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Singapore’s largest mall library to open at VivoCity 

Singapore’s largest mall library to open at VivoCity 
January 5, 2019

The new 3,000 metre2 library@harbourfront located on the third floor of VivoCity, the largest to be located in a shopping mall in Singapore, is scheduled to open on 12th January. 

Library@harbourfront replaces the Bukit Merah public library which was closed on 1st December, 2018. It is expected to draw about 1.5 million visitors annually, three times the number seen at the Bukit Merah library.

"It is designed with two distinct zones - one for adults and teens and another for children - to provide conducive spaces and enhanced services that suit their reading and learning needs," announced the National Library Board (NLB) yesterday.
It added that the 460-seat library houses a collection of about 200,000 books, magazines and audio-visual materials.

The children’s section is designed to encourage learning through technology. In an area called Tinker Truck, augmented reality books on a variety of topics make their reading experience more interactive. 

It also features the first “maker space” in a library, aimed at developing creativity and children’s problem-solving skills through DIY learning materials, crafts and puzzles.
NLB said it will work with partners to run programmes related to science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics on a monthly basis.

To provide a more immersive storytelling experience, space has been carved out for projecting videos on all three walls of the room, using light and sound effects.

At the adults and teens section, physical newspapers have been replaced by 16 e-newspaper reading stations - the most in any public library in Singapore.

NLB's assistant chief executive (public library services) Catherine Lau said that the library @ harbourfront has a strong focus in digital technologies.

This is in keeping with other libraries such as the library @ chinatown, library @ orchard and library @ esplanade which have collections in Chinese arts and heritage, design, and performing arts respectively.

Explaining the digital technologies collection at the library @ harbourfront, Lau said: "We want to inspire our readers to come and to learn beyond the horizon, discover new things and embark on a journey of lifelong learning."

“Singapore is on this journey to promote a smart nation and NLB feels we can play a part to support it. We want to make technology something very easy for people to feel and touch but not in an intimidating way,” added Lau. 

The library will also offer weekly virtual reality sessions for visitors and provide interactive tools like Google Voyager.

There are currently about 150 volunteers at library@harbourfront, and NLB said the number will increase. 

VivoCity's architecture sets it apart from the traditional box format of many existing retail malls in the region as it includes event spacesand a large roof-top amphitheatre. The Sky Park has been a popular place since its opening and affords views of Sentosa. The Play Court and the open spaces in the mall are popular with families and children. The Promenade and the entrance area feature a popular play space for children. The library will be located on the third floor which also contains a children’s wading pool. 

Image top of library @ harbourfront adult section containin e-books and e-magazines

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