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Library on the go

Heading down to a physical library may soon be a thing of the past, with the revamped NLB Mobile app.
Heading down to a physical library may soon be a thing of the past, with the revamped NLB Mobile app.PHOTO: SPH

With the revamped mobile application from the National Library Board (NLB), it is now possible for Singaporeans to carry an entire library of resources in their pocket.

The NLB Mobile app aims to help users utilise the various services that are available without having to actually make the trip to a physical library.

Convenience matters

One such user is Ms Amanda Phoon, 26, a corporate communications executive, who enjoys searching for books with the user-friendly in-app catalogue.

She says: “I love reading on the train to work, but it can be pretty troublesome bringing books around as they don’t always fit into my bag.

”So, I downloaded the NLB app and started using it borrow eBooks. It’s the best choice ever, as I get to read on the go and it’s free!”


Use the various services offered by the National Library Board without having to actually make the trip to a physical library. PHOTO: NATIONAL LIBRARY BOARD

Ms Phoon adds: “The app is super convenient to use and I also use it to check and renew my loans of physical books.”

Another user who appreciates that particular feature is Ms Katelyn Lee, 24, an enrichment tutor.

She said: “I always forget when my books are due, so being able to check the dates and renew them on my phone has saved me from accumulating and having to pay fines.”

Ms Lee adds: “Whenever I am looking for a specific book, it is really helpful to see which library closest to me has it so I don’t have to make multiple trips to various libraries.”

Apart from the NLB’s large eCollection, there are also plenty of other functions to entice users.

Here are five reasons to download and use the revamped NLB Mobile:

Read anywhere

While waiting in line for the bus, whip out your mobile device and start reading.


NLB Mobile app users can choose from over 350,000 eBooks available while reading on the go. PHOTO: NATIONAL LIBRARY BOARD

With over 350,000 eBooks available, the app allows users to enjoy the convenience of reading on the go.

Users can read the eBooks online via the app or download them for offline reading through the Overdrive App.

The search function makes it easier for readers to find exactly what they need. Searches can now be filtered by criteria such as language, category and type.

Plus, users will have free access to over 7,000 eMagazines and eNewspapers, allowing them to read and download these e-publications anywhere, at any time.

At your fingertips

Skip the trip to the borrowing stations.

With the app, users can loan books simply by scanning the barcodes with their mobile phone cameras.


Users can view their borrowing history and renew their loans through the app. PHOTO: NATIONAL LIBRARY BOARD

Users will also be able to view their borrowing history and renew their loans if they need more time. They can also receive book recommendations, and recommend new titles to the library.

In addition, they can also share what they are currently reading and recommend their favourite books via Twitter, Facebook or WhatsApp.

Get your favourite books

Users can now easily keep track of their favourite publications by bookmarking them, place reservations on the items they want and collect them at their convenience.


Users can keep track of their favourite publications by bookmarking them. PHOTO: NATIONAL LIBRARY BOARD

For those who would like to get physical books from the library, the Bookmap function will highlight their exact locations.

This Bookmap feature is currently available at six libraries: Pasir Ris Public Library, Yishun Public Library, Bukit Panjang Public Library, Sengkang Public Library, Bedok Public Library and Tampines Regional Library.

Pay with ease

The app allows users to make payments for outstanding fines for physical books or reservation fees using PayPal or credit cards.


Add multiple user profiles to track the loan activities, bookmarks and transactions of the entire family. PHOTO: NATIONAL LIBRARY BOARD

The app also enables users to add other user profiles, so they can track the loan activity, bookmarks and transactions of family members as well.

Updating personal particulars, such as email addresses or mobile numbers, will also be a breeze. Singaporeans and permanent residents can also sign up for library membership through the app.