A long queue formed on the fourth floor of the newly renovated White Sands Shopping Centre in Pasir Ris yesterday morning.
The adults with bags in hand and children in tow were not waiting to have brunch, but to enter the revamped Pasir Ris Public Library, which reopened yesterday after nine months.
The library has returned with a strong focus on teenagers, given the high ratio of young people in the east. It has added some snazzy features to appeal to teens, including a digital doodle wall - a virtual white board where visitors can "write" messages with their fingers.
At the new Teens' Mezzanine space, library-goers can browse book promotional videos made by the National Library Board (NLB) on a screen. They can also make book recommendations by scanning library books on a panel. These will be saved, so teens can view books enjoyed by their peers.
Coral Secondary School student Eliisa Abdullah, 15, one of about 40 teen volunteers who help to manage the Teens' Mezzanine, said it makes for a cozy hangout place. "It is also easier to find books that would interest teenagers, such as realistic fiction about school life and friends," said the Secondary 3 student.
Other unique public libraries
This library on the fourth floor of the Orchard Gateway shopping mall is a design-centric one. Its collection of books and magazines has a focus on design, including fashion, graphic and interior design.
CENTRAL PUBLIC LIBRARY
It houses the world's first green library, for children to learn about environmental issues. My Tree House is the centrepiece of the forest-themed children's library at the building in Victoria Street. It is a 3.3m-tall treehouse with a canopy made of 3,000 recycled bottles.
BISHAN PUBLIC LIBRARY
Located behind Junction 8 Shopping Centre, the iconic building has a focus on architecture. The library is known for its unique appearance, with multi-coloured pods cantilevered off the building's facade. In 2013, it was featured on CNN Travel's list of seven of the world's most beautiful libraries.
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, an MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, was the guest of honour at yesterday's event.
The Pasir Ris library is one of NLB's 26 public libraries, each catering to different needs. While the Pasir Ris branch focuses on teens, it caters to all age groups. It has a children's section and parent-child reading zone where books are displayed with their covers, not spines, facing out.
Staff software engineer Shailesh Subbanna, 41, who visited the library with his two-year-old daughter Arya, thinks this is a good idea: "My daughter can be independent and choose her own book instead of me picking out one for her."
The library has new quick-charge stations and at least five reading areas, one of which overlooks Pasir Ris Park. Its four e-newspaper reader terminals offer six newspaper titles, including The Straits Times.
The library was redesigned after seeking residents' views, said NLB.
In a statement, Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim called the library a role model. He said: "The revamped Pasir Ris Public Library has created a space for teens and introduced new digital initiatives for the convenience of all library users."