Room for improvement in our libraries

As an avid reader, I often visit public libraries in the countries I travel to.

Recently, I visited the Penang Digital Library in Georgetown and I was impressed by the facilities.

The library is open 24/7 and provides information to the public through its more than 3,000 curated e-books, e-magazines and reference journals.

Members can also borrow iPads for free.

To provide safety for visitors, the library has security personnel on duty at all times, and closed-circuit television cameras have been installed to monitor and ensure that users do not abuse the facilities.

Students who need to study for exams can stay at the library throughout the night, and they do not need to worry about food, as the library has an in-house cafe which operates 24 hours daily.

The annual fee is RM60 (S$20) for adults and RM30 for students.

Our National Library Board can learn from the Penang Digital Library.

Perhaps the library in Victoria Street can be kept open 24/7 as well.

Heng Cho Choon

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2018, with the headline 'Room for improvement in our libraries'. Print Edition | Subscribe