Indoor garden, hydroponics room in bigger, greener Choa Chu Kang library

Sustainability was a key theme in the revamp of the library. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
The Hydroponics Showcase at Choa Chu Kang Public Library. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Decorations found in the Teen Zone at Choa Chu Kang Public Library. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Visitors to the Choa Chu Kang Public Library will be treated to a bigger and greener experience when it reopens next Thursday (Oct 28).

The library will now span two floors, instead of one, and will feature an indoor garden and a hydroponics room.

It will also have new digital learning tools, such as live streams of nature and updates from the World Wildlife Fund Singapore, to help increase environmental awareness and sustainable living.

Launched with the theme of (Re)Connect with Nature, the library is one of the next-generation libraries that form part of the National Library Board's (NLB) Libraries and Archives Blueprint 2025. This is the NLB's masterplan to streamline its library and archive services.

The total area of the library has been expanded from 2,200 sq m to 3,000 sq m - about the size of six basketball courts.

The library is located on the fourth and fifth storeys of the Lot 1 shopping mall in Choa Chu Kang.

The upper floor features the indoor garden and is designated as a section for parents and young children under the age of six.

Workshops on urban farming and food security will be hosted in the hydroponics room.

A climate action corner will provide information to educate the public about climate change and taking steps to reduce one's carbon footprint.

The hydroponics room and climate action corner are part of the Green Grove, a $500,000 initiative by the CapitaLand Hope Foundation to help cultivate environmental awareness among the public through upcoming workshops on urban farming and food security.

Sustainability was a key theme in the revamp of the library, said NLB assistant chief executive Catherine Lau.

"The bigger area and lower shelves allow the library to be brighter from the natural light coming in.

"Many of the new fittings, such as the tiles and carpet, were made from partially recycled materials, so we've tried to make sure that the library itself leads by example in championing sustainability," she said.

The library is located on the fourth and fifth storeys of the Lot 1 shopping mall. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

The revamped library will be piloting a space that will be open to the public for extended use.

The Study and Multimedia Zone will open two hours before the rest of the library does and close one hour after the library is shut - from 9am to 10pm.

The rest of the library will operate from 11am to 9pm.

The Study and Multimedia Zone at Choa Chu Kang Public Library. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Renovation work on the revamp started in 2019, and it was the first time the library had undergone a major overhaul since it opened in 1997.

It was moved from the third to the fourth floor in 2008.

A string of eco-themed workshops and events has been lined up in the coming months after the library welcomes back the public.

Educational display on farming at level 4 of Choa Chu Kang Public LIbrary. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

One such event is the Green Market, which aims to offer families a variety of talks, workshops and exhibitions to introduce them to principles of sustainable living and connect them with green organisations and initiatives.

The Green Market will run from Nov 12 to 14.

The initiative is a collaborative effort between NLB and the Asia Sustainability Forum (ASF).

ASF co-founder Edward Tay said events such as the Green Market are one way libraries can contribute to raising public awareness on climate change and sustainable practices.

Ms Lau said the NLB hopes the revamped library will offer visitors a starting point to learn about environmental issues and inspire them to take steps to combat climate change and live sustainably.

She said: "We want to make use of these various spaces to deliver learning experiences so that you can still take away something without borrowing a book.

"It's about inspiring people to learn, and hopefully within the mall, it can become a beacon of learning."

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