READ! FEST 2021 Returns With New Programmes, Recommended Books and Interactive Literary Trails To Reinvigorate The Love For Reading

Singapore, 24 June 2021 – The National Library Board’s (NLB) annual signature Read! Fest, returns from 25 June to 18 July 2021 after a hiatus last year, with exciting new online programmes designed to reinvigorate the love for reading and learning among Singaporeans. Themed Reboot, participants can look forward to more than 60 programmes including literary trails, reading sessions, installations and panel discussions with international and local speakers.

To kickstart the seventh edition of Read! Fest, Minister for Communications and Information, Mrs Josephine Teo will be sharing her video message on the theme Reboot, alongside four local and regional authors such as Aaron Lee (moderator for Keep Going: Staying True to the Creative Process), Okky Madasri (author of Kerumunan Terakhir), Chow Teck Seng (moderator for Understanding the Impact of AI through Science Fiction) and Cho Dharman (author of Sool). The close-to-6-minute video will be launched digitally on 25 June 2021, 11.00 am, via NLB’s Facebook page, National Reading Movement’s Facebook Page, and Public Libraries’ Facebook page concurrently, to mark the official start of Read! Fest 2021.

12 English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil books will be featured as this year’s Read! Fest recommended reads. These books present new perspectives on living in the 21st century especially during these uncertain times. The English books are available in both physical and eBooks formats; while the Chinese, Malay and Tamil books are available as physical books in our public libraries. Availability of these books can be checked through the NLB mobile app. We hope these books can provide creative and alternative approaches to life as everyone adapts and embraces change.

One of the main highlights of this seventh edition festival will be the interactive self-guided literary trails located at three sites - West Coast Park, East Coast Park and the ground floor Plaza of the National Library Building. Titled “The Curious Adventure of The Salaryman”, these trails will be accessible to the public from mid-July to September. Participants will be able to journey through an immersive reading experience by scanning the QR codes of physical markers at these sites to activate the storyline and its sensory elements. NLB has also organised island-wide reading activities such as the Read for Books charity drive and the Big Book Giveaway to share the gift of reading with the less privileged and to raise awareness of reading and learning.

“Since the launch of Read! Fest in 2014, we have been heartened by the incredible response from the public, with about 780,000 participants. The sixth edition of Read! Fest in 2019 alone attracted close to 300,000 participants.” said NLB’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ng Cher Pong. “This festival supports our National Reading Movement where we hope to get everyone to Read More, Read Widely and Read Together. This year, we are excited to engage with our patrons through a mix of interactive literary trails, and programmes. We hope to reach out to more patrons in the comfort of their homes and encourage them to come and read with us to find new inspiration in this pandemic.”

Patrons can view the full line up of programmes for Read! Fest 2021 and sign up at More details of Read! Fest 2021, the 12 books and highlights of the programmes are available in Annexes A, B and C.

About Read! Fest
Read! Fest is an annual festival organised by the National Library Board (NLB) to celebrate reading. Held over about a month, it hosts an array of activities to promote reading among Singaporeans. Over the past six runs, Read! Fest has engaged about 780,000 participants through programmes and workshops to encourage reading and learning with the library. With over 60 programmes spanning three weekends this year, Read! Fest 2021 culminates on 18 July 2021 with community reading activities. Read! Fest began in 2014, and later became a part of the National Reading Movement, which was launched in 2016 as a 5-year campaign to encourage people to Read More, Read Widely and Read Together.

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.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Jordan Teo
Weber Shandwick
Tel: +65 9825 5763

Charmaine Lau
Weber Shandwick
Tel: +65 9223 2570