SINGAPORE: National Library Board (NLB) members will be able to borrow up to 16 physical items from April this year.
Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Sim Ann said in her Committee of Supply debate speech on Monday (Mar 4) that for many years, NLB has doubled the loan quota of physical items to coincide with the school holidays.
“Each time we run this, we consistently get great feedback from our users who take advantage of the promotion to read and borrow more,” she said.
From Apr 1, NLB will double the physical loan quota from eight to 16 physical items permanently so users no longer need to wait until school holidays.
Additionally, the eBook loan quota was raised from eight to 16 and, with this, library users will be able to borrow 32 physical and electronic items at any one time, she added.
MP Darryl David also asked for statistics on the number of eBooks borrowed and whether this will, in time, overtake that of physical books.
To this, Ms Sim said that during the period of 2017 to 2018, the number of digital loans rose from 1.5 million to 5.8 million. However, while the growth is rapid, the number “remains a fraction” to physical loans, which stood at 33 million in 2018, she added.
The ministry will monitor these borrowing trends but it’s clear that NLB should cater to the growing demand for eBooks, she said.