We thank Mr Colin Ong Tau Shien for his feedback (NLB should encourage reading on mobile devices; Nov 2).
As part of the National Library Board's (NLB) efforts to remain relevant to Singaporeans' information and learning needs, our libraries have evolved to have differentiated learning spaces and targeted services for the community.
We have also improved the accessibility of our library network system according to shifting demographics so that our libraries can better serve patrons more effectively.
We do so by co-locating our libraries with other community facilities or shopping malls near major transport nodes to enable more patrons across Singapore to benefit from our services.
Physical libraries remain important community spaces that offer learning in a variety of forms, especially through the extensive range of programmes offered.
Our libraries also provide a mix of print and electronic collections and resources that are curated and organised into intuitive clusters for better discovery.
Outside of physical libraries, NLB offers a wide range of free digital resources for members who prefer to read on the go through the NLB Mobile app (http://nlb.gov.sg/static/ NLBMobileGuide/).
These include more than 480,000 e-books and audiobooks, 7,400 e-newspaper and e-magazine titles, as well as 7,000 online courses.
On Mr Ong's suggestion to set up reading corners, NLB has already partnered with various organisations to set up such facilities at community touchpoints.
We currently support a total of 44 reading corners islandwide which are located in community centres, senior activity centres, pre-schools and health service providers.
Each corner provides a collection of about 500 books donated by NLB.
On top of these reading corners, we are rolling out more virtual library touchpoints, where people can browse e-books and borrow them on the spot. These are currently available in Century Square mall, Ulu Pandan Community Club and Ngee Ann Polytechnic. We plan to extend this service to other malls, health service providers and learning institutions.
We will continue to improve access to library services and resources across physical and digital formats to support different reading needs and interests.
Catherine Lau (Ms)
Assistant Chief Executive
Public Library Services
National Library Board