Monday, September 04, 2006

Media Release: Opening of Bishan Community Library

[Am posting this for my reference. Also, I've highlighted some interesting aspects the the Community Library, in bold, in paragraphs 5, 7 and 8]


[1 ] Singapore, 1 September 2006. Starting tomorrow, the 90,000-strong community of Bishan and Thomson will have a brand new community library literally at their doorstep.

[2] Bishan Community Library (BICL) will open its doors to the public on September 2, at 10 am, this being the 20th community library under the purview of the National Library Board (NLB). The 4,000 sqm. five-storey library with a start-up collection size of more than 180,000 books and audiovisual materials, is centrally located at Bishan Place in the heart of Bishan Central, fringed by Bishan Junction 8 Shopping Centre, the Bishan MRT Station and the CPF Bishan Service Centre, and is set to add to the vibrancy of the town centre. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs and Member of Parliament for the Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, Mr Wong Kan Seng officiated the official opening ceremony today at 7.45 pm

[3] BICL will cater to a diverse community, comprising residents in the Bishan, Marymount and Thomson areas. Other target library users also include students and teachers from the 12 primary and secondary schools and tertiary institutions, working adults in some 15 commercial organizations located in the library's vicinity, members of 11 voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs), young families and senior citizens. Library users in these areas previously frequented the Toa Payoh and Ang Mo Kio Community Libraries.

[4] "Over the years, there have been numerous requests from residents in this area to have a community library in the vicinity. Other than responding to customer demand for a library in Bishan, BICL is also part of both the Library 2000 (L2000) and the Library 2010 (L2010) plans of the National Library Board. In line with the L2000 plan of providing convenient and accessible libraries, BICL will be an oasis of knowledge for the Bishan community. In addition, BICL will further serve to fulfil our L2010 vision of Libraries for Life, Knowledge for Success by providing conducive social learning spaces for the community to engage in their lifelong learning pursuits. With its comprehensive collection and robust programming to bring knowledge alive, we are confident that BICL will be a magnet for residents of all age groups and with different information needs." said Dr N Varaprasad, Chief Executive, NLB.

[5] Demonstrating how the library can bring knowledge alive for residents, BICL will collaborate closely with the 11 VWOs whose premises are in close proximity (located within Bishan Junction 8 shopping complex) in offering jointly organised programmes and other activities.

[6] Among them is WINGS (Women's Initiative for Ageing Successfully), an organisation dedicated to promoting health and financial literacy and family management among older women. Ms Selina Gan, its Centre Manager, said, "BICL will be valuable in complementing our programme of educational and counselling activities. The closeness of the library is a boon for our members. In addition to jointly organising activities, the easy access to related books and information will boost our mission to empower women with knowledge that will equip them for a fruitful and quality life in their senior years."

[7] Design-wise BICL is based on the concept of a Tree House to foster and create an environment of learning through a journey of discovery and reflection. Unique to BICL are capsule-like areas called 'Thinking Pods', which seem to float beyond the building's external glass fa├žade in a myriad of colours on the second, third and fourth floors as well as within the interior floors of the building. 16 thinking pods in all, they offer users spaces for some moments of solitude and quiet contemplation.

[8] To reach out to different groups of library users, special thematic spaces have been created for different age groups and segmented according to different interest groups so that users can relate to and navigate around the library easily. For instance, the specially designed subterranean themed basement with its cave-like atmosphere offers 80,000 fiction and non-fiction materials for children of all ages as well as spaces for parent-child interaction and storytelling programmes.

[9] Another example is level four, which caters to the teens and has been designed with funky furniture and special circular shelves to stimulate interaction amongst hobby groups and create an inviting environment. "We hope that this level which is intended to convey a sense of youthful energy and a "hip and happening" setting for users will appeal to teenagers and they could use the collections here for their school work and personal and leisure interests," said Ms. Chua Chiew Yong, Manager, BICL.

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  1. Ng Chon Hsing10:58 pm


    Very happy that Bishan Library finally opened. It's been a much anticipated event with my family. Ever since we saw the boards coming up and construction works starting back in May 2005, we've been waiting for the day Bishan Library would open. Bishan's own library is long overdue. For an established estate with one of the most internet-savvy demographics, it went without a library for such a long time. My family loves the library and are proud of it. I can't wait to bring my baby boy there - yes, he likes the sight and sound of children running around and laughing in the library. What can I say - we've got the best public libraries in the world.


  2. I am forwarding this comment to the BICL manager. Thanks!

  3. Anonymous11:58 pm

    are u sure bishan library has got 80,000 children's bks in that basement? i've been there but it sure looks more like only 8k...but like u said, nice design, tho.

  4. Hi Anon, I'm not sure about 80K or 8K. It did not occur to me to personally count them! LOL. Well from my experience, Children's books are thinner and smaller size. SoI don't doubt the figures. Give or take a few hundreds.


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