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New Bugis central public library explorations

Visiting and exploring the newly opened Central Public Library in Bugis Singapore offers a delightful experience for literature enthusiasts, families, and anyone seeking a unique learning adventure. Operated by the National Library Board, this revamped library, located at Basement One of the National Library Building, promises a myriad of learning experiences for all ages.

Book shelves and green walls.
Book shelves and green walls. Let’s take an explore of the new Bugis Central public library explorations.

Upon entering, the vast open space at the library’s entrance immediately captures attention. Unlike its previous old layout, the emphasis is now on open communal spaces rather than densely packed bookshelves. This open space serves not only as a welcoming area but also as a potential venue for events and pop-up exhibitions.

The library entrance lobby space.
The library entrance lobby space.

Also, adding a touch of history, two red brick walls, constructed from 5,000 red bricks from the old National Library building at Stamford Road, flank the entrance gantries.

5000 red bricks from old National Library.
5,000 red bricks from the old National Library building.
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Entrance book drop
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Entry gantries
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Library map

Furthermore, an opening plaque by Mrs. Josephine Teo, Minister for Communications and Information, and a library map greet visitors at the entrance. The Singapore Alcove, nestled in a corner of the open space, pays homage to the nation’s culture.

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Opening plaque
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Central library space
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Open and event spaces

Also, interestingly, the library underwent its first full-fledged revamp in June 2022, closing its doors and reopening on January 12, 2024, reflecting its prime location in the Bras Basah and the Bugis arts and heritage district.

Main library area

Central reading area
Central reading area surrounded by shelves.

The main library area, the central hub of the library, boasts a smaller book section, carefully segmented from children and activity areas. As visitors stroll through the shelves, they encounter Singapore-themed murals and unique points of interest, such as robot display elements.

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Artwork murals
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Robotic displays
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Books books books!
Digital Magazines selections for reading.
Digital Magazines selections for reading at the magazine kiosks or online.

Moreover, these murals, crafted by local artists and students from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, add a vibrant touch to the library’s ambiance.

Library shelves with the iconic flower shaped tiles.
Library shelves with the iconic flower shaped tiles.

Also, themed decorative flower-shaped patterns inspired by the old national library adorn the bookshelves, and the collection mainly comprises new books, making borrowing an enticing proposition for avid readers.

Soft carpets makes walking through slient.
Soft carpets makes walking through silent.

Moreover, the central library area follows an open concept layout, with thin partitions separating the lobby area and bookshelves. There is also a reading area for digital media too via computer terminals.

PC and digital media reading areas.
PC and digital media reading areas.

Borrowing stations, book search PCs, shelves with librarians’ picks, program rooms, and an Immersive Room, doubling as an event space for exhibitions, are seamlessly integrated.

There is an extensive business and computers IT section here.
There is an extensive business and computers IT section here.

Also, most of the books here are notably new. It beckons you to borrow them given the mint condition they are in.

Comics and pop culture section.
Comics and pop culture section.

Notably, during my visit, the StoryGen, produced by the NLB and Amazon Web Services, was featured in the Immersive Room.

StoryGen, an AI-inspired exhibition produced by the NLB and Amazon Web Services
StoryGen, an AI-inspired exhibition produced by the NLB and Amazon Web Services
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StoryGen interactive elements
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Projection scenes
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Brand new books in various materials

Old memories at the Singapore Alcove

The SG Alcove area off the lobby area.
The SG Alcove area off the lobby area.

The Singapore Alcove, with its immersive space integrating the Singapore collection, transports visitors through the nation’s stories. Designed like a small playground with wooden shelves and cozy nooks, it showcases murals of old Singapore scenes, including iconic HDB playgrounds and the big splash. An inaugural exhibition titled “Lepak Landscapes: Life and Leisure in Singapore” adds a nostalgic touch.

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Going back in older days
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Alcove reading area
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Memories Corner points of interest

Furthermore, for those yearning for a stroll down memory lane, the library provides a Memories Corner- an outdoor space accessible via glass doors. Complementing the library’s green indoor and outdoor spaces, bronze figures of children and adults, along with informational walls, provide a glimpse into the library’s historical significance.

Memories Corner an outdoor space.
Memories Corner an outdoor space.

Children’s Biodiversity Library

Central marine themed play areas.
Central marine themed play areas.

Dedicated to young readers, the Children’s Biodiversity Library by S.E.A. Aquarium stands out as a unique addition. Offering content on Singapore culture, literature, and sustainability.

Children's Biodiversity Library developed in partnership with Resorts World Sentosa.
Children’s Biodiversity Library developed in partnership with Resorts World Sentosa.

It features a marine biodiversity-themed learning space developed in partnership with Resorts World Sentosa.

Creating an engaging and educational environment for young minds.
Creating an engaging and educational environment for young minds.
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Marine animal themed
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Kids stations
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Suitable for all ages

Also, the sector’s Intertidal Zone within the Children’s Biodiversity Library boasts marine creature-inspired carpeted flooring and a collection of marine specimens, creating an engaging and educational environment for young minds.

Interactive screen to learn of marine life.
Interactive screen to learn of marine life.
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Junior book selections
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Marine specimens
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Multipurpose Submarine hall

Moreover, the library’s commitment to sustainability is evident in its focus on marine biodiversity, exemplified by the Children’s Biodiversity Library by S.E.A. Aquarium. A multipurpose hall called the Submarine, dedicated to education programs on marine biology, complements the immersive experiences offered. The library’s operational hours from 10 am to 9 pm daily ensure accessibility for visitors looking to explore this cultural and educational haven.

Reading area and outdoor spaces.
Reading area and outdoor spaces.

In conclusion, the revamped Bugis Central Public Library stands as a testament to Singapore’s rich culture and literature. The emphasis on sustainability, highlighted by the Children’s Biodiversity Library by S.E.A. Aquarium, adds a unique dimension to the library’s offerings. Whether you are a book enthusiast or seeking an educational outing, spending under an hour at 100 Victoria Street is a worthwhile experience.

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