These public libraries in Singapore have gone above and beyond with cool interactive features and stellar views to make reading fun.
In a world of Kindles, iPads and e-books, you may think public libraries are diminishing. Well, not in Singapore. Aside from great bookstores and comic book treasures, our little city boasts 26 public libraries, each with unique features and conducive spaces to jazz up your reading sesh. The next time you want to get lost in a book, hop over to these places. Presenting, the coolest public libraries in Singapore!
Best public libraries in Singapore
1. Bishan Public Library
Conceived in the late 90s due to the crowds at the Toa Payoh and Ang Mo Kio community libraries, Bishan Public Library opened with much fanfare in 2006. Spread over five levels, the library carries over 250,000 titles. Look closely and you’ll notice cool protruding windows – these are actually reading pods, should you need quiet time away from the crowd. The building has also won numerous awards for its unique design and architecture.
Bishan Public Library, #01-01, 5 Bishan Place, Singapore 579841
2. Sengkang Public Library
Located inside Compass One shopping mall, the 2,136 sqm space is the first public library to implement a DIY and Cybrarian concept. That means patrons can perform simple transactions on your own. You can also interact with the staff through tele-conferencing at the Cybrarian kiosk. What’s more, the recreation collection puts a spotlight on watersports and fishing due to the library’s close proximity to a water park and Coney Island.
Sengkang Public Library, #04-19 & #03-28, Compass One, 1 Sengkang Square, Singapore 545078
3. Yishun Public Library
We love how some libraries on this list are situated inside a mall. It’s convenient, accessible, and a perfect spot to rest your legs and catch up on some reading. Yishun Public Library is one of them. This library takes the digital era in its stride by welcoming a Digital Learning Zone where patrons can look through a large selection of digital content. Those with kids aged below six can check out the Early Literacy section. Browse through categories like “Sense & Sensation”, “Poetry & Rhymes” and “Concepts” to help support your child’s development.
Yishun Public Library, #04-01, North Wing, Northpoint City, 930 Yishun Avenue 2, Singapore 769098
This one’s a treat to the eyes, boasting impressive views of Sentosa (at reading lounge 1) and over 200,000 reads to pick from. Highlights include the Learning Zone, a fun space for cool programmes like Tech Showcase and group discussions, with an integrated space for physical and digital collections. Hop on one of the six learning pods to access digital content and other resources. The young ones will love the Tinker Truck, featuring word puzzles and programmes related to STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) topics.
[email protected], #03-05 (Lobby F), VivoCity, 1 Harbourfront Walk, Singapore 098585
Ah, we’ve seen multiple shots of the curved bookshelves here. No wonder the library has an impeccable design – it’s the first public library in Singapore to incorporate the principles of design thinking! This also extends to the large collection of titles on design, lifestyle and applied arts. In fact, the non-fiction collection is categorised into five design clusters – people design (fashion, photography and entrepreneurs), space design (furniture, industrial and game design), visual design (advertising, printmaking and graphic design) and lifestyle design (gastronomy, wellness and travelogues).
[email protected], #03-12 / #04-11, Orchardgateway, 277 Orchard Road, Singapore 238858
6. Tampines Regional Library
Tampines Regional Library is a breath of fresh air with plenty of glass walls to allow natural light in. One of the relatively new libraries since its shift to Our Tampines Hub in 2017, the five-storey space boasts a culinary studio, the Pixel Lab makerspace, an exhibition on Tampines heritage, a 200-seat auditorium, an indoor playground and a 700m-long running track. Word has it that you can clock up to 3k steps by walking through the library! It’s also home to over 32,000 Chinese children books donated by the Chou Sing Chu Foundation to encourage learning and reading in Mandarin.
Tampines Regional Library, #02-01, Our Tampines Hub, 1 Tampines Walk, Singapore 528523
7. National Library
Of course, our list of public libraries in Singapore won’t be complete without this magnificent gem. Located in a cultural hub, the National Library is our city’s largest public library. The 16-storey building houses two libraries – the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library (levels 7 to 13) and the Central Public library (basement 1). The Lee Kong Chian Reference Library boasts endless collections of Singapore’s literary and publishing heritage. There’s also a drama centre, exhibitions spaces, as well as a function and events space on the 16th level rooftop.
National Library, 100 Victoria Street, Singapore 188064
8. Choa Chu Kang Public Library
Temporarily closed for renovations. Stay tuned for its opening in 2021.
We’re eagerly waiting for the reopening of this library. Set to open its doors in 2021, it’s the first Libraries of the Future (NLB’s masterplan to combine the physical and digital) to hold a sustainability theme. Expect plenty of green spaces and cool augmented reality features in books that you can access on your phones.
Choa Chu Kang Public Library, #04-01/02, Lot 1 Shopper’s Mall, 21 Choa Chu Kang Avenue 4, Singapore 689812
It’s time to put your phones away and curl up to a book at one of these public libraries in Singapore!