I left a comment over there for those who intend to visit the National Library/ Central Lending Library (CLL) this weekend. Thought it's useful to post it here as well:
- If your intent is to borrow materials (as opposed to browsing), please be mentally prepared for a packed house.
- The Central Lending Library (CLL) is at the basement, and it's the only floor with lending materials. The rest of the National Library is actually for reference and research materials and aren't for loan.
- Loosely speaking: Public Library = mainly lending collection; National Library = mainly reference materials (i.e. not for loan)
- Payment of fees & fines is via Cashcard, NETS (yes, we have that now), Ezlink (non-GIRO linked) and cheque. No cash accepted since 5 years ago (so please please don't ask why no cash and isn't it legal tender etc etc *sigh*)
- Please be nice to the staff. If the queues are long or shelves are messy, it's not entirely our fault 'cos not all readers are considerate users like you :)
- CLL doesn't have AV materials (as of this post).
"The library is a growing organism" ~ S.R. RaganathanLet me explain it this way (this is my personal view):
Suppose you are building a study-room and you're asking yourself how much space you intend to set aside for your bookshelves. If you project 2 to 3 years ahead, thinking that you'll throw out most stuff, a relatively small room might suffice.
But let's say 10, 20 or even 50 years passed. With a space that could accomodate only 2 to 3 years worth of materials, if you want to expand then it's probably more expensive to retrofit or even recontruct the room. Or you might not have the budget to build it by then.
Granted that technology could develop into something very advanced, and eliminate the need for large physical spaces. But that is not a certainty. What is certain -- at this point -- is that much of the Society's Heritage, Institutional/ National Knowledge exists in print form. Hence, we plan for what might be certain (or perhaps a "worse-case" scenario).
But suppose we manage to digitise (or "virtualise") all the books in the library in 5 years time. Does that mean the National Library, being so spacious, becomes a "white elephant"? No, because we can always convert the space to something else. But it's a lot harder to create additional space once something is built.
Ok, I'll be there tomorrow evening to look-see (off-duty mode). If you recognise me, come over and say 'Hi'.
Tag: new national library, national library board singapore