Woodlands Regional Library



Woodlands Regional Library (WRL) was officially opened on 28 April 2001.1 It is the first full-fledged regional library under the National Library Board (NLB).2

History
In 1992, the government set up the Library 2000 Review Committee to study public library services in Singapore. One of the recommendations by the committee was to restructure the public libraries into a three-tier library system consisting of regional libraries, community libraries and neighbourhood libraries.3 In 1995, the government announced that, following the prototype regional library in Tampines, it would build a second regional library in Woodlands New Town.4 The library was completed at a cost of S$60 million and officially opened on 28 April 2001 by Tony Tan, then deputy prime minister, minister for defence and member of Parliament for Sembawang Group Representation Constituency.5 The library opened with a collection of 420,000 books6 and registered a record of 100,000 visitors on its first day.7


Description
WRL occupies a total floor space of 11,100 sq m,8 twice the size of Tampines Regional Library.9 The four-storey library is located within the Woodlands Civics Centre, with a split-level basement that houses a 250-seat auditorium. On level one, there are magazines, newspapers and audiovisual materials, a café, a stage for performances, and an atrium with a waterwall feature. Levels two and three house the reference section and the general lending section respectively. Level four, which has a lower ceiling than the other floors, is the young adult and children’s sections.10 To promote awareness and appreciation of local art, the library also features ceramic murals and paintings by local artists.11

Special features and facilities
WRL offers services and facilities such as multimedia stations, a quiet reading room, as well as project and meeting rooms.12 The library is located in close proximity to three nature reserves: Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Sungei Khatib Bongsu and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. To reflect the lush greenery surrounding it, WRL has adopted the theme of nature and the environment. In line with this, the children’s section has been designed as a park, with several interesting visual features to create environmental awareness.13

Another feature of WRL is its focus on children. The children’s Reading Park is specially designed to provide a conducive environment for reading and to stimulate creativity and innovation. The Reading Park comprises four zones. The “World of Stories” is a parent-child reading corner to encourage bonding between parents and their children by reading together. The “World of Language” houses books in Chinese, Malay and Tamil with thematic displays that promotes the vernacular languages. The “World of Creativity” showcases children’s artworks and other creative projects and the “World of Learning” houses the information books and the fairytale collections.14 A notable collection highlight is the Asian Children’s Literature Collection that was launched in 2012. This collection comprises 8,000 children’s books that reflect Asian culture and heritage.15



Author

Ong Eng Chuan



References
1. National Library Board. (2002). Annual report 2001/2002. Retrieved 2016, June 3 from National Library Board website: http://www.nlb.gov.sg/Portals/0/Reports/fy01/home.htm
2. National Library Board. (2015, July 22). Woodlands Regional Library. Retrieved 2016, July 26 from National Library Board website: http://www.nlb.gov.sg/Portals/0/library/documents/Woodlands%20Regional%20Library%20-%20Fact%20Sheet%20-%2020150723.pdf

3. What Library 2000 is about. (1996, January 29). The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
4. Yeo, G. (1995, March 30). Libraries of the future to develop along twin tracksThe Straits Times, p. 28. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. Ong, S. F. (2001, April 29). Out of the Woodlands. The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6. Ong, S. F. (2001, April 29). Out of the Woodlands. The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; National Library Board. (2015, July 22). Woodlands Regional Library. Retrieved 2016, June 3 from National Library Board website: http://www.nlb.gov.sg/Portals/0/library/documents/Woodlands%20Regional%20Library%20-%20Fact%20Sheet%20-%2020150723.pdf
7. Ngian, L. C. (2002). Country report: Singapore 2001/2002. Retrieved 2016, June 3 from IFLA website: http://www.ifla.org/archive/VII/s8/annual/cr0102-sg.htm
8. National Library Board. (2015, July 22). Woodlands Regional Library. Retrieved 2016, June 3 from National Library Board website: http://www.nlb.gov.sg/Portals/0/library/documents/Woodlands%20Regional%20Library%20-%20Fact%20Sheet%20-%2020150723.pdf
9. Ong, S. F. (2001, April 29). Out of the Woodlands. The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
10. Ong, S. F. (2001, April 29). Out of the Woodlands. The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; National Library Board. (2016, March 10). Woodlands Regional Library. Retrieved 2016, June 3 from National Library Board website: http://www.nlb.gov.sg/VisitUs/BranchDetails/tabid/140/bid/310/Default.aspx?branch=Woodlands+Regional+Library
11. Ong, S. F. (2001, April 29). Out of the Woodlands. The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; National Library Board. (2015, July 22). Woodlands Regional Library. Retrieved 2016, June 3 from National Library Board website: http://www.nlb.gov.sg/Portals/0/library/documents/Woodlands%20Regional%20Library%20-%20Fact%20Sheet%20-%2020150723.pdf

12. National Library Board. (2015, July 22). Woodlands Regional Library. Retrieved 2016, June 3 from National Library Board website: http://www.nlb.gov.sg/Portals/0/library/documents/Woodlands%20Regional%20Library%20-%20Fact%20Sheet%20-%2020150723.pdf

13. Ong, S. F. (2001, April 29). Out of the Woodlands. The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
14. Ong, S. F. (2001, April 29). Out of the Woodlands. The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; National Library Board. (2015, July 22). Woodlands Regional Library. Retrieved 2016, June 3 from National Library Board website: http://www.nlb.gov.sg/Portals/0/library/documents/Woodlands%20Regional%20Library%20-%20Fact%20Sheet%20-%2020150723.pdf
15. National Library Board. (2015, July 22). Woodlands Regional Library. Retrieved 2016, July 26 from National Library Board website:  http://www.nlb.gov.sg/Portals/0/library/documents/Woodlands%20Regional%20Library%20-%20Fact%20Sheet%20-%2020150723.pdf



The information in this article is valid as at 2016 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
Libraries--Singapore
Libraries
Singapore--History--1990-
Law and government>>Culture and community>>Public libraries
Science and technology>>Library and information science>>Library and information services