Revamped Choa Chu Kang Public Library Provides Insight into Library Future, Community News and Top Stories
SINGAPORE – The renovated Choa Chu Kang Public Library, which will reopen to the public tomorrow (October 28), is an example of what libraries of the future will look like.
The library, with the theme (Re) connect With Nature, is the first in Singapore to be built around the concept of sustainability.
Visitors will benefit from an indoor garden, hydroponics room, and new digital learning tools such as live nature broadcasts and updates from the World Wildlife Fund Singapore. These features aim to increase awareness of sustainability and environmental issues.
Located on the fourth and fifth floors of Lot 1 Shopping Mall in Choa Chu Kang, the library underwent a two-year overhaul to become the seventh ‘Next Generation Library’ in the National Library Board‘s 2025 Libraries and Archives Master Plan ( NLB) (LAB25). This is the NLB’s master plan to streamline its library and archives services.
The renovated library features an augmented reality (AR) learning path, where visitors can experience immersive content by scanning QR codes around the library with their mobile phones.
Addressing guests at the library reopening ceremony on Wednesday, October 27, Communications and Information Minister Joséphine Teo said libraries play a vital role in society by providing public access to know and discover different cultures.
She said, “Along with our rapidly changing society, our libraries have also evolved and transformed to meet the changing needs and interests of Singaporeans. “
Since 2017, NLB has reorganized and reopened six libraries – Library @ HarbourFront, Sengkang Public Library, Bukit Panjang Public Library, Bedok Public Library, Tampines Regional Library and Yishun Public Library.
Ms Teo said the challenge for NLB is to find new ways to capture the zeitgeist and the aspirations of the people.
Referring to the agricultural heritage and natural parks of Choa Chu Kang, she said that in the past, visitors could only look at photos to learn more about the endangered sambar deer or the exploitation of rubber in the region. XIXth century.
“Now, with the AR Learning Trail, visitors can connect and learn in ways they may never have experienced before,” Ms. Teo said.
Choa Chu Kang Public Library Director Jollene Shu said she hopes the redeveloped space can change the public’s mindset about a library.
She said, “The library is a place of learning. We want visitors to learn in space as well as through items such as the community wall which shows the agricultural history of Choa Chu Kang.”
NLB Deputy Director General of the Archives and Libraries Group, Ms Catherine Lau, said the NLB is taking a more experimental approach with its LAB25 master plan.
She said: “What we’re trying to do this time is call in like-minded partners so they can join NLB to create and try new ideas with us.
“One of the key elements of LAB25 is to create a learning marketplace where we use technology to help improve the learning experience for visitors.”
She also shared that Punggol’s next regional library, scheduled to open in 2022, will be the first to offer integrated services for people with disabilities, built around the theme of inclusiveness.
“For each of our new libraries, we try to have a unique focus for the community,” Ms. Lau said.
Ms. Shu said that she and her team will reach out to the public and listen to the community on how libraries can be improved.
Ms. Lau added, “There is no such thing as a perfect library because things change after a few years and you have to meet the needs of society.”