Friday, July 22, 2005

New National Library opens - 22 Jul 2005

Something I can now say with certainty: I was witness to the closing of the old National Library (at Stamford Road) and the opening of a new one.

Reached the National Library at 8.00am and all was calm. I spent the next 1.5 hours checking out all 16 floors before the speech-giving ceremony at 9.30am.

8.00am. All quiet at the Events Plaza.
New National Library 8

This was what you'd see if you were giving the speech.
New National Library 9

Still at the Events Plaza, standing near the entrance to the building, I looked up and saw this:
New National Library 5

Cool and calm at the foyer...
New National Library 10

... same at the various floors of the Lee Kong Chian Library...
New National Library 4

... and the garden at level 10...
New National Library4

... and the Observatory Pod at 16th level, which looks out to the Marina.
New National Library 6

Peaceful at the Central Lending Library at the basement.
Central Lending Library 7
Central Lending Library 8
Central Lending Library 9
Central Lending Library 10
Central Lending Library 11

All that changed after 10.00am, when the library opened to the public.
New National Library2

A large crowd streamed down to the basement.
Central Lending Library 5

Long but orderly and calm queues at the borrowing stations. I think if anyone wants to borrow books from CLL this weekend, be prepared to queue.
Central Lending Library 3

Things were a little quieter at some areas of CLL.
Central Lending Library 4
Central Lending Library 6

Ok, that's the first day. I didn't stay for the evening crowd, but I'm sure more people will be dropping by. Am grateful that the majority was calm and patient. As usual, there were the few cranks who seemed to complain about everything, but that's expected.

BTW, most people wonder why the lending section was limited to the basement. I think the message has not sunk in that the National Library building houses mainly the Reference materials (meant for research and in-library use).

Click here for directions to the National Library.

I'll have more pictures to post, and more thoughts to write about the opening of this truly iconic landmark and institution that we call the National Library.

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  1. Anonymous9:13 pm

    Hiya Ivan. The new library looks cool - in all ways ;-)

    Can't wait to visit.

    Keep in touch, OK?

  2. Anonymous10:04 pm

    ahhhh...I can't wait to get there to see and feel it for myself.... even I know I will always miss our old national library building

  3. Anonymous10:47 pm

    Miss the rustic old library, but the new central library looks incredible! If I'm not mistaken, this library is in the new & huge NLB building along bugis. I'm curious, does a library really have to be that big?

  4. yeah!!! Finally open!!!!

    Can't wait to visit!!!

  5. Anonymous12:38 am

    We plan to drop by tomorrow, but the queues make me think twice now.

  6. Now what is that 'Photo Sharing' wall about? Thanks for the photos!

  7. wow!

    sincerely yours,
    turning green with envy =)

  8. i went there yesterday but i didnt check out the observatory pod.. damn it.. must go back again

  9. Hi Si Yang, the Observatory Pod isn't open to the public though. Only when there are programmes & functions.

  10. Anonymous7:02 pm

    Thanx Ivan for the nice pics. Proud to be a member of the NLB family.

  11. Hi, just to let u know that I've used 2 of ur photos in a little video tat I did. Hope u don't mind... :P

    Thanks! :D

  12. Anonymous12:29 am

    You saved me a trip to check out the new building, Ivan. Thanks!

    I also dug up some additional info about the new building and some pictures of the old building at my blog:


  13. Hi Cloudywind - thanks for informing. Sure, use the photos for non-commercial purposes. I'd love to take a look at the video.

    Mr.Ramble - you should still go check out the new building. Will be worth the trip :)

  14. Anonymous9:12 pm

    A fellow rambler, I saw the new library on a recent trip but, to my disappointment, I was there a week too early for the opening. Still it was impressive. A tour guide told us the SNL is the largest library in asia. Do you know if that is true?

    Also, I took home the "Quest for Knowledge" disk. I have a few quibbles but thought it a clever marketing tool.



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