Bedok Public Library reopens with new digital and senior-friendly features

Bedok Public Library reopens with new digital and senior-friendly features

New Bedok library 2
The Bedok Public Library opened in October.

SINGAPORE: The Bedok Public Library officially re-opened on Saturday (Oct 28) at its new location at Heartbeat@Bedok.

The new library has a floor area of 4,150 sq m across two levels and a collection of approximately 200,000 books, more than 300 magazine titles and 13,000 audio-visual items, the National Library Board (NLB) said in a news release.

It features "senior-focused" services such as a large print collection, an electronic magnifier and a keyboard with larger alphabets, said NLB.

Aside from the elderly, children will have their own allocated space in the library with interactive eBooks and facilities to encourage story-telling.

Teenagers will also have their own self-contained study area space.

In order to integrate digitalisation with the library's physical collection, analytics will be used to identify popular items and a specially curated virtual bookshelf will be available on each floor to promote eBooks, NLB said.

yaacob ibrahim bedok public library
Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information, engaging in a conversation with two teenagers at the Teens’ Study Area at the new Bedok Public Library. (Photo: National Library Board)

PRESERVING PUBLICATIONS IN DIGITAL FORMAT

Speaking at the library's opening, Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim said that the Government was also studying how to archive works published in digital formats.

"Now a lot (of works) are produced digitally. How do we ensure that we collect that to preserve the history and the memory of Singapore for future generations?" said Dr Yaacob.

He said that he had asked NLB to look at how this could be done.

"One possibility is through our legal mandate, legislative amendments," he said. "But we’ll consult widely so that people understand what we’re trying to do."

Under the NLB Act's legal deposit scheme, publishers must deposit with NLB "two physical copies of library materials that are published in Singapore", according to NLB.

"To better preserve the digital content on our nation’s history and heritage, NLB will be looking into legislative amendments to the NLB Act, to include mandatory collection and preservation of digital content," NLB added.

The board said that it will be holding consultation sessions with members of the public as well as dialogue sessions with stakeholders such as publishers and researchers on the issue.

Members of the public can submit their feedback through the REACH portal (www.reach.gov.sg) during the public consultation period from Nov 13 to Dec 13 this year. 

Source: CNA/aa

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