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Wed 29 Sep 2004
Singapore's National Library
Category : Singapore/NLB.txt
One of the wonders of Singapore, that you're never going to see touted on our tourist guides, is our National Library. We've all grown up with it, and it's a pleasure to see how nicely it's grown.
I was at the new Jurong Library and I was so excited by the space, organisation, colours, carpeting, facilities, and the books, that I wanted to take some pictures to post here - until I was requested not to do so because of a heightened security concern for the safety of public buildings. If that only confirms the common notion that we're living under a repressive regime, then you've really got to come and see for yourself. Whatever people want to say about our government, one thing's for sure - they're not book burners. Quite the opposite.
One of the best ways I've found to spend Sunday mornings is to browse among the bookshelves of Borders and Kinokuniya, the two largest bookshops along Orchard Road, our main shopping drag, and then to go up to the Orchard Library and find much of the same books there. Or more. For some reason, I had the urge to read "The Cluetrain Manifesto", and sure enough, I found it easily at the business section.
I love the library's system. I only had my identity card with me but that was enough for me to loan the books using the self-service stations that were as Mac-like in their ease-of-use as any system could be. And I can drop the books at any of one its twenty-two branches when I'm done.
Forgive me if I sound jingoistic. But this is something that has given me a lot of pleasure and I had wanted to write about it for some time.