Bookworms in northwest Singapore who prefer a visit to the library rather than reading e-books at home can celebrate — the Choa Chu Kang public library has reopened.
Besides a great variety of books, the newly revamped library is one of its kind in Singapore with an indoor garden and a hydroponic showcase.
It is also the first library in Singapore with a focus on sustainability.
"Probably one of the few globally too," Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo said at the official opening of the library on Oct. 27.
First library with sustainability focus
Here's a quick look at the library:
The Community Wall in the library features Choa Chu Kang’s rich agricultural heritage.
Libraries in Singapore are not just for books, but public spaces for community to gather and share knowledge.
At Choa Chu Kang Public Library, one can look forward to workshops conducted by volunteer like Ong Chin Tiong who is a gardening enthusiast.
Ong has been taking care of his “farm” outside his HDB unit for over a decade and he will be sharing his insights by conducting workshops at the library.
Representatives from local firms with sustainability focus, Shiok Meats and Amplefresh, will also be sharing about their knowledge on food innovation in November.
Capturing the spirit of our times and people's aspirations
This should not come as a big surprise either, as Teo said that with each revamp, Singapore's libraries seek to "capture the spirit of our times and our people's aspirations".In light of climate change, sustainability is at the top of young Singaporeans' minds.
Since 2017, the National Library Board has revamped and reopened six libraries.
After each revamp, NLB sees an increase in visitorship and book loans at these libraries.
"In their first year of operations, we get a sense of the impact of the revamp. On average, the visitorship increases by more than 70 per cent. The number of loans grows to 1.5 times," Teo said.
Choa Chu Kang Public Library is the seventh and the latest next-generation library under NLB’s LAB25 (Libraries and Archives Blueprint 2025) plan.
"Under LAB25, we will redouble efforts to: Promote lifelong learning, empower our people to be more discerning towards misinformation and disinformation, tell our Singapore Story, and play the role of a Social Equaliser - helping everyone regardless of background to learn; and leaving no one behind," Teo said.
All images by Low Jia Ying.