Central Public Library: A Singapore Kaleidoscope

Central Public Library Reopens: A Singapore Kaleidoscope
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The National Library Board’s Central Public Library has a brand new look and a new set of features that focus on Singapore stories through culture, heritage, and literature, as well as sustainability and conservation.

Central Public Library, located in the basement of the National Library Building at Victoria Street

The Central Public Library, located in the basement of the National Library Building at Victoria Street, is based on the theme Singapore: Kaleidoscope.

This was the library’s first revamp since it opened its doors in 2005.


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Central Public Library Reopens: What to Expect & Things to Lookout For

What to Expect at the Central Public Library at the National Library Building

The Central Public Library has various collections that you would expect to find at libraries in Singapore. These include the usual fiction, non-fiction, and Chinese, Indian and Malay collections.

Local motifs

Various locally-inspired motifs have been incorporated into the design and decor of the fittings and furniture. These give the library a nostalgic and familiar vibe. 

Seating area at the Central Public Library

In addition, there are several exciting, brand-new offerings that you can look out for at the revamped Central Public Library. 


New Features at the Central Public Library

Singapore-themed Murals

New Features at the Central Public Library Singapore-themed Murals

In line with the library’s theme of Singapore: Kaleidoscope, the Central Public Library showcases various Singapore-focused murals and artwork.

These can be found throughout the library and have been done in collaboration with local artists, and students from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.

There is even a highly detailed mural on the exterior wall where the entrance to the Central Public Library is located. This is an adaption of Singaporean illustrator, Lee Xin Li’s artwork In Our Time and features iconic landmarks of Singapore.

Another mural shows the courtyard at the old Stamford Road library, which is a nice connection to the past since the Central Public Library is its successor.

This is an adaption of two works by a Singaporean illustrator, Lee Kow Fong (aka Ah Guo), associated with the old National Library: Court of No Worries and Flight of Fantasy.

Murals by NAFA Students

Other murals at the Central Public Library include works by four groups of NAFA students:

  • Isodolaepkce by Amirah Zahirah, Erin Nashira, Civya Dhashini, Kamelia Tufah, Kimberley Lin, Gabriel Tay, Nur Izza,
  • Hexagonoscopic Adventures: Bits and Pieces of Our Identities by Citra Aryani Rudianto, Muhammad Hardry Nur’Hakim Bin Abdullah, Noor Syafiqah Faizal,
  • Toys ‘R’ Scapes by Cherish Tong, Lim Xin Yi, Wong Chee Mei, and
  • The Realm into Our Roots by Diamond Nabilah Misson, Qaisara Binte Sulaiman

These murals provide unique and personal perspectives of Singapore’s culture and heritage through the eyes of creative individuals.


Singapore Alcove

Singapore Alcove

In keeping with the library’s Singapore theming, Singapore Alcove is an immersive space that integrates the Singapore collection and an exhibition that tells Singapore Stories.

Lepak exhibition

The inaugural exhibition is titled Lepak Landscapes: Life and Leisure in Singapore, which focuses on our leisure culture.

Patrons can generate a personalised QR code that can used to scan and interact with the content in various zones. This allows patrons to explore stories on recreational practices in Singapore over time through digital resources.

Patrons can also borrow titles from the Singapore Collection at the exhibition.


Memories Corner

Memories Corner

A further connection between the Central Public Library and the past can be found at the Memories Corner.

The outdoor Memories Corner has 5,000 red bricks retained from the old National Library at Stamford Road.

There will be a multimedia showcase display by award-winning artist Brian Gothong Tan, titled The Library of Memory, screened on the wall.

Memory Wall 
There are also QR codes that can be scanned to access interactive elements.


Children’s Biodiversity Library by S.E.A. Aquarium

Children’s Biodiversity Library

Perhaps, what will be most exciting for parents is the Children’s Biodiversity Library by S.E.A. Aquarium

Children’s Biodiversity Library by S.E.A. Aquarium at Central Library

This is the first marine biodiversity-themed learning space for children at a public library in Singapore and has been developed in partnership with Resorts World Sentosa.

Children’s Biodiversity Library by S.E.A. Aquarium

The Children’s Biodiversity Library by S.E.A. Aquarium has features like a floor-to-ceiling column with coral-like features and floating sea jellies that create a fun and immersive space for kids and parents to read and learn. 

The Submarine

Amongst the other facilities at the Children’s Biodiversity Library by S.E.A. Aquarium include The Submarine, a room for educational programmes and gamification kiosks.  

Next to the Children’s Biodiversity Library is the Courtyard which houses an an outdoor mangrove showcase.


Immersive Room

Immersive Room, Central Public Library

The Immersive Room showcases a curved wall projection that displays immersive content through technology tools such as kinetic sensors for interactivity.

For a start, it will showcase StoryGen, produced by NLB and Amazon Web Services (AWS). This is part of NLB’s ExperienceIT service to make emerging technologies such as Generative AI accessible to all.

Through StoryGen, patrons can add a unique twist to well-loved stories including Singapore folktales, and visualise them through a multimedia experience.

For example, StoryGen can bring a scene of the boy and the garfish (in Sejarah Melayu) to life through AI-generated images, and take it further by presenting it in another genre like sci-fi or fantasy.


Central Public Library Opening Hours

Central Public Library Opening Hours

You can visit Central Public Library at the following times:

Monday to Sunday: 10 am to 9 pm
Closes at 5 pm on the eves of Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year.
Closed on Public Holidays.

Where: 100 Victoria St, #B1-01 National Library Building


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