Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The first public library blog in Singapore: library@orchard

I'm pleased to blog about the library@orchard blog that was launched this morning, in conjunction with the media conference about the closure of library@orchard and its subsequent relocation.

Here's NLB's press release on the closure and relocation. According to the official statement, "The closure is caused by the end and non-renewal of the lease on the space."

Some facts and figures shown to the media representatives can be found here (I obtained permission to upload the powerpoint slide to slideshare)

I played only a bit role in starting the blog. Anyway, starting one is easy. What's more critical is how the blog is maintained in terms of the "usefulness" of the posts to readers. The most memorable in starting the blog was how it was all set up overnight. A big thank you to my colleague from the IT Network department (InfoComms Division).

I've posted more of what transpired during the final hours prior to the "birth" of the blog, as a comment, which I've republished here:
Heh. Jamieson’s the network guy — the “unsung hero” for the blog.

Yesterday evening (24 Jul) Jasna (library@orchard manager) and I were casually discussing about the library@orchard blog, after an unrelated meeting. We told Jamieson that we’ve obtained approval to start the blog. But since we couldn’t inform him (the network side) in time for the media conference, we’d just say there’s a blog coming up.

Jamieson looked at us for a while. Then he asked his million-dollar “do you want to have it ready by tomorrow” question. He felt it would be a wasted opportunity not to show the actual blog at the media conference.
Should we try to get the blog ready by tomorrow? What's the URL for the library@orchard blog? What's the URL for the library@orchard blog?

So he volunteered to return back to his office that same evening. By the time he got the basics set up, it was around 11pm. I received his call and tweaked the blog a little, over MSN chat with him. At the same time, I SMSed Jasna and Jillian (who would be running the blog). They were still up, preparing for the next day’s media conference, I guess. Jamieson completed most of the blog set up around 2.30am.

Then this morning, Jillian spent more time posting pictures and content.

BTW, the library@orchard blog would be the first ever public library blog in Singapore. A pretty significant move, in my opinion.


  1. It's really sad. Really.

  2. I will definitely miss it, my little sanctuary smack in the hustle and bustle of Singapore's busiest shopping street. Well, at least there still is Kinokuniya though those books cost much more... hehe

  3. I will miss it a bit even though I don't usually visit library@orchard as often as a few other libraries. Nevertheless, it is one place that I've enjoyed visiting whenever I need a peaceful place to retreat to when I am in Orchard.

  4. I haven't even been there yet. I never liked the idea of library in busy shopping centre. I prefer the stand-alone type; like Queenstown, Bt Merah or AMK.

  5. Library@Orchard is more iconic to me than the old National Library that got torn down. The old library represented the nostalgic past, while Lib@Orc represented the hopeful future, showed us what a library could be. Both excellent libraries in their own right. Really sad one's gone, now the other one's going too :(

  6. I miss Singapore. Compliments and
    best wishes.


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