These SG Libraries Have New Immersive AI Storytelling & Personalised Trails To Discover Hidden Gems

National Library Board’s new offerings 2024

For many of us, libraries are where we go to discover new reads, mug for exams, and maybe even where we seek refuge from the heat. If you have yet to visit a library recently, we’ve got some news for you: the National Library Board (NLB) has added a slew of free new offerings for visitors to check out. 

We’re talking interactive exhibitions and AI-led stations where you can create your own storybook. These can be found at Jurong Regional Library, library@harbourfront, and Central Public Library. Here’s what you can expect: 

Jurong Regional Library and library@harbourfront

Uncover hidden places with your own personalised map

Bookworm or not, it’s time to pay a visit to Jurong Regional Library and library@harbourfront from now till 28th March 2024. As part of the Glue: Curiocity showcase by NLB, both libraries will house cool touchscreen displays for visitors to toy around with and discover more about the neighbourhoods

There’ll be an interactive quiz for you to answer – it’s similar to free personality tests like MBTI, but this 3 part quiz will generate a personalised map instead. Depending on your answers, the map will then reveal lesser-known locations and hidden neighbourhood gems.

We had a go at the library@harbourfront installation.

For example, a foodie like myself can pick answers that are food-related. The generated map then introduced the Tai Wah Pork Noodle stall and the Peranakan restaurant Makko Teck Neo – both of which are places around the Harbourfront area that I’ve never heard of. You can also uncover the history of the Jurong and Harbourfront districts, and learn how these places developed

Once you’re done with the quiz, you’ll be allocated an adorable virtual tour guide. He or she will “lead” you along the trail, and you can scan the QR code at the end to save the map on your phone. This way, you can easily refer back to your personalised map and bookmark the places you want to visit. 

Central Public Library

Create your own storybook with AI

Once you’re done tinkering with the tech in Jurong Regional Library and library@harbourfront, head over to Central Public Library where a plethora of new activities await. 

Let’s start with the Immersive Room, where you can find StoryGen. This installation is a haven to those who are obsessed with the world of AI, as you can reimagine and visualise your very own story through AI-generated text and pictures. 

To create your story, select 1 of the 6 base stories that range from local favourites like The Legend of Badang and the story of Sang Nila Utama, to classics like Little Red Riding Hood

There’ll be a series of prompts for you to answer, such as “What genre is your story based on?” and “Who is your main character?”. You’ll be able to choose your answers from a set of pre-crafted responses, including “Sci-fi” and “Grumpy, old man”. Here’s your chance to let your imagination go wild and produce the wackiest story possible. 

Here’s what we came up with.

Satisfied with your content? Click “generate story” and the kiosk will generate a 5-page tale, plus a storybook cover. Send your story to the big screens by projecting your final product on the curved wall, so everyone can admire your work. 

Of course, you can save your story by scanning the QR code too. Be sure to send it to your friends and family, or share it on your social media with the hashtag #NLBStoryGen so you can flex your storytelling skills. 

Explore the underwater-themed room & chio murals

Iridescent jellyfishes and cute seagulls hung from the ceiling.

Grab your little ones and mosey over to the Children’s Biodiversity Library by S.E.A. Aquarium. This aquatic-themed section features all things marine life – there are waves, seahorses, and fishes painted all over the walls. There’s even a coral-inspired column in the middle of the room, lit up by soft RGB lights to create a dreamy vibe.

The interactive colouring kiosk is another cool feature that’s not to be missed. Children can pick their beloved character from the Book Bugs series and virtually colour the avatar. That’s not all – the completed work can be showcased on the projection screen for all to admire. 

There’s a digital storybook you can check out too.

The Singapore Alcove is where the older ones can go. This section shares about Singapore’s culture, more specifically, our lepak lifestyle. Feel free to play around with the multimedia touchscreens to learn more about our Lion City. There are cosy individual nooks for you to get comfy in and enjoy your books too. 

Round up your visit at the Central Public Library by swinging by the Memories Corner. Fun fact: this outdoor corner displays 5,000 red bricks from the old National Library at Stamford Road. 

There are graphics hung on the bricks, and you can scan the QR code to access the Instagram filter that’ll decipher these graphics. Animations will pop up on your phone screen, and the audio narration will share tales of what happened in the old library. Basically an AI-led history lesson, without the stuffiness of sitting in a classroom. 

Check out the National Library Board’s new installations

Gone are the days where libraries are just a place for reading. There are tonnes of interesting activities to do here, from generating your own stories with AI to discovering unique places in Singapore. 

Commemorate your time at the libraries by snapping photos at Glue:Curiocity and StoryGen. Then, upload your pics on IG and tag @NationalLibrarySG and @PublicLibrarySG with the hashtags #GlueCuriocity and #NLBStoryGen. This’ll qualify you to enter the giveaway happening from now till 31st March 2024, where you can win $50 eCapitaVouchers. 

So if you’re stumped for family plans, add library visits to your list of things to do this weekend

Stay updated on the National Library Board’s offerings

This post was brought to you by the National Library Board.
Photography by Chan Hui Wen. 

Joycelyn Yeow

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