S$60 million donation that contributed to the current library, as well as the previous building on Stamford Road. The LKCRL has a collection of over 600,000 reference items making it Singapore’s premier knowledge institution. The National Library also has a public lending library, performance space and runs exhibitions teaching Singapore’s history through a variety of mediums.
Central Public Library
Part of the Singapore National Library, My Tree House at the Central Public Library focuses kids and environmentalism above all else at the World’s First Green Library. One of the library’s most impressive features is the treehouse canopy made from recycled bottles. Another feature that kids will love are The Knowledge Trees, an interactive and kinetic learning portal where kids answer questions about environmental issues and it either grows or withers in response.
The library@orchard was recently renovated and reopened in 2014. Located in Orchard Gateway, this library caters to adults and youngsters with texts covering topics including arts, technology and travel. The library has large open reading spaces where you’ll find design students pouring over textbooks or collaborating on projects. One of the library@orchard’s unique features is The Book Trees, multi-platform displays that are tied to the space, product and visual design collections in the library. Another useful feature is the self-service collection lockers where users can quickly retrieve reserved titles.
Another library popular with young Singaporeans is the library@esplanade, Singapore’s only library dedicated to the arts and offering breathtaking vistas of Singapore’s iconic Marina Bay Sands from its location atop the Esplanade Theatres on the Bay. Besides an extensive resource collection focused on the arts, the library features four areas dedicated to music, dance, theatre and film respectively as well as several performance spaces where users can screen films, practice piano and even hold silent jam sessions.
Bishan Public Library
Bishan Public Library gained immediate popularity soon after opening in 2006 thanks to its trademark colourful cantilevered reading pods. The library caters to the needs of the surrounding community with a collection of fiction and nonfiction titles with an emphasis on recreation, health and family related topics, spread over five storeys. In addition, the library runs monthly storytelling programs and hobbyist meetups.