NLB’s first community-supported library on Chinese arts and culture

(31 January 2013) NLB’s first community-supported library will open in the heart of Chinatown. The library is set up and operated with donations from Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple and CP1 Pte Ltd, owner of Chinatown Point Retail. It is also the first library in Singapore to experiment with a visitor self-service model run by volunteers. It carries a collection of books and audio-visual materials on Chinese arts and culture. library@chinatown will be officially opened by Mr Lawrence Wong, Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information on 31 January 2013.

Housed on the fourth level of the refurbished Chinatown Point, this 1,000 square metre library has a start-up collection of 30,000 titles in English, Chinese and a small selection of books in Malay and Tamil. It carries a thematic collection of titles on calligraphy, literature, music, painting, traditions, customs and more. There is also a small selection of books and audio-visual materials in commonly spoken Chinese dialects such as Hokkien, Teochew and Cantonese. Visitors can also read local and foreign online newspapers on large screens via iPads.

Visitors who need assistance at this self-service library can speak to a cyber librarian via a hotline at a special Cybrarian kiosk. It is also equipped with the standard self-service borrowing stations and eKiosks for general library transactions. Volunteers will be around to lend a hand. So far, more than 40 volunteers have offered to serve at this library.

Mrs Elaine Ng, Chief Executive Officer of the National Library Board said, “We are grateful to Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple and CP1 Pte Ltd for their enthusiastic support for this Chinese arts and culture themed library. The theme sits well against the heritage backdrop of Chinatown. We are also touched by the dedication of our volunteers. Together with our understanding and cooperative visitors, we hope to make this self-service library a success and a much loved space for all.”

NLB has collaborated with Rediffusion to offer visitors another unique experience. They can enjoy nostalgic dialect hits, activities and talk shows on Chinese festivals, beliefs and food culture at the Rediffusion room within the library. Visitors can also look forward to a wide array of programmes such as storytelling sessions, arts appreciation workshops, music and dance workshops, musical performances and poetry reading sessions.For more information visit http://golibrary.nlb.gov.sg