The Central Public Library at the National Library Building on Victoria Street has a brand new children’s section – the Children’s Biodiversity Library by S.E.A. Aquarium.
The Children’s Biodiversity Library by S.E.A. Aquarium is the first marine biodiversity-themed learning space for children at a public library in Singapore and brings the wonders of biodiversity, particularly marine biodiversity, closer to young ones.
The new space is a partnership between the National Library Board and Resorts World Sentosa.
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The space houses the Central Public Library’s children’s collection, comprising books and reading material across a wide range of topics to enhance learning and love for reading.
There will also be monthly educational programmes for parents and children to learn more about marine biodiversity.
Resorts World Sentosa has committed $1 million in funding through its community development arm, RWS Cares, to support the set up of the space and related programmes.
What to Expect at the Children’s Biodiversity Library by S.E.A. Aquarium
Upon stepping into the Children’s Biodiversity Library by S.E.A. Aquarium, you will find yourself at the Intertidal Zone.
This zone caters to young readers from 4 to 6 years old.
This zone will foster a deeper appreciation of intertidal biodiversity, allowing young learners to learn about the multitude of organisms living on marine shorelines through interpretive displays.
There are also interactive Tumblebook Stations for kids.
The Coral Zone is dominated by a floor-to-ceiling column with coral-like features and lighting that makes it look underwater.
This is where you can find the Early Literary resources.
The books are placed on low shelves with the covers facing forward for kids to browse and find something that piques their interest.
There are also reading spaces for parents and children to sit down and enjoy a book together.
Infographics help parents and children learn about the important role that coral reefs play in marine biodiversity.
Sea Jelly Zone
The Sea Jelly Zone is located at the back of the Children’s Biodiversity Library and holds books for children ages 7 years old and up.
Here, children can also get upclose to specimens in a display case.
Amongst the specimens are shark jaws, a shark’s purse (the shark’s egg case) and coral skeletons.
There is also a video projection of marine life from the S.E.A. Aquarium.
Book Bugs Gamification Kiosk
There is a Gamification Kiosk located within the Children’s Biodiversity Library by S.E.A. Aquarium.
At this interactive digital installation, players can colour an avatar from NLB’s well-loved Book Bugs series and see it appear on the projection screen.
In the future, the kiosks will also implement gamification features for users to check in when they enter the library and earn points for actions, such as taking part in the library programmes. These points can then be used to redeem avatars as rewards.
Children can look forward to programmes on marine biology and conservation led by trained volunteers at The Submarine, a space that has been designed to resemble the underwater craft.
From The Submarine, kids can peer out to the Courtyard, where mangrove saplings will grow to be transplanted to Singapore’s mangrove forests with opportunities for children to take part in the process.
The programmes at The Submarine combine an immersive learning experience with engaging activities and are designed to better captivate children’s interest and help foster a deeper understanding of marine biodiversity and conservation.
Other Useful Information
Parents may also be interested to know that there is stroller parking just beside the entrance to the Children’s Biodiversity Library by S.E.A. Aquarium.
There are also seating pads that can used for those who wish to get comfortable sitting on the floor.
Helping Young Ones to Learn about Sustainability and Biodiversity
The revamp of the Central Public Library is in line with NLB’s LAB25 (Libraries and Archives Blueprint 2025) aim of working with partners to build a robust Learning Marketplace, to bring new learning experiences to patrons.
NLB’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ng Cher Pong, said: “A key component of our LAB25 vision involves working with partners to develop programmes and curated resources to help our young patrons learn more about sustainability and biodiversity. Importantly, we hope to inspire them to treasure our biodiversity and take action to protect it. With RWS as a partner, we will refresh the Central Public Library’s offerings to further raise awareness on the important topics of sustainability and biodiversity. In the spirit of LAB25, we invite more like-minded partners to join us in broadening and deepening the learning experience for children in various aspects of sustainability and biodiversity.”
If you enjoyed this story, we think you will enjoy reading about the rest of Central Public Library, which includes an Immersive Room that leverages generative AI for storytelling.