Bigger libraries in heartland

Book lovers can look forward to bigger and brighter public libraries in the heartland.

A new library will be built in Punggol, as the authorities continue their push to bring books closer to the housing estates.

"Some libraries that are exceptionally popular will be expanded. This is necessary as library visitors are expected to grow and more space is needed," said Minister of State for Communications and Information Sim Ann yesterday in Parliament.

"Many libraries are also due for refurbishment after being opened for a decade or more."

For example, the Pasir Ris library at White Sands mall will be expanded and refurbished by November.

As teenagers are frequent visitors there, a dedicated space will be set up for them to study and relax.

Similarly, the Bukit Panjang library will be expanded. Works are expected to start next year.

In Tampines, the library will be relocated to the upcoming Tampines Town Hub, integrating it with a culinary studio to help combine learning through reading and culinary practice.

The Bedok library will also be moved to the town centre's integrated complex.

A third Infocomm Development Authority Lab will be opened at the Jurong library later this year. These labs allow users to play and tinker with gadgets such as 3D printers.

"Innovation or technology talks would be organised for the general public, and hands-on workshops will cater to students and families," said Ms Sim, adding that 24 million visits were made to libraries last year, with over 34 million loans made.

This article was first published on March 11, 2015.
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