Saturday, April 02, 2005

Public Libraries' role in building social networks - Part 2

Here's an article by The Sun News (1 Apr 05) titled "Libraries should better serve public". The author laments about the restictions that prevent wider usage of the library space by the community.

Selected quotes:
  • My idea is to turn public libraries from quiet repositories of the printed word into modern gathering places for all sorts of activities.
  • Libraries should be Internet hot spots where the public can bring in their personal laptop computers and access both the library's material and the Internet. For free.
  • My idea of a modern library includes a food court where customers could get sandwiches, pastries, lattes, salads, smoothies and the like. Something nice but also reasonably priced.
  • There also should be places in the library besides the food court where patrons could talk on their cell phones while they work or do their homework.
  • Naturally, these modern libraries should be open to the public for more hours than traditional public libraries.
Hey you know what, we already have libraries in Singapore that fit most of the criteria -- libraries located in Shopping Malls! Bukit Batok, Bukit Panjang, Cheng San, Choa Chu Kang, Jurong West, library@orchard, Pasir Ris, Sembawang, and Seng Kang community libraries.

Ok, we have Internet Hotspots in all our public libraries but access is charged by 3rd party providers. Hey, maybe Singaporeans can lobby Singtel to sponsor a public library!

BTW, any community groups interested in using library spaces, do contact your nearest library for a discussion. Of course, what you want to do has to be related to the NLB's mission, but that itself is quite broad.

Related post:
Public Libraries' role in building social networks (20 Mar 2005)

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