Manga, Robot and More at NLB’s First Grab-N-Go Library in a Mall

20 February 2023

The National Library Board (NLB) will launch a library of Japanese graphic books and comics popularly known as manga, in a fully self-service “Grab-n-Go” library at a mall. Available from 20 Feb 2023 for the next six months, patrons can check out this pop-up Manga Library at Level 4 of City Square Mall, and also have fun with a Mr Kiasu robot onsite that can offer book recommendations, guide them in using Grab-n-Go, among other services!


NLB’s First Manga Library

Following positive public feedback on the Grab-n-Go pilot launched at the National Library Building last May, NLB is now taking the seamless Grab-n-Go experience to patrons at a popular destination, City Square Mall. As NLB’s first manga library, patrons can borrow from a colourful and vast collection of 5,000 manga books, enjoy a wide variety of creative digital manga on e-Reads screens, and discover more about the Singapore comics scene at the exhibition space. Some of the popular manga titles, such as Dragon Ball Z by Akira Toriyama and Spy x Family by Tatsuya Endo, will be available (refer to Annex A).

Manga Library facade at City Square Mall

A vast collection of 5,000 manga book titles for patrons to borrow and enjoy
A vast collection of 5,000 manga book titles for patrons to borrow and enjoy (first and second images). [Photo credit: National Library Board]

Close to 1,000 out of the 5,000 titles, including Assassin’s Creed: Blade of Shao Jun and Pokémon Adventures RGB, are donated by Japanese publisher Shogakukan Asia (refer to Annex B). They will donate more copies as more titles in the donated series are published.

Patrons can also discover more about Singapore’s own rich comic culture at the showcase wall featuring local comics donated by local comic collectors from their personal collection (see Annex C). This showcase aims to draw attention to Singapore’s own strong culture of comics, and features comics that are now hard to find in Singapore. These comics will also be added to the National Library’s collection of heritage materials subsequently. The collection includes Captain V, Singapore’s first full-colour comic, as well as Medium Rare, Singapore’s first comic adaptation of a film. Issues of Bookworm Gang Adventures will also bring back nostalgic memories for Singapore’s comic book fans. This special showcased collection will not be available for loan, and serves as a permanent display for all to enjoy.

A showcase wall featuring local comics donated by local comic collectors
A showcase wall featuring local comics donated by local comic collectors. [Photo credit: National Library Board]

All titles in the Grab-n-Go manga library will be available for browsing and borrowing. Library patrons may also borrow digital copies from the eManga collection on the NLB Mobile app and eResources website at


Mr Kiasu Robot Concierge

Patrons can also look out for the Mr Kiasu robot concierge, based on the lead character in the popular local comic series. Created specially by NLB in collaboration with partners Dex-Lab, a local social robotics company, and one of the co-creators of Mr Kiasu, Johnny Lau, the Mr Kiasu robot concierge, programmed with an AI-generated voice, will recommend books and provide basic instructions on using Grab-n-Go.

User interacting with Interactive life-size model of Mr Kiasu robot concierge
Interactive life-size model of the Mr Kiasu robot concierge. [Photo credit: National Library Board]

NLB’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ng Cher Pong, said: “Many of our patrons enjoy creative and inspiring works like manga, and we are happy to collaborate with Dex-Lab, