Monthly Archives: November 2015

Reopening of Pasir Ris Public Library, the first Mall Library with a dedicated Teen Space in Singapore

Photograph - Public Libraries Standing Committee-Jane Wee

Pasir Ris Public Library reopens its doors to the public on 28 November 2015 after nine months of renovations. The library features versatile and distinct spaces to meet different user preferences and needs, enhancing the reading and learning experiences for all patrons.


It is now the first mall library with dedicated spaces for teenagers that have been created by their peers from the Inspiring Readers Society (a name which the pioneer team of 39 members, aged between 13 and 19 collectively decided). The aim of the society is to encourage engagement in content discovery, reading and discussions with their peers while also creating a sense of ownership of the library spaces among the teens.


These teenagers will be co-creating video trailers that recommend books that they like, made available for viewing by other teens visitors at the Book Tree in the library.


They will be organising regular Hangout Sessions in the Mezzanine, where the members will share with other teenagers about any topic relating to a recommended book.


Teens and adults alike can interact with a Doodle Wall, where they can draw using their fingertips with the help of an interactive projector to facilitate live discussions through the use of visualisation. There are three such Doodle Walls in the library, the other two being located at the Programmig Area and the Early Literacy Section.


Teens’ Mezzanine, conceptualised through feedback from teens and the public, was specially designed with movable furniture to enable teens the flexibility to create an environment conducive for in group activities such as group discussions and brainstorm sessions.



Spaces to engage the wider community

Reading Terrace, with windows overlooking the Pasir Ris Park, features staggered platforms for casual reading and the use of natural light.


Intense readers can indulge in solitude and a good book at the Quiet Reading Lounge with individual nooks.


Nestled with comfortable casual seating, the Children’s Deck enables parents to emotionally bond with their children while engaging them in the world of knowledge and building the love for reading.


Pasir Ris Public Library, located at the White Sands Mall is one of the 26 public libraries in Singapore. It was first opened to public on 6 October 2000 and currently served a population size of about 137,500.


Celebrating Singapore’s ‘growing up’ years of endeavours at work and play through a showcase of Legal Deposit Publications

Photograph - Public Libraries Standing Committee-Jane Wee

Singapore celebrates our 50 years of independence this year in 2015. We are indeed a very young country.

The celebrations had been ongoing in Singapore for the whole year. And like any other organizations in Singapore, the National Library Board of Singapore (NLB) had a series of exhibitions, reading festivals and film festivals, book launches and web archive launches since January 2015 to commemorate the nation’s jubilee year.

And on 20 November 2015, we launched PublicationSG, an online catalogue of over one million materials published in Singapore and deposited with NLB’s Legal Deposit. Contents would be available to the public upon their request. This collection includes printed and audio-visual publications such as books, annual reports, music scores, magazines, journals, posters, brochures, yearbooks, audiobooks, music sound and recordings. They cover a wide range of topics from fashion to food, festivities of bygone years, school and kampong days of our forefathers to trends in the entertainment world, popular hobbies and sporting pursuits, and many more.

From 20 November 2015 to 8 January 2016, we are showcasing a display featuring these treasured Singapore publications from our Legal Deposit Collection at the National Library Building. This display covers a wide range of titles from fashion to food, festivities of bygone years, school and kampong days of our forefathers to trends in the entertainment world, popular hobbies and sporting pursuits, a reminisce about Singapore’s ‘growing up’ years of endeavors at work and play.


Empowering kidsREAD Volunteers

Photograph - Public Libraries Standing Committee-Jane Wee





The Public Library Services of National Library Board Singapore (NLB) held a 2nd kidsREAD Symposium on 31 October 2015, attended by close to a hundred kidsREAD volunteers. The symposium is part of the kidsREAD training framework which aims to facilitate the development of our volunteers, providing them with a platform and opportunity to be exposed to a variety of perspectives, and engage experts on issues in relation to their role as kidsREAD volunteers. Topics covered in this Symposium included:
• Choosing the Right Picture Books for Children;
• Visual Literacy as a Learning Tool in Reading Picture Books;
• Reading Wordless Picture Books; and
• Exploring the Humour Genre in Children’s Literature.


The National kidsREAD programme is a nationwide reading programme in Singapore officially launched on 23 April 2004 by then Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. kidsREAD is a collaborative effort by NLB together with the People’s Association (PA) and five self-help groups to promote the love of reading and cultivate good reading habits among young Singaporeans, specifically children from low-income families. The target audience of kidsREAD is children between the ages of 4 and 8, regardless of race or religion.  Volunteers are the lifeline of kidsREAD. They read aloud stories to children to inculcate good reading habits from young and help them discover the joy of reading. The main aim for volunteers is to get the children interested in books and to make reading a fun and enjoyable experience.


Volunteers can choose to volunteer at any of the reading clubs that have been set up island wide. The schedule is dependent on the reading club the volunteer chooses to be attached to. Some reading clubs run on weekdays and some on weekends. As at 2014, there were 254 active clubs with more than 1,500 volunteers.

To equip these volunteers for their roles, NLB constantly holds training and workshops in storytelling and reading sessions for them. Volunteer Resource Guide provides suggestions on how each session can be carried out, and best practices are being shared across the clubs and also among volunteers. As with all projects involving volunteers, sustaining volunteer involvement is one key challenge as their motivation can be easily influenced by phase of life developments, lifestyle changes and other competing interest. NLB strives on to sustain this meaning programme run by volunteers through organising annual appreciation events to appreciate our committed volunteers and learning activities such as workshops and symposiums specially organised for them.

More information on kidsREAD can be found on their website.

Malmö City Library’s new children’s activity






With more than 300,000 inhabitants, Malmö is Sweden’s third largest city. The city, which is linked to Denmark by the Öresund Bridge, connects Sweden with the rest of the world, both mentally and physically. People from all corners the globe live here – some 160 nationalities are represented, and as a natural consequence of this, many languages are spoken in the city. In addition to being an international hub in northern Europe, Malmö is also a young city. The average age of the Malmö resident is 38.6 (compared to the Swedish average age of 41.2) and just over a fifth of the city’s residents are under 18.


Children aged 0–8 are a group that is growing faster than other age groups in an expanding Malmö. According to calculations, 13% of Malmö’s population will be aged 8 or younger, come 2017. Children are a priority group for the City of Malmö and for the City Library, and now the time has come to focus on activities aimed at younger children and their parents and guardians. The work takes as its starting point the need and right of the children of Malmö for reading, learning and play. The ambition is for the children’s library to be a physical, digital and social space for the young children of Malmö and their parents and guardians. The new children’s library known as Lilla Slottet, or “The Little Castle” in English, is scheduled to open in 2016.


In order to inject new elements, ideas and expertise into the process, we have sought a high degree of user involvement, external monitoring, connection to research and collaboration with partners relevant to the project. All of these contributions in the form of knowledge, inspiration and ideas underpin the concept and the programme description of the Lilla Slottet project that was developed. Diversity and multilingualism are a source of richness for Lilla Slottet, and the environment should highlight, reinforce and affirm Malmö’s diverse population. The promotion of literacy and the intercultural perspective permeate the work and the environment of Lilla Slottet in which children are actively supported in their literacy development. With a common platform, the staff of Lilla Slottet have created clarity and coherence on which to build the day-to-day operation.

okänt 1

Active hosting: An inclusive, intercultural and norm-critical hosting, where all children and adults are welcomed when they step inside Lilla Slottet. We know our target audience and our surroundings – and this knowledge permeates everything we do as well as our collections.

Experimentation and participation: We employ an intuitive and experimental approach to our movement. We seek a high level of participation and therefore include both children and adults in activities as much as possible.

Presence and tolerance: By taking a preventive approach to our work in the environment, we avoid limiting pointers and overclarification. Increased visibility and active presence create a sense security and calm. We see the individual and his or her needs.

okänt 2

Mobility in the rooms: A high level of activity leaves creative and positive traces that coexist alongside and in harmony with the more traditional order of the library.

Lilla Slottet is scheduled to open in May 2016, and you are all very welcome to visit us then.