Friday, March 11, 2011

Pictures and first-hand perspective: Official opening of Serangoon Public Library

Like many of my Public Libraries colleagues, I was helping out at today's official opening of Serangoon Public Library (SRPL).

ASIDE: In case you're not aware, SRPL has a Facebook page.

Seeing the library fill up, with customers of all ages, gladly reminded me of the voracious reading appetite of some Singaporeans and members. You'll see that in a few pictures.

8.30am
The library was quietly ready for business. Staff were on hand to receive invited guests.
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Vendor staff getting the current day's newspapers ready:
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Shots of the Children's Section:
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A close-up of the board at the Children's Section: the library's attempt to inculcate a healthy dose of curiosity and encourage them to actively seeking knowledge:
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Very nice range of graphic novel titles. I was really tempted to borrow some for myself. But nah, we'd like to let the public have a go at them first.
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"Learn as you Play" - Here's the "Gaming Area", which is one of the highlights of the new library:
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"The first public library in Singapore to have a dedicated area for gaming, SRPL aims to promote learning and a reading culture by tapping on the educational effects of games. The games featured in this area will demonstrate significant educational content or learning value."
Source: NLB Press Release. See also Channelnewsasia.

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The games that are currently featured include "The World Of Temasek", which is a pretty cool virtual 14th Century Singapore and role-playing game environment, developed by Magma Studios in partnership with National Heritage Board.
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9.30am
The official ceremony kicked off:
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11am
An orderly queue had already formed before the library opening time.
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The library staff shouted out a countdown to the last seconds, before the doors opened to the general public for the very first time.

I'm sure many of these were neighbourhood residents, who have been eagerly waiting for a library near their homes. Library staff and volunteers were on hand to assist customers.

I met a few parents who were looking for YP books for their kids (told them SRPL intershelved their YP collections with Adult collections):
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The Gaming Area was a hit with the kids, naturally.
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This picture is easily my favorite: it says "family", "intergeneration", "the young learning with the old"... sweet!
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"Visual Discovery Kiosk"
This is a new service being prototyped at SRPL, something called the "Visual Discovery Kiosk". A touch-screen digital book display, if you will.
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The items displayed complements the Gaming Zone. The kiosk displays "games" related books -- includes Fiction, and Non-Fictional works like game play design and creation -- that belong to SRPL.
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Clicking on the book cover image displays the synopsis and some item details (author, Call Number, Subject etc.)
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"People, Places and Recollections"
This neat little touchscreen display features the winning entries of a “People, Places & Recollections” photo contest. The event was organised before the library's official opening, where the community was invited to share photographs on the Serangoon area.
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It complements the static exhibit on interesting facts and heritage information about the neighbourhood (turn left immediately when you enter the library):
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At least one happy customer
One middle-aged lady approached me and asked, "May I give you some feedback?"

"You certainly can!"

"I just love the library. It's the best use of the taxes I pay."

Next: "Can't find the game? Want to try the book?"

2 comments:

  1. Good work! We need more libraries... But the scene on ChannelNewsAsia of Sporeans pushing and jostling for those brand new books is really shameful. I learnt a lesson on the importance of crowd control here.

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  2. Heh, I was wondering if that clip would appear on TV. Saw the video guy filming away.

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