When it comes to literature and the arts, Singapore residents know that they can enjoy both if they head over to public libraries in the city. With that in mind, it’s good to note that Singapore has several public libraries you can visit on your own or with friends.
If you’re in Singapore and looking for a nice place to read a good book, study, or spend some time alone or with friends, then you’d be pleased to know that there are a handful of public libraries you can visit for this purpose.
11 Best Public Libraries in Singapore
And while there are several places you can visit in the city for a good read or some time off from work, it’s also quite interesting to learn that you can get your books even without having to step out of your residence. Nowadays, you can easily do this using your mobile phone and an app to borrow an e-book or digital newspapers and magazines whenever and wherever you are at the moment.
And if you’re someone who’s always on the go and prefer your books to be read to you by a calm, soothing voice, then getting an audiobook is the best way to go.
However, for those who like the smell, feel, and experience of reading a physical book, there’s no better way than to visit a library for this complete experience.
With that in mind, here are the top 11 public libraries you can visit when in Singapore.
#1 Yishun Library
Address: 930 Yishun Ave 2, #04-01, Northpoint Shopping Centre Singapore 769098
After a major renovation was done in 2018, the Yishun Public Library has become home to more than 125,000 titles. Its interiors are inspired by the neighborhood’s development from a natural plantation heritage site to a bustling estate. That said, when you visit the library, you’ll recognize that the main pathway is mirrored with a ceiling light panel that guides you into the different sections of the facility.
If you’re looking for a place to read and learn digitally, then you should head over to the Virtual Library whereas if you’re simply looking for a comfortable place to read and hang, you can head over to the Quiet Reading Lounge, which is decked with cozy individual nooks for you to get comfy with a book in hand.
To catch a glimpse or an idea of what the facility looks like, as well as the amenities they offer, you can check out this 360° Virtual Tour provided by the National Library Board on their official website.
#2 Marine Parade Library
Address: #01-02, Marine Parade Community Building
278 Marine Parade Road Singapore 449282
Known as the first library to be built on reclaimed land, the library’s book repository is the only one in the city with a mezzanine level. Here, you can browse through shelves of Young Adult titles and graphic novels, and enjoy cozy seating to get stuck in.
With its comfortable setup, children are free to read, learn, and roam at its dedicated kids’ section on the second level. When you visit the facility’s Programme Zone, you’ll find exciting programs including storytelling sessions for families. The library also offers all sorts of genres, ranging from food to music, as well as reading rooms and study tables on the third floor.
Moreover, when you get hungry while reading, there’s also an exclusive cafe in the facility – Cafe Galilee, which offers several mouth-watering snacks to satisfy your cravings.
If you’re interested to see what it’s like to be inside the facility, here’s a full-length virtual tour of the Marine Parade Library as shared by Ambient Walking via YouTube:
Address: #03-05, VivoCity 1 Harbourfront Walk Singapore
With over 200,000 volumes of books, conducive reading and learning spaces for children, teens, and adults, learning pods, augmented reality books, and enhanced services for both avid readers and those keen to learn, Singapore’s newest public library is an excellent alternative if you want to take a break from hanging out in busy malls.
However, what makes this public library a must-see is its reading lounge with huge windows that offer spectacular waterfront views, overlooking Sentosa – just like reading by the beach. See for yourself!
Catch the virtual tour of the largest library inside a mall, the Library @Harbourfront as posted by AB Studio via YouTube:
#4 Tampines Regional Library
Address: #02-01, Our Tampines Hub
1 Tampines Walk Singapore 528523
For those who’ve been in the neighborhood for quite some time now, you might not recognize the old Tampines library because what is located at Our Tampines Hub is a new facility that has an extensive collection of reading, visual and audio materials for users of all ages, as well as learning spaces such as the PA-managed culinary studios, interest group activity rooms, and an indoor playground for kids. There are even cooking stations for hands-on culinary classes. Meanwhile, those who are feeling active can check out their 700 meter-long running track or exercise bikes that allow you to read and cycle while overlooking the football pitch.
Another interesting feature which the National Library Board has integrated at the Tampines Regional Library is the Mobile Bookdrop, which allows patrons to conveniently return their items without having to check-in at the catalog counter. Check it out in this video posted by the National Library Board via YouTube:
#5 National Library
Address: National Library 100 Victoria St Singapore 188064
Telephone Number: 6332-3255
With a central borrowing library, reference library, and a digital library, the National Library looks to become more than just a place for book-reading. Boasting of several architectural awards before the facility had even opened its doors to the public, the new building (a replacement for the old National Library on Stamford Road) is designed as two towers, linked by walkways and walled almost entirely with glass. It’s also worth noting that the spacious reference section and the study rooms on the upper floors offer great views across the city. Additionally, it has small exhibition spaces, and it also houses the Drama Centre.
