Jurong West Community Library
by Thulaja, Naidu Ratnala
Jurong West Community Library is located at 1 Jurong West Central 2, #04-01/04 Jurong Point, Singapore 648886. It is the first library of the National Library Board to be located inside a shopping mall. It was officially opened on 22 March 1996 by Member of Parliament for Jurong Constituency and Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Environment, Ho Kah Leong.
Jurong West Community Library was opened to serve the residents of Jurong West, Jalan Bahar, Ahmad Ibrahim, Pioneer, Hong Kah West and Tuas. The National Library Board saw the need for a library in Jurong West as the area is home to over 1,500 factories, the SAF training institute, Nanyang Technological University, and a population over 200,000 people.
Shopping Mall Concept
The move to open libraries in shopping malls was primarily to bring the culture of reading closer to people. Shopping malls are situated near housing estates, activity areas of the general populace as well as the work place of many Singaporeans. Therefore libraries located inside these buildings are easily accessible to many people. The concept of opening libraries in shopping malls is part of the "Library 2000 Masterplan" of the Ministry of Information and the Arts to bring libraries nearer to people.
Jurong West Community Library has a total collection of about 138,958 books. Its magazine collection spans over 45 titles. As of March 2002, the library had served more than 1,104,356 visitors, had registered 45,372 members and had given out 1,125,114 book loans. Jurong West Community Library has the distinction of being the first ever library in Singapore to be located inside a shopping mall.
The Library is spread over an area of 1,250 square metres. It is designed to be wheelchair friendly to cater to the physically challenged. Users can read newspapers, access Online Public Catalogues and use digital library services from elibraryhub.com. Books and periodicals are loaned in the four national languages of English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil. The library is fully computerised and equipped with self-check borrowing machines, eight multimedia stations and self-service borrower's enquiry service/payment terminals. The library includes a multi-purpose room with a seating capacity of 30 people to host various events. One unique feature of the library is the graffiti in the corridor between the Adult's and Children's sections which is appreciated by many library users.
Storytelling programmes are held at 3:30 pm every 1st and 3rd Tuesday in English, 2nd and 4th Tuesday in Mandarin and every 5th Tuesday in Malay. Schools hold class visits to the library. The User Education Programme, Community Involvement Programme and Reading Programme are encouraged amongst school children. Information literacy programmes, educational workshops, informative talks and user education programmes are held for adults. A list of other programmes held from time to time may be accessed at www.nlb.gov.sg/fr_events.html.
Naidu Ratnala Thulaja
Yeo, S. (1996 January 29). National Library's newest branch to be located in shopping mall. The Straits Times, Life!, p. 3.
National Library Board. (n.d.). Demographic statistics and collection statistics for Jurong West [Brochure]. Singapore: National Library Board.
National Library Board. (n.d.). Jurong West Community Library Information Sheet [Brochure]. Singapore: National Library Board.
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.
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