Check out this time-lapse video of Molly's refurbishment (it's a 14-year old public transport bus from SBS, given a fresh lease of life):
Singapore had a mobile library service in the 1960s. At that time, there were only three library branches in the system (two public libraries and one National Library). The mobile library service of the 1960s was a means to bring library materials to more Singaporeans throughout the island. The mobile library service was retired around the
Today, the mobile library service is back again. Specifically, its aim is to reach the under-served (e.g. children's homes, orphanages, special needs schools), who for various reasons are unable to make their way to the 20 plus library branches that we have today.
Inside the bus:
- Books (3,000 items)
- One Borrowing Station
- Two service counters
- One e-Kiosk
Its wireless-enabled systems allow library transactions to be carried out where the bus goes. For most of Molly's outreach events, librarians would tag along to provide storytelling sessions, skits, arts and crafts activities, an onsite Advisory service etc.
The Pathlight School was chosen as the launch site for Molly.
The school is the "first autism-focused school in Singapore that offers the mainstream academic curriculum, together with life readiness skills". More about the school, here.
In conjunction with the Molly's launch, an art competition was held for Pathlight students:
This was a winner for the Upper Primary category. My colleagues and I had a laugh when we took a closer look at the drawing. It says, "I like to draw on the books". Not library books, we hope! LOL
This piece proudly says, "I love Science Fiction".
Yeah, my kind of reader!
The NLB project team also produced a build-your-own Molly paper cut-out kit.
The completed paper kit:
Pretty good resemblance, I think :)
[UPDATE: More posts about Molly from OLKGAL, here and here]
Additional details about Molly, from the NLB Media Release:
NLB launches prototype mobile library service to offer a taste of what its libraries can offer to underserved groups. Public will be able to sample the library experience with targeted collections of over 3,000 books, electronic transaction facilities and library programmes.
SINGAPORE, 3 April 2008 – The National Library Board (NLB) today launched a prototype mobile library service that brings the library experience to the underserved to encourage them to become active users of the public libraries. The prototype mobile library comes in the form of a bus named “Molly, the Mobile Library”. Institutions and organisations such as children’s homes, orphanages, special education schools and selected primary schools are some of the places Molly will visit to promote reading and lifelong learning.
“With the support of our partners, The Enterprise Challenge, SBS Transit Ltd, NEC Asia Pte Ltd, Advance Interactive Technologies Pte Ltd and Wavex Technologies Pte Ltd, we hope that Singaporeans who have so far been unable to use our public libraries will now be able to develop a passion for reading through Molly,” said Dr N. Varaprasad, Chief Executive, National Library Board.
The service reaches out to underserved groups with over 3,000 customised books during each visit, based on the user profile of the target audience at the destination. While onboard, patrons can perform electronic transactions such as the borrowing of books, checking of personal loan information and payment of fees and charges via Ez-link. Where space is available on-site, a variety of programmes typically offered at public libraries will also be included in Molly’s visit to allow patrons to sample the library experience. These could consist of activity-based workshops such as art workshops and/or performance and edu-tainment such as magic shows and music performances.
In the sixties, mobile library services were introduced to help ease the overwhelming demand for the services at the main building in Stamford Road. Now, Molly, the Mobile Library, returns to deliver library books, facilities and programmes to entice potential users and attract underserved groups NLB’s network of 22 public libraries around the island for their lifelong learning needs.
Institutions or organisations interested for Molly to visit them can email their request to NLB at firstname.lastname@example.org.