Serangoon Public Library Offers New Experience for Gamers and Shoppers

Release Date : 11 Mar 2011

First public library in Singapore to focus on gaming as a learning pedagogy

Singapore, 11 March 2011 – Residents staying in the North East region of Singapore will now be able to enjoy convenient access to learning resources with the opening of the new Serangoon Public Library (SRPL) today. The first public library in Singapore to have a dedicated area for gaming, SRPL aims to promote learning and a reading culture by tapping on the educational effects of games. The games featured in this area will demonstrate significant educational content or learning value. Apart from housing interactive game stations, SRPL also offers an extensive collection of game-related titles to enhance the learning and discovery process for novice and seasoned gamers alike. SRPL has also partnered with gaming entities such as the Singapore Cybersports and Online Gaming Association and DigiPen Institute of Technology, to organise programmes and workshops related to gaming.

Pick and Go

Located at retail mall nex and the heart of a major transportation node, the library offers a wide selection of quick and easy reads such as comics, graphic novels and magazines which will be prominently displayed to make it easy for users  to pick up a book on the go.

Ms Yeoh Chee Yan, Chairman, National Library Board (NLB), and Second Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education said: “The Serangoon Public Library is the result of a close collaboration with the community. In planning this new library, we worked closely with users, residents and various community groups, seeking views and suggestions to create a social learning space that promotes learning and reading. NLB will continue to enhance our service offerings to remain relevant, accessible and convenient to our users.”

With a floor area of 1,635 square metres, SRPL has a startup collection of approximately 150,000 items, which include books, magazines and audio-visual materials in the four official languages. These include 70,000 volumes of fiction and non-fiction books for children and 80,000 volumes for adults and young people. The library will also carry over 400 local and international magazine titles and a selection of local newspapers in the four official languages.

Thematic Community Programmes

To celebrate the opening of SRPL, an exhibition titled “Serangoon: A place like no other” will be on display at the library. This exhibition showcases the heritage of the Serangoon area, as well as winning entries of the recently held “People, Places & Recollections” photo contest, where the community was invited to share photographs on the Serangoon area. SRPL has also partnered the National Heritage Board (NHB) to feature two exhibitions on “Food” and “Spice” targeted at children and young people, to create awareness and educate on the heritage of Singapore's street food and spice trade. Please refer to Annex 1 for more information on the exhibitions.

The library has also teamed up with community and grassroots organisations to organise thematic programmes that engage both the young and old through interactive learning. Library users can look forward to programmes on heritage and green living as well as perennial favourites such as storytelling sessions for children. Please refer to Annex 2 for the list of programmes. For more information on upcoming programmes at SRPL, the public may visit NLB's Go Library website at

Annex 1

List of exhibitions at Serangoon Public Library

1. “Serangoon: A Place Like No Other” Exhibition

Where is Ang Sali and what does the term mean? Who is Singapore's “bee hoon king”? Once covered with fruit orchards, rubber plantations and villages, Serangoon today is perhaps most famed for its culinary finds. But good food is not the only thing that defines this place. Pockets of the past, diverse cultures and a strong kampung spirit - these are just some of what one may discover while strolling along Serangoon's streets. Ready to explore one of the most colourful areas in Singapore? Kickstart your journey at this exhibition tracing Serangoon's transformation over the last two centuries!

2. “Spice Frontier: Changing Boundaries, Evolving Uses” Exhibition

Even before the British established Singapore as a trading post in 1819, there were already a small number of gambier plantations on the island. Subsequently, spice cultivation expanded as the British actively encouraged the planting of nutmeg while the Chinese independently grew gambier and pepper. This exhibition documents the rise and fall of gambier and nutmeg cultivation in Singapore during the heady days of the spice trade, and the various uses of spices in our everyday life. Discover Singapore's “spicy” past in this exhibition which aims to provide a historical overview of spice cultivation in Singapore.

3. NHB Heritage Food Gallery

Singapore food originated from street food sold by hawkers who thronged the harbour front and building sites in the late 1800s. From neighbouring countries, dishes were adopted and adapted to suit the palates from different culture. This gallery showcases the various popular hawker food that is part of Singapore's food heritage.

