Visitors may find it a challenge to keep their eyes on a book all the time at the new library @ harbourfront, with its location on the third level of VivoCity offering sweeping views of the sea and Sentosa.
The coastal theme runs through the facility, which opens on Jan 12 - from its blue-green colour scheme to deck chairs for readers to relax on as they browse the refreshed collection of 200,000 books.
Spanning 3,000 sq m, or about half a football field, it is the biggest of 13 libraries located in a mall here. There are 26 public libraries in Singapore. The latest at VivoCity has a seating capacity of 460, with two separate zones for adults and children, to help with noise reduction and crowd management.
The section for children will feature a dedicated area for children to develop problem-solving and early literacy skills.
Children can engage in paper crafting activities and explore word puzzles on their own, and read augmented reality books - library @ harbourfront has the largest collection of such titles to complement its digital focus - on topics such as space, animals and body health.
The books have QR codes, which users can scan using apps downloaded from the App Store or Google Play Store, to make the books "come alive" on their mobile devices.
Size of the new library in sq m - or about half a football field. It is the biggest of 13 libraries located in a mall here. There are 26 public libraries in Singapore.
There are six learning pods for adults to access digital content and resources to upgrade their skills, such as TED Talks videos and online courses from LyndaLibrary.
LyndaLibrary is an e-learning courseware that offers an on-demand library of instructional videos covering topics such as business, creative design and technology.
The adult zone will be run by volunteers, similar to the arrangement at a number of existing libraries, including library @ chinatown and Bukit Panjang Public Library.
The new library replaces Bukit Merah Public Library in Bukit Merah Central, which closed on Nov 30 last year.
News of the relocation did not go down well with some Bukit Merah residents, who started a petition to keep the library in its original location, where it had been since 1982.
In response, the National Library Board (NLB) set up 12 reading corners in the area, offering more than 5,000 books and 250 seats in total.
Retiree Ho Hew Lee, 76, who has been volunteering at public libraries for about 10 years, will be deployed at the library @ harbourfront.
He helps senior citizens learn how to use the new NLB mobile app, digital borrowing machine and e-newspapers. He also conducts digital literacy workshops for seniors.
"Volunteering is a way for me to make friends. Given my background, it is easy for me to bridge the digital divide and learn how to use new technologies," said the retired electrical engineer.
NLB's assistant chief executive of public libraries Catherine Lau said library @ harbourfront has a strong focus on digital technologies.
This is in keeping with other libraries such as library @ chinatown, library @ orchard and library @ esplanade which have collections in Chinese arts and heritage, design, and performing arts, respectively.
Ms Lau said: "We want to inspire our readers to come and to learn beyond the horizon, discover new things and embark on a journey of lifelong learning."