Libraries and archives will reopen on 1 July 2020 with shorter opening hours

Singapore, 24 June 2020 – The National Library Board (NLB) is pleased to announce that the National Library Building, the National Archives of Singapore building, our 25 public libraries and the Former Ford Factory will reopen to the public on 1 July 2020 with shorter opening hours and capacity controls in place. This is in line with the safe reopening measures under Phase 2 and to safeguard the health and safety of our patrons and staff.

  1. The National Library, our public libraries and the National Archives of Singapore will operate with shorter opening hours from 11.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. daily until further notice, while the Former Ford Factory will open from 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. The Oldham Theatre will remain closed. Please refer to Annex A for more details on the operating hours and services available at our facilities.
  2. With the reopening of our libraries, we will operate on a ‘borrow and go’ model where patrons will be able to borrow and return physical library materials as well as use our reservation and book drop services. However, all seating and study areas in our premises, including newspaper and multimedia stations, will not be available. All programmes, guided tours and events in our physical spaces will also continue to be temporarily suspended. Patrons are encouraged to use the NLB mobile app to scan and borrow physical library materials as a means of contactless borrowing.
  3. In line with the safe distancing measures, we will limit the crowd capacity in our facilities to 50 persons per floor. We will also implement timed entry and limit each patron’s visit to our public libraries to 30 minutes. To minimise the need to queue for entry into our libraries, patrons are encouraged to make an online booking for their preferred entry slots.  Patrons visiting the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library and National Archives of Singapore for their research needs will also be required to make an online booking. We will provide more details on the online booking system at a later date.
  4. Patrons who visit our facilities must observe the Ministry of Health’s advisories such as the use of SafeEntry for check in and check out, compulsory wearing of mask, temperature taking, and safe distancing measures. In view of the capacity restrictions, patrons may have to queue and wait before they can enter our premises. Patrons can check or the NLB mobile app ( for the real-time crowd capacity in our libraries and archives before visiting.
  5. To ensure that our facilities remain safe for our patrons, cleaning and sanitisation of high touch points will be carried out once every 2 hours. During the circuit breaker, we had extended the loan period for physical library materials from three to six weeks. This extension of loan period for these materials will continue until 31 December 2020.
  6. Chief Executive Officer, Ng Cher Pong said, “We are delighted to welcome our patrons back to our physical facilities. As the health and safety of our patrons and staff remains our top priority, we have put in place Safe Management Measures so that everyone can have a safe, enjoyable and enriching experience when visiting our libraries and archives.”
  7. NLB’s digital offerings will continue to be available at, the NLB mobile app and our social media channels (@nlbsg). This includes more than 800,000 eBooks and audiobooks, digital storytelling sessions, unlimited checkouts for our curated collection of eBooks, free access to SPH‘s eNewspapers, online talks, programmes and workshops, as well as our learning packages. These have been well received during the circuit breaker period with the number of eBook loans growing by more than 150% as compared to the same period a year ago. Please refer to Annex B for the highlights of NLB’s digital offerings during the circuit breaker.

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About National Library Board
The National Library Board (NLB) nurtures Readers for Life, Learning Communities and a Knowledgeable Nation by promoting reading, learning and history through its network of 27 public libraries, the National Library and the National Archives of Singapore. NLB also forges strategic partnerships that encourage awareness, appreciation and greater discovery of Singapore’s history through its rich collections on Singapore and the region.

NLB achieves excellence through innovation, focusing on citizen engagement and co-creation, resource and digital innovation. This creates learning opportunities, greater access to library resources, services and archival collections, as well as a continual development of innovative library spaces. Established on 1 September 1995 as a statutory board, NLB is under the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI).

For more information, please visit the NLB website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.


Annex A - Shorter opening hours and list of services available (from 1 July 2020)

Annex B - NLB’s digital offerings during the circuit breaker