Tampines Regional Library



Tampines Regional Library is the first regional library to be built. It was officially opened on 3 December 1994 by Aline Wong, then member of Parliament for the Tampines Group Representation Constituency and minister of state for health and education.1

History
The construction of Tampines Regional Library cost S$13.4 million.2 It is the first library to be managed by a committee of residents working under the leadership of Paul Cheung, who was the chief statistician of the Department of Statistics.3 The library was designed to be a high-tech library, and served as a prototype regional library where new services were experimented and piloted.4 It was also the first library equipped with facilities and features such as automated self-check borrowing and returning kiosks, video-on-demand terminals, cable television, electronic databases and an information technology (IT) gallery.5


Tampines Regional Library’s reference collection was shelved together with the lending collection instead of being on separate shelves. This was to make it accessible to library users on weekends unlike other branches where the reference section was closed on Sundays.6

Description
The Tampines Regional Library is a three-storey building that serves Tampines residents. It is large enough to fit six football fields on its three floors and began with a collection of 200,000 books, 300 magazine titles, 10,000 multimedia resources and 30 video-on-demand terminals.7

Located on level one is the children’s library, which had an initial collection size of 50,000 books and a storytelling area for parents to read to their children. The adult and young people’s sections can be found on level two. It started with 150,000 books with focused on travel guides, sports, management, information technology and cookery.8 Today, the library has a thematic collection on business to support the financial and business centre in the eastern region of Singapore.9

Located on level three when the library first opened were an auditorium, a meeting room and an IT gallery. The auditorium was built to accommodate 200 people and was also used by its resident drama group, The Necessary Stage, to premiere new plays and hold storytelling sessions. The room was available for rent and the IT gallery displayed the latest IT products.10

Services
A book delivery service, the first of its kind in Singapore, was officially launched on 1 December 1994. The service allowed library members to request for their books to be delivered to their homes for a fee.11

Tampines Regional Library is also the first library to implement self-check kiosks for borrowing and returning of books. The service was subsequently implemented at other libraries.12 Another service provided by Tampines Regional Library was a unique Chinese online catalogue that used Chinese script. Library users could use it to search for Chinese books and audiovisual materials available at the library.13



Author

Heirwin Mohd Nasir



References
1. National Library. (1995). Annual report 94/95. Singapore: National Library, p. 4. (Call no.: RSING 027.55957 NLSAR); National Library Board. (2016, March 10). Tampines Regional Library. Retrieved 2016, June 13 from National Library Board website: http://www.nlb.gov.sg/VisitUs/BranchDetails/tabid/140/bid/335/Default.aspx?branch=Tampines+Regional+Library
2. Tang, W. Y. (1994, December 3). Library of the future. The New Paper, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. Tampines get $12 m super high-tech library. (1993, October 25). The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
4. National Library. (1995). Annual report 94/95. Singapore: National Library, p. 10. (Call no.: RSING 027.55957 NLSAR); Tang, W. Y. (1994, December 3). Library of the future. The New Paper, p. 5; Tampines get $12 m super high-tech library. (1993, October 25). The Straits Times, p. 4; Tampines: The branch library of the future. (1993, March 18). The Straits Times, p. 23. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. Koh, B. S. (1994, November 30). Cable TV, computers, plays – all in one library. The Straits Times, p. 4; Tampines get $12 m super high-tech library. (1993, October 25). The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; National Library. (1995). Annual report 94/95. Singapore: National Library, p. 10. (Call no.: RSING 027.55957 NLSAR)
6. Koh, B. S. (1994, November 30). Cable TV, computers, plays – all in one library. The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. Tampines get $12 m super high-tech library. (1993, October 25). The Straits Times, p. 4; Tang, W. Y. (1994, December 3). Library of the future. The New Paper, p. 5; Chock-full of goodies. (1993, October 23). The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. Chock-full of goodies. (1993, October 23). The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
9. National Library Board. (2016, March 10). Tampines Regional Library fact sheet. Retrieved 2016, June 13 from National Library Board website: http://www.nlb.gov.sg/Portals/0/library/documents/Tampines%20Regional%20Library%20-%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf
10. Chock-full of goodies. (1993, October 23). The Straits Times, p. 4; Koh, B. S. (1994, November 30). Necessary Stage is resident drama group. The Straits Times, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
11. Peralta, C. (1994, November 30). Home delivery working out well. The Straits Times, p. 5; Yeo, H. Y. (1993, October 24). Phone or fax, and Tampines library will deliver your books. The Straits Times, p. 3; Tampines get $12 m super high-tech library. (1993, October 25). The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; National Library. (1995). Annual report 94/95. Singapore: National Library, p. 11. (Call no.: RSING 027.55957 NLSAR)
12. Teo, G. (1996, February 21). Libraries to provide automated check-ins and check-outs. The Straits Times, p. 23. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
13. National Library. (1995). Annual report 94/95. Singapore: National Library, p. 10. (Call no.: RSING 027.55957 NLSAR)



The information in this article is valid as at 2002 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history on the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

 

Subject
Regional libraries--Singapore
Architecture and Landscape>>Building Types>>Public Buildings>>Libraries
Public libraries--Singapore
Branch libraries--Singapore
Law and government>>Culture and community>>Public libraries
Libraries