Singapore's public libraries house books in Singapore's official languages: English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. Other than books and newspapers, the libraries also loans magazines, CD & DVD-roms, and more.
Public Libraries (Singapore) Hot
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User rating summary from: 37 user(s)
quiet atmosphere, great for studying
NLB is one of my favorite places to study because of the materials provided and perfect quiet setting available. Lee Kong Chian Reference Library has got to be my favorite outlet.
It is spacious and well litted, with sufficient power sockets for everyone seated at the same table so you never have to face a problem of not having one. Aside from the space and ambience, there are so many places around for you to take a break and eat at and is conveniently located between Bugis and Bras Basah.
Overall, the Public Libraries is one of my favorite places to be whenever I need to be alone or have a quiet place to study at.
NLB: Conducive Study Environment, but CRAZY Crowded
The National Library Board (NLB) is one of the most iconic buildings in the Bugis area, with 13 glass-paneled floors housing over 600,000 media and print resources. If you’re in search of a book, whether it’s an academic journal on Singapore’s history or a Romantic-era play, you’ll definitely find it in the Lee Hong Chiang Reference Library.
With long wooden tables and chairs at almost every floor, NLB is an extremely popular study spot amongst JC, Polytechnic and university students. I spent a significant fraction of my JC study life mugging away at NLB. I find the silent, brightly-lit environment very conducive for work, although some of my friends can’t stand the complete silence. NLB can get insanely crowded though, especially as the exams approach. People even arrive before opening hours to queue for seats.
There are probably other study spots you can find around Singapore that are less crowded. NLB will remain as one of my top choices though. Its proximity to the Bugis street area means that you’ll never run out of lunch options, and with the newly-opened Downtown line, NLB is close enough to most places. Arriving early is a MUST, if you want to secure study seats.
Study all day everyday
I swear that public libraries are the place to study. Depending on the location, it's always swarmed with students. I remember during my A Levels, it's always difficult to find seats. Almost impossible, actually. Students would camp outside the library before opening hours just to get seats in early to study for the whole day - it's crazy.
Besides that, I can always find any book I want in the libraries. I love that they always bring new titles in and stock up shelves. That said, the popular reads are pretty much always borrowed, so it's lucky if you're able to get a hot pick if you haven't already reserved it.
You get free air conditioning, free books and free space for you to do your personal stuff - what's not to love?
Libraries were where I spent a huge part of my childhood at. I remember being extremely excited at going to the library when I was young, because I could borrow nice and colourful books. Best of all, it's free! Where else can you find such opportunities to read so many books from your favourite authors?
Even after when I'm no longer a kid now. I still love visiting the libraries, for the peace and tranquility they have to offer. I love curling up on one of the couches and immersing myself in the make-believe world of the latest book my favourite author wrote. My favourite branches are Bishan and Toa Payoh library, the former being really chic and comfy-looking, and the latter because it's more homely and spacious.
However, in recent years, students have been occupying most of the seats in the library to study all day long, so it might be a little hard to find empty seats sometimes. My advice is to visit the library during weekday mornings, or go early in the morning if you can only go during the weekends, to ensure that you can get yourself a nice comfy seat.
NLB public libraries are a perfect place for reading. There are sufficient seats and books for everyone. It is a great place for a family outing, or just a quiet place for studying. I go to the library quite often, and I am often delighted at the choice of books available. They range from all genres to all ages and never fail to bring out the pleasure of reading. Reading is something more than just looking and understanding words on a page. Reading is immersing yourself in the story, letting it take you to worlds and lands faraway, crafting characters whom you sympathise with or hate. But most importantly, you need a comfortable environment to read, and I feel that NLB public libraries do just that.
If you go to the library at non-peak hours, there are many seats available and you can choose to sprawl on a large chair enjoying a good novel or you can select a table and study. The library provides free wifi and chargers for electronic devices as well. Last but not least, there is air-con! I mean, who does not look forward to air-con on a hot day.
Fun fact: The library in esplanade has an entire shelf that stores movie books. And library loan has increased from 4 books to 8 books, excluding movies and you can renew for free!
Since the tables and chairs are always filled with full-time muggers, I fancy hiding in one corner to browse through my books........ Only to be caught by librarians. Hence I am please to announce I can now lug back my tremendous amount of books and enjoy at the comfort of my home!!
Where else to learn and study?
Singapore emphasizes learning very strictly and there is no doubt that we should be provided with comfortable places to learn and study. Students and senior citizens can often be found in libraries all around Singapore as it is located at almost every corner. Our national libraries have buses and interchange located nearby for convenient transportation. In an addition to easy transportation, they also have cafes and food courts located inside the library itself or nearby the libraries. No more excuses for us to not visit the library with such facilities provided for us, yes?
I always visit libraries due to my exams. They provide comfortable seats and tables for people to study. We can get our documents printed there as they provide printing services. In addition, they provide computers for people who do not have computers or internet connection at home to learn and study.
Every library emphasizes the importance of learning. They make sure that people do not make a nuisance out of themselves or have kids running around at every corner. The library is so quiet that people seating two seats away from you can hear your whisper.
Book yourself in now
Go to the National Library at 100 Victoria Street. Book yourself in!
What a wonderful library. All thirteen floors are efficiently and well stocked and staffed. The Asian collection on three upper floors is amazing. Access to rare documents is relatively easy with efficient service available to provide you with the document or information you requite for your research (or reading pleasure).
Not only is it a library: it is a cultural centre. The excellent theatre hosts musicals, plays and concerts. There are gardens and pools on various levels. The circular pod on the very top of the building provides magnificent vistas of Singapore.
But the real treasures are the books. This is a world-class library. It could hold its head high in any city, anywhere. Is it a tourist destination? Only if you needed a cool place to relax and unwind with a good book.
But don’t get upset. The main library in Bugis is but one. In addition to the excellent service provided by the National Library itself the regional libraries throughout Singapore are almost like a cohesive whole, offering efficient and pleasant assistance.
It is a pleasure to visit each and every one of Singapore's libraries, and the National Library is exceptional.
I contributed a lot here
I like the library a lot. It has a large collection of books and a lot of books are very new. I think that I contributed to at least a few of the new books. You see, I am one of those people that caused the library to increase its fine for late return of books from 5 cents to 15 cents per day.
The best part is that the library will sometimes give "promotion", so instead of borrowing 4 books, you can borrow 8 books. I have 5 library cards for my family so I can borrow up to 40 books when the promotion is on. Imagine if I borrow 40 books and forget to return all the books for just one day, I will be paying $6 fine. The library does provide service to send out email and SMS reminders but I am still paying fines so I must really find out where is the problem.
Something for everyone
The NLB have a very wide offering of books that can cater to every reader. As a kid, I was able to find my usual favourites such as Star Wars. I used to visit the libraries regularly when I was young and I really appreciate the opportunity to read so many books for free. As a young adult now, I go to the library mainly for its travel guides. Given the exorbitant prices of such guides, it makes more sense to borrow them from the library and even the smaller branches have more than what it takes to satisfy me.
The National Library at Bugis is also great for doing research and I had to frequent it regularly back when I was studying. The sheer volume of materials available is amazing and you'll almost definitely find what you need. The only downside is that the books are only for reference and I had to photocopy a large amount of them. The facilities there are also excellent and power plugs are easily available.
The borrowing/return process has also been streamlined over the years and I find it a lot more easy and efficient now. As I have turned to buying most of my books now, I will still recommend this to people who prefer to borrow, especially when the books are expensive and one-use e.g. travel guides.