Library Supply Centre

by M. Ashif Padili


The Library Supply Centre, located in Changi South, houses the Library Support Services (LSS) Division of the National Library Board. LSS performs the library functions of collection development, supply-chain management and bibliographic services.

Before the founding of LSS, the Technical Services Division (TSD) was located at the basement of the National Library building at Stamford Road. The acquisition, cataloguing, processing and the national bibliographic functions were all performed under one roof. When the collection expanded over the years, a bigger space was needed for processing and storage. As part of the strategic thrust of the Library 2000 Report, it was recommended that a common library warehouse be set up away from the prime office areas to act as a storage and clearing house. In March 1997, the Library Supply Services division was formed.

Functions and services
The newly formed LSS moved to its new rental premises on the third and fourth levels of the Industrial CG Aerospace Warehouse Building at Changi South, on 19 April 1997. This new office was called the Library Supply Centre. LSS was divided into the Inter-Library Repository and Supply Services (IRSS), Collection Services (CS) and the Singapore Collection Management Centre (SCMC).

The centre's roles and functions experienced many changes since its establishment. In 1999 the workflows were streamlined and LSS was re-organised into four main divisions: namely, collection development; bibliographic services; supply chain management; and business and corporate services.

Collection Development
The department is responsible for selecting and acquiring well-balanced, comprehensive and useful collections, meeting the informational, cultural and educational needs of the communities.

Bibliographic Services
The section supports the Public and National Reference functions of the National Library Board. It provides centralised cataloguing of purchased materials or acquired through Gifts & Exchange and Legal Deposit. It also produces the Singapore National Bibliography, and the Singapore Periodical Index. The section is responsible for maintaining the union catalogue and the NLB's bibliographic database.

Supply Chain Management
This section manages the supply and processes of NLB's materials from the point of receipt at the Library Supply Centre to the point of delivery to branches.

Business and Corporate Services
The unit oversees multiple activities and projects relating to the core business and daily operations of the Library Support Services (LSS). It is the main contact point for both internal and external customers. The Corporate Services unit provides support services to LSS in the areas of finance, human resource, administration, building and office maintenance and project management.

Repository Used (RU) collection
Located on the third floor of the Library Supply Centre, the Library Warehouse stores the Repository Used (RU) collections. RU collections comprise of selective reference and lending publications that are less frequently used, weeded from the reference and community libraries. Some materials stored are last copies of their respective titles in NLB's entire collection, such as materials originally from the Raffles Library collection and other out-of-print materials identified as precious and "value-added", and eminently suited for research purposes.

Part of the RU collection also consists of newspapers, stored in the centre's dehumidified room, including the first newspaper published in 1831, The Singapore Chronicles, and the first copy of The Straits Times, published in 1845. Travel guides, bestsellers of popular fictions and children's books are excluded from the collections, unless they are deemed exceptional and worth keeping for research purposes and have gone out of print.

Requests can be made to borrow lending materials and consult reference materials in the RU collections. Users can collect their requested lending material from any preferred library, except Sengkang Community Library. Reference materials in the RU collection can be consulted at the National Reference Library premises. A charge of S$1.55 is imposed for both services.

Library Supply Centre, No. 3 Changi South Street 2, Third Storey Tower B, Singapore 486548.

Muhamad Ashif Padili

National Library. (1991). Annual Report. Singapore: Author.
(Call no.: RCLOS 027.55957 RLSAR)

National Library Board. (1997).
Annual Report. Singapore: Author.
(Call no.: RSING 027.55957 RLSAR)

National Library Board. (1998).
Annual Report. Singapore: Author.
(Call no.: RSING 027.55957 RLSAR)

National Library Board. (1997).
Library Support Services information sheets [Brochure]. Singapore: Author.

The information in this article is valid as at 2003 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.

Bibliographical services--Singapore
Technical services (Libraries)--Singapore
Library storage centers--Singapore

All Rights Reserved. National Library Board Singapore 2006.