SINGAPORE: After being closed for about a year for a revamp, the Yishun library will reopen on Saturday (Feb 3) with a refreshed look, new features and learning spaces for all ages.
Located on level four of Northpoint City shopping mall, it spans 2,530sqm - about 10 per cent bigger - and the highlight is a dedicated digital learning zone.
"We noticed that there is a slightly higher proportion of young adults visiting Yishun public library, due to how the demographic profile has evolved in the estate, and we want to cater to the evolving needs of this user group. With this library, you get an increased digital presence to encourage patrons to learn and read digitally," said National Library Board (NLB) associate librarian Joti Upadhya.
DEDICATED DIGITAL LEARNING SPACE
The digital learning zone allows users to browse an array of digital content such as e-magazines, e-newspapers and e-books, including an extensive selection from the NLB digital collection. NLB said the new space is to encourage lifelong learning and better cater to the learning needs of users in the digital age.
Library patrons will not only be able to borrow books and magazines off the shelves, but virtually as well. Electronic books are displayed on “virtual bookshelves”, which are interactive screens that have been categorised into topics such as health, fitness, fiction and travel. Users scan the quick response (QR) codes on the screens to borrow them.
One of the screens also features virtual exhibitions where the public can take a "walk" through digital tours of past exhibitions by NLB.
The digital learning space, targeted at young working adults, houses seven learning pods to “encourage independent learning”, said NLB.
Each of the pods is equipped with an interactive screen with content and resources for users to upgrade their skills or equip themselves with new knowledge. More than 5,000 video tutorials on topics such as business, coding, creative design and technology are available.
CUSTOMISED SPACES FOR ALL
Based on feedback collected from about 370 regular library patrons through focus group discussions and engagement sessions, the library was designed with larger spaces, a dedicated quiet reading place, as well as a children’s section with greater age segmentation. Patrons also participated in selecting some of the furniture for the new library.
The adults and teens section have integrated study areas. The shelves were redesigned to be angled to make browsing more comfortable and intuitive. Large-scale talks and workshops will also be conducted in this section.
There is also a quiet reading lounge consisting of private nooks with interiors inspired by greenery and nature, as well as a lifestyle reading section with magazines, digital and physical newspapers, multimedia station and lounge style seating for a leisurely read.
At the children’s zone, many of the books are shelved in a front-facing manner to encourage kids to pick out books. There are also multimedia stations where children can pick out books they like on a screen and have their selections read out to them.
Even outside of the library's opening hours, the public can browse and borrow titles through interactive screens at the lobby via NLB's app. The screen also showcases content on current trending topics and recommended reads.