Evolution of Library Services over the years #SingaporeWay
📸: National Library Board (NLB)
With the advent of the Internet, and proliferation of digital apps and channels on-demand, our libraries are also evolving with the times to reflect our #SingaporeWay of making reading, learning and information literacy easily accessible to the public.
In our early years, Singapore encouraged reading by making books easily accessible to people from all walks of life. As early as the 1950s, mobile libraries brought books to rural areas, and part-time libraries were set up in social welfare or community centres to serve residents in suburban areas. Eventually, full-time branch libraries across the island took over these services in the 1970s and 1980s.
Between 1980 and 1995, as technology evolved, the National Library embarked on the computerisation of library operations and services to launch audiovisuals, multimedia and online services. In 1995, the National Library Board was constituted to manage the National Archives of Singapore, the National Library and network of public libraries in Singapore.
Today, as individuals become more time-challenged and information is just an app away, library services continue to move with the times – by harnessing and enhancing physical and digital experiences. For example, NLB offers book curation and delivery services for a fee, and more than 660,000 free e-books through Kindle, Kobo, etc. The library engages children through its TikTok channel and ground-up initiatives such as the Ready 2 Read campaign run by Nanyang Technological University communications students. The newly opened #PunggolRegionalLibrary offers areas for role-playing, interactive walls and improved accessibility for persons with disabilities. All three regional libraries in Singapore provide free facilities and guidance for the public to try out fabrication technologies, including 3D printing.
Our community is also getting involved in promoting the reading habit.
The global book-sharing movement, #LittleFreeLibrary, encourages people to set up free book-sharing boxes in their communities. As of today, more than 20 little libraries have sprung up across Singapore – at void decks, along HDB corridors and in other public areas. There is also a Facebook group, Little Libraries Singapore that has some 2,600 members. These little libraries are sometimes visited by the Book Fairies – a global movement promoting book donations – who would leave behind books for others to discover. Set up by residents themselves, these places become daily hangout spots where people bond and foster closer relationships.
Whether big or small, formal or informal, on national or community levels, our libraries reflect our #SingaporeWay of making reading and learning accessible for everyone, co-creating ways of growing together as a knowledgeable nation.
National Library Board, Singapore National Archives of Singapore
#Singapore #SingaporeWay #Libraries
🔗: Where you can find Singapore’s little libraries: https://www.facebook.com/groups/358396689222481/posts/750163780045768
🔗: Learn more about little libraries in Singapore https://www.facebook.com/ConnexionSG/posts/657200319781278