Revamped Bukit Panjang Library to reopen on July 1

Bukit Panjang Library's new interactive storytelling room.
An artist's impression of the children’s area at Bukit Panjang Public Library.
An artist's impression of the children’s area at Bukit Panjang Public Library.PHOTO: MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION

SINGAPORE - Bukit Panjang Public Library will reopen on July 1 after a 10-month closure to revamp and increase its floor space.

The library, which is in Bukit Panjang Plaza, was renovated to meet the needs of the Bukit Panjang population, which is expected to grow by 15 per cent by 2030.

The new space and its features were unveiled on Thursday (July 22) during a media preview ahead of the official opening by Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim.

The new library space, which has an 85 per cent increase in floor space, is divided into two distinct wings, which are located in facing units on the fourth floor of the mall.

The old library space has been turned into an adult and teens zone with a volunteer-run space that will have discussion areas and a reading lounge area.

"Having it run by volunteers was about letting the community take ownership of the space, so that it could be run by the community, for the community," said associate librarian Joti Upadhya, 28, who was involved in the redesign of the library.


There will also be a redesigned children's space, which will occupy the area previously rented by Japanese retailer Daiso.

In this space, there will be a multimedia storytelling room called 'Stories Come Alive Room' that will make use of images, light and sound effects to create interactive storytelling sessions for children.

Storytellers can use voice activation or a control panel on a tablet to activate various effects that will play across three walls of the space when conducting their sessions.

Nanyang Polytechnic animation student Nursabrina Muhamad Lokman, 19, who worked on some of the animation featured in the room said: "We took inspiration from children's books and flash animation to create something that would be engaging for young children to watch."

Both new spaces also feature colour-coded way finding paths linking books by age-group and genre,as opposed to the traditional method of finding books using the dewey decimal classification system.

"This was to make looking for and reading books feel more like a journey, where users can be more independent," said Ms Upadhya.

"For young children, text can be confusing, the colourful lines can make things more fun and interesting, like an adventure."

There is also a 'book mountain' in each wing which is an innovative shelving design where readers can ascend a gradual ramp, discovering new books along the way.

"This place holds a lot of fond memories of reading to my daughter," said Madam Uma Melarcode Dharma Rajan, 44, a housewife that has been volunteering as a storyteller at the library since 2005,

"It's really exciting that the library has grown so much, it is now state of the art."