This holiday season, ditch the smartphone and latest phablet for the original handheld device – a book! And, with 28 public libraries around Singapore, there is always one close by. We have our favourite libraries but you can indulge the reading habit at almost any library.
If you need more reasons to plan a visit to the National Library Board’s public libraries, here are five for you!
1. Increased Borrowing Limit for the Holidays
For the holiday period, National Library Board has increased the number of books that each person can borrow. Between 19 November 2016 to 31 January 2017, you can borrow up to 16 book or magazines, including up to 6 audio-visual materials from the library. Now, kids can fill up more of their time in front of a book.
GIVEAWAY: Stand to Win Prizes including a Marky Polo Travels Book Set and Tickets to Nestopia & HydroDash
MARCH HOLIDAYS: The Best Activities and Ideas for Kids and Families in Singapore
2. Holiday Reading Lists
NLB has a compilation of recommended reading lists – broken down by age groups. Put together by librarians, it covers both fiction and non-fiction titles.
There are book recommendations for kids as young as 0 to six years old. For Primary school kids, lists are categorised by levels with Suggested Reads for Primary 1 to 6.
What’s more, if you are like us and are not clued in on Fractured Fairy Tales (fractured what?), there are even recommendations of books filled with Fractured Fairy Tales for children between seven to 12.
Best of all, each of the titles on this online list are linked to NLB’s catalog service. You can click on the title and it will bring you to its online listing for you to instantly check whether the books is on loan or available at a library near you.
3. Events at the Library
NLB hosts a range of programmes at the libraries. These include regular storytelling sessions to craft workshops. The list of events is available at the Go Library website.
The Go Library website has been recently revamped with a new look and feel. You can sort through the events by categories or by applying filters. Event registration can also be done through the site.
One tip on finding events at your favourite library is to use the free NLB Mobile App. Under the “BOOKS FOR YOU” tab, you can click on the “EVENTS AT PREFERRED LIBRARY” button to see a list of upcoming events based on your regular library.
4. Babies Can Be Library Members Too!
You don’t need to wait for your child to be able to read in order to sign them up as library members! In fact, babies born from January 2016 onwards can register as library members.
To do so, visit a library with the child’s birth certificate and a parent’s NRIC to register. You can borrow up to six books with your child’s membership.
What’s more, present the loan receipt to a library staff to collect a baby gift pack that contains 3 boards books, a Reading is Fun! Booklet, A Guide for Reading with Little Ones DVD, Height Chart and Rhymes and Fingerplays for Little Ones.
5. Tinker Around at Jurong Regional Library
The tinkering space at the second floor of Jurong Regional Library is open to all. Equipment at the lab includes 3D printers (attendance at a training course required) and electronic kits such as the Raspberry Pi and Spark Core. There are also beginner-friendly kits such as Littlebits and Makey Makey that parents can use in the lab to introduce kids to basic electronics.
You need to register as a user to utilise the lab. Children under 13 years old need to be accompanied by a parent.
The lab is open from Wednesdays to Sundays at specified times. Check for details here.
One Last Thing
Lastly, there is one thing that we wish could be made easier to use.
NLB has an eReads service – an eBook Portal. The service holds much promise – being able to check out eBooks to read from anywhere and not have to worry about fines. On the mobile device, it uses the OverDrive app as an eBook reader.
Frustratingly, we found accessing an eBook through the mobile device quite fiddly and unintuitive. It took a long time to figure it out and when we eventually managed to get the ebook open on the OverDrive app, the user interface paled in comparison to other eBook readers we have used.
Perhaps, that’s yet another reason to pay a visit to the nearest library instead.