Annex 2

List of programmes at Serangoon Public Library in March 2011

1. Digital Game Design Workshop by DigiPen

Sunday, 13 March, 1.30 - 3.30 pm

Find out what it takes to create a video game that may just give you a headstart in the video games industry. At this hands-on session conducted by trainers from DigiPen, the world's premier game development institute, you will learn more about the creative and engineering aspects of game design, plus a chance to create your own electronic games using DigiPen's ProjectFUN game development kit.

2. Cyberwellness Workshop by Singapore Cybersports and Online Gaming Association

Sunday, 13 March, 4.00 – 6.00 pm

Learn how to protect yourself online from experts from the Singapore Cybersports and Online Gaming Association. Apart from finding out more about Internet and gaming addiction, netiquette, cyber bullying, intellectual property issues and achieving a balanced lifestyle, you will also get a chance to participate in a range of workshop activities.

3. Learning through Gameplay: Para Life Gaming Session

Wednesday, 16 March, 1.30 – 3.30 pm

Test your understanding of cell biology in Para Life, an exciting PC game that pits players against one another in challenging tasks.

4. Crazy and Fun in Wonderland by Ministry of Games

Thursday, 17 March, 2.00 - 2.30pm

Play games inspired by Alice's Wonderland! Everyone gets to wear a silly hat to this party! You'll roll over with laughter during games like the Tea Party Showdown, or become a funky March Hare Hopper and hop your way to great prizes! All play materials, including the hat, will be provided.

There's nothing but fun and excitement in wonderland! This programme is open to children aged 6–10.

Please register via our e-Kiosks available at all libraries, or at

5. Gaming @ Serangoon Public Library

Friday, 18 March, 2.00 – 4.00 pm

Never thought you could play games in the library? Now you can! Join us in our gaming session where you can have fun and sharpen your minds with selected video games on the Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360. Plus, you will also get a chance to learn more about Singapore and world history with our range of heritage and historical board games.

6. Memories of Upper Serangoon by Mr Bernard Chiang, Braddell Heights Citizens' Consultative Committee (CCC)

Saturday, 19 March, 5.00 – 6.00 pm

Talk a walk down memory lane as Mr Bernard Chiang, a long-time resident of Serangoon, Vice Chairman of the Braddell Heights Citizens' CCC and the Chairman of Braddell Heights Inter-Racial and Religious Confidence Circle (IRCC), shares his memories of the Upper Serangoon area and how it has changed over the years. You will also get to see a number of photos of the area from his personal collection. This talk is jointly organised with Braddell Heights grassroots organisations.

Please register via our e-Kiosks available at all libraries, or at (please click on “Heritage” and look for the programme title.

7. The Upper Serangoon Story by Serangoon Grassroots Organisation (GRO)

Sunday, 20 March, 11.00 am – 2.00 pm, Programme Zone, Serangoon Public Library

Jointly organised with Braddell Heights Inter-Racial and Religious Confidence Circle and grassroots organisations, this trail will bring you on a journey to the various places of worship around the Upper Serangoon area. Step back in time as you visit the sites of the former Lim Tua Tow Market, Upper Serangoon Community Club, Paya Lebar Police Station, Simon Road Market and much more.

Please wear comfortable attire and walking shoes for this trail. Do remember to bring your umbrella and some drinks. Feel free to bring your cameras and start clicking!

Please register via our e-Kiosks available at all libraries, or at (please click on “Heritage” and look for the programme title.

About the guide

Mr Charles Soh is a freelance guide registered with the Singapore Tourism Board.

8. Learning through Gameplay: Praxis Board Game Workshop by EduWealth

Sunday, 20 March, 2.00 - 4.00 pm

Plan your way to financial success by learning about the basics of financial management through the Praxis board game developed by Eduwealth. At this interactive board game session, you will learn the importance of financial planning, including insurance, savings and retirement plans - even at a young age. It's never too early to plan for retirement and consider the need for insurance protection. The game will also cover the importance of good credit management and prudence in inflationary times.