Singapore's First Early Literacy Library Gives Young Children A Headstart On Reading

Release Date : 10 Apr 2014

The National Library Board's (NLB) first Early Literacy Library opens its doors to visitors today at the basement of Jurong Regional Library. The library was launched by Ms Sim Ann, Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information and Ministry of Education.

The Early Literacy Library is a key pillar of NLB's Early READ programme, which works with parents and pre-school educators in promoting reading and nurturing the love for reading among children aged six years and below.

The library houses a collection of 60,000 books which caters to two age groups: under 3 years and 4 to 6 years. This collection focuses on five key areas[1] – playing, talking, singing, reading and writing – which are vital to children's learning and development. The collection is categorised into the themes of Sense & Sensation, Concepts, Languages, Poetry & Rhymes and Emergent Reader. The books and materials are available in the four official languages. (Please refer to Annex A for more information on the collection.)

Mrs Elaine Ng, Chief Executive Officer of NLB said, “If young children can discover that reading is fun, they will learn to love reading. Our Early Literacy Library is a welcoming space for them to make that discovery.”

Apart from printed books, interactive storybooks are also available at the library's Digital Storytelling Kiosks.  There are over 100 picture ebooks and games from the Tumblebook Library for children to enjoy.  The library has a dedicated area just for toddlers aged three and below, where parents will be guided through special programmes on interacting with their children through simple songs, action rhymes and finger plays.

In addition, a series of workshops will be held at the Early Literacy Library and selected public libraries to teach parents and pre-school educators how to guide the young ones to read. Parents and pre-school educators can pick up tips on identifying what would best interest the children, selecting suitable books for the young ones and creating a nurturing reading environment at home and in school. Specially-designed reading guides in all four official languages are also available.  They provide information on reading techniques and recommended books that will help parents develop pre-reading skills in their children. Later in the year, a video version of the reading guide will also be distributed to families through all pre-schools.

In conjunction with the opening of the Early Literacy Library, a carnival on early literacy will be held at the library on Saturday, 12 April 2014.  At the carnival, parents and children can enjoy fun reading activities such as craft workshops, games and skits related to the five key areas in their children's learning and development.

[1] This is according to the five Early Literacy Practices.