Pasir Ris library opens doors again after nine months, with an eye on teens and digital natives

A visitor using the Quick Charge station, a new facility at the reopened Pasir Ris Public Library.
A visitor using the Quick Charge station, a new facility at the reopened Pasir Ris Public Library.ST PHOTO: AUDREY TAN
DPM Teo Chee Hean writing on the digital doodle wall at the Pasir Ris Public Library. He wrote "Life's super with books!".
DPM Teo Chee Hean writing on the digital doodle wall at the Pasir Ris Public Library. He wrote "Life's super with books!".ST PHOTO: AUDREY TAN
DPM Teo Chee Hean speaking at the library's opening.
DPM Teo Chee Hean speaking at the library's opening.ST PHOTO: AUDREY TAN

SINGAPORE - The Pasir Ris Public Library re-opened its doors to a crowd of avid readers on Saturday morning, after a nine-month closure due to renovation work.

The library, located on the fourth floor of the White Sands Shopping Centre, now has a strong focus on teenagers. It features a newly-built mezzanine area dedicated to young people, called the Teens' Mezzanine. Previously, the library only had one floor. The new mezzanine - a second storey that overlooks the main library area - has expanded the library's floor area by around a tenth.

The Teens' Mezzanine is designed for digital natives to connect and interact with books and each other - physically and digitally.

For instance it will also host book promotional videos produced by the National Library Board (NLB). Teenagers will also be able to make book recommendations on social media on the same screen used to share the promotional videos. A digital doodle wall will also facilitate discussions and debate.

The Teens' Mezzanine will be managed by volunteers from the Inspiring Readers Society, made up of reading ambassadors aged between 13 and 19. The society curates book displays and leads programmes for teenagers.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who is also an MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, toured the new premises and in his speech encouraged the public to visit the library more often to read and learn.

Aside from the teen focus, the Pasir Ris Public Library also features a number of other reading zones and technological additions that will appeal to people from other age groups.

There is a children's section and parent-child reading zone, an adult collection featuring a more books, and a quick charge station with power points for users to charge their devices. Four newspaper e-readers with six newspaper titles, which includes The Straits Times, will allow users to adjust font size for comfortable reading.

The NLB said that the library was redesigned with the residents of Pasir Ris in mind. Meet-the-customer sessions and focus group discussions were held to seek their views.

Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim called the new library "a role model for all libraries in Singapore". He said in a statement: "The revamped Pasir Ris Public Library has created a space for teens and introduced new digital initiatives for the convenience of all library users."