Learn about our initiatives to serve everyone’s learning needs.
Choose your own learning journey with a wide range of resources
Our libraries (from left to right): Choa Chu Kang Public Library, library@harbourfront
Our public libraries cater to patrons from the young to working adults and senior citizens. We provide a wide lending collection of books, magazines, newspapers, and audio-visual materials across a range of subjects for everyone to use and enjoy.
Besides our lending collection, patrons can learn in other ways at our libraries:
We continue to expand our resources for reading and learning in our public libraries. Most of our services and programmes are offered free-of-charge to Singaporeans and permanent residents in Singapore.
Libraries with specialised resources
Our libraries (from left to right): Singapore Botanic Gardens Library, library@orchard
Among our public libraries are libraries with resources and facilities which cater to specific subjects such as the performing arts (library@esplanade) and design (library@orchard).
Furthermore, NLB also manages specialised public libraries on behalf of partners. The library@chinatown is supported by the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple to promote Chinese language and culture in all four languages. The LLiBrary at the Lifelong Learning Institute is supported by SkillsFuture Singapore to promote reading and lifelong learning among working adults. The Singapore Botanic Gardens Library supports the work of researchers and students of science and horticulture disciplines.
Keen to visit us? Find out about our libraries here.
Bringing books to people with our mobile libraries
We aim to provide equal reading opportunities for all Singaporeans.
Since 2008, we have been operating a total of three mobile libraries (called MOLLY) to deliver the joy of reading to the underprivileged. Our fleet comprises one big MOLLY bus that offers books for adults, children and those with special needs, and two mini-MOLLY buses with a large collection of children’s books to support early literacy.
Our MOLLY buses and the operations are fully sponsored by Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple, and are equipped with assistive features that make the buses more accessible to people with special needs.
Our mobile libraries have made many trips since 2008 and served many residents around Singapore.
Reading and learning programmes
We work closely with communities and partners to develop programmes that make reading and lifelong learning accessible to everyone.
These programmes address each age group’s learning and interests, and each person can participate and learn, whether they are children, teens, adults, or seniors. Our programmes include initiatives such as Project Deliver Me, where volunteers deliver books to those who are homebound, Early Read’s starter kit programme that targets children from lower income families, kidsREAD and WondeRead, which bring reading opportunities to different groups of the community who have difficulty accessing public libraries on their own.
To date, these programmes have reached numerous beneficiaries with the help of thousands of volunteers.
Discover our programmes here.
Learning in your mother tongue language together with others
Beyond making reading accessible to all, we also encourage Singaporeans to come together to read and learn in their mother tongue languages. We have set up several reading clubs, also known as Learning Communities, for all ages in Chinese, Malay and Tamil to build interest and strengthen the command of mother tongue languages among all.
Furthermore, our public libraries host volunteer-run reading clubs for children in Singapore in Chinese, Malay and Tamil. For adults, we have mother tongue language reading clubs to encourage them to make reading and learning in their mother tongue language a lifelong practice.
Bringing our mother tongue language resources to more people
In line with our LAB25 (Libraries and Archives Blueprint 2025) goal to create a Learning Marketplace, we plan to expand the reach of our Learning Communities and grow our mother tongue languages collections. As we do so, our patrons’ mother tongue language learning will be improved by having access to more physical and digital resources in our entire mother tongue languages collection.
Resources about Singapore’s historical and cultural heritage
The National Library is responsible for pre-collecting, preserving, curating and making accessible our documentary and published heritage as well as the provision of trusted reference services. The National Library is the premier resource for works on or about Singapore and the region, and provides the largest selection of reference works in English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil.
The National Library’s physical collections are complemented by a wide range of digital collections, resources and electronic databases such as NewspaperSG for Singapore and Malaya newspapers, Infopedia on all things Singapore, BookSG for digitised rare books and documents, and NORA, the National Online Repository of the Arts.
Learn about Singapore’s past through our collections and exhibitions
Using our rich collections, we create the discovery and greater appreciation of Singapore’s history and culture, as well as create the platform for the public to engage with thought leaders through our active engagement efforts, whether through exhibitions, programmes and publications.
We have two permanent galleries located at the National Library Building. The first is The Donors’ Gallery on Level 10, which features a selection of donations that provide a glimpse into the life of early Singapore.
Learn how to assess if the information you receive is correct
Our second permanent gallery is The News Gallery: Beyond Headlines on Level 11 at the National Library Building. Visitors can learn how to be more discerning about the information and media they receive, through the exhibition’s interactive platforms.
In a time when misinformation and fake news are common, NLB’s role of cultivating an Informed Citizenry has become more important. Our S.U.R.E. (Source, Understand, Research, Evaluate) information literacy programme creates programmes and learning resources to help Singaporeans learn to address this issue.
Using our archives to create interest in Singapore’s heritage
The National Archives of Singapore is the keeper of archival materials of national and historical significance and is one of the vaults of Singapore’s memories. Those who want to learn about Singapore’s rich heritage can refer to our detailed and extensive collection of official and private paper documents, photographs, audio-visual and sound recordings, maps and building plans, and oral history interviews.
Our archival materials can be accessed by members of the public in both the Archives Reading Room at the National Archives of Singapore Building and Archives Online. Archives Online allows everyone to browse through the digital collections using any suitable electronic device at any time. Archives Online can also be used to request and receive copies of archival materials online through our e-Request system.
Our collection is neither static nor passive and we proactively reach out to different communities to involve them in our archives.
As part of our LAB25 (Libraries and Archives Blueprint 2025), we hope to inspire Singapore Storytellers who foster a greater appreciation of Singapore’s heritage. As such, we hope that the revamped National Archives of Singapore Building will become a lively hub for Singaporeans and anyone interested in Singapore to connect with Singapore’s history and culture through our public talks (Archives Invites and Archives Unlocked), tours, workshops and film screenings.
Exhibitions highlighting Singapore’s constitutional history and World War II experience
Besides collecting and providing access to archival materials, the National Archives of Singapore has curated an exhibition on Singapore’s constitutional history currently at the National Gallery of Singapore and a permanent exhibition on World War II at the Former Ford Factory. Digital versions of both these exhibitions – Law of the Land and Surviving the Japanese Occupation – are also available online.
Exhibitions (from left to right): Law of the Land, Surviving the Japanese Occupation
Beyond collecting resources, we also strive to build a vibrant community by actively forging partnerships with both individuals and organisations. For example, we have close to 5,000 active volunteers who contribute to our libraries and archives across a wide range of activities, such as reading programmes and learning workshops.
Learn more about how you can make a difference by volunteering with us.
We are also supported by local and international partners that offer invaluable help in extending the reach of our services and building up our collections. Learn more about partnership opportunities with us.