If you’re wondering what a full 360° virtual tour of Singapore’s National Library looks like, well, you’re in luck as the National Library Board of Singapore has posted a virtual tour of one of the country’s top public libraries on YouTube. Catch the full video tour here:
#6 Woodlands Regional Library
Address: Woodlands Civic Centre #01-03
900 South Woodlands Drive Singapore 730900
Located near the Woodlands MRT Station, this library is considered the first and still the largest library in the region. Inspired by nature, the interactive facility has a special focus on children with its own features-galore Reading Park.
The library’s Asian Children’s Literature Collection includes children’s literature and rare titles from all around Asia, with some published as early as the 1900s.
Moreover, you’ll find in this facility a 250-seat auditorium in the basement, as well as a performance stage and 20-seat AV appreciation for the public screening of TV programs.
But it’s not as fun as when you experience and see the facility for yourself. For now, here’s a walking tour in the Woodlands Regional Library, as posted by a YouTuber, Running Kao, on his channel. Check it out below!
#7 Library of Botany and Horticulture
Address: Singapore Botanic Gardens 1 Cluny Rd
Situated in the majestic Singapore Botanic Gardens, the Library of Botany and Horticulture houses an impressive collection of references and resource materials on horticulture, landscape architecture of botanical research done in Singapore. However, it’s important to note that while the facility is open to the public, the materials in the library are not available for loan – which is why it is a good thing that there are plenty of comfortable sofas to sink in and spend the day reading or studying.
Address: #03-12/#04-11 Orchardgateway
277 Orchard Rd Singapore 238858
Telephone Number: 6828 8377
When shopping in the city, a great place to drop by next would be the Library@Orchard. Since it opened in 2014, the facility has been treating visitors to a cornucopia of resources centered on lifestyle, design, and applied art.
Located on the third and fourth floors of Orchardgateway, the facility has been divided into The Studio and The Loft, which features a vast array of titles, as well as program zones. That said, the library’s gorgeous interiors are a great excuse to grab a paperback or a magazine and chill indoors.
There are just so many fascinating features offered in the facility, that it’s not enough to just describe them – you have to see it for yourself – at least on video for now. Watch the clip posted by the National Library Board on YouTube here:
Address: #03-01 Esplanade 8 Raffles Ave Singapore 039802
Telephone Number: 6828 8377
Located on the third floor of the Esplanade, Theatres on the Bay, the Library@Esplanade is an excellent resource hub for the performing arts. Among the resources you can find here include music scores, compact discs, and many various literary journals, books as well as magazines, filling the 2,300-square-metre space, where ample sofa seats and chairs allow for comfortable reading sessions.
Also, within the library is Tiffany’s Cafe, a cozy retreat with a view of Marina Bay. Some of the amenities you can find at the library is an exhibition space, a performing stage, a jamming studio, a piano practice room, screening rooms, and a dance alley.
If you can’t picture what this space looks like as a performance venue, here’s a short clip of one of the events held at the Library@Esplanade posted by Tanglewood Music School on YouTube. Check it out below:
#10 Singapore Sports Hub Library
Address: 4 Stadium Walk Singapore 397697
Telephone Number: 6500 5000
When it comes to sports and active recreation materials – there’s no better place to look for such resources as the Singapore Sports Hub Library. However, the facility is not just for sports professionals, as readers of all ages are encouraged to visit. They can browse through heaps of prints, audiovisuals, electronic resources of various genres that include sports, coaching, biographies, health, and fitness, as well as business management, science, medical and more.
#11 Central Public Library
Address: 100 Victoria Street Singapore 188064
Telephone Number: 6332-3255
Best known as the home of the world’s first green library for children, My Tree House, the Central Park Library also takes pride in its large collection of fiction titles. Moreover, the facility also houses a good array of business and creative design offerings. Besides basic facilities like self-check borrowing sites, a 24-hour book drop service, multimedia stations, online catalogs, and photocopying machines, it also has a fiction advisory service, which comes up with suggestions on fiction titles to read based on the user’s interests. Moreover, the facility is also accessible for those with different kinds of disabilities as there are assistive reading devices and e-kiosks available for them. Of note, around 134,000 print items are housed in this facility. Moreover, the facility often hosts programs like book launches, exhibitions, book discussions, and meet-the-author sessions.
Even if you choose not to go out to visit public spaces such as libraries, there are still many ways you can have access to books, especially when you’re in Singapore. With their state-of-the-art technology and modern-day facilities, you can easily borrow digital books right in the comfort of your home.
But with the world-class designs and services offered by some of Singapore’s public libraries, it would be such a waste to not see them or use their facilities in person. For now, you can just look at what these places look like and plan where to visit first once it’s safer to go out again.
Have you visited any of the places included in the list? If so, what was your most favorite spot in the city? But if you haven’t been to any of these places, where would you like to visit first once it’s safer to go out once again? Let us know by leaving a comment in the section below!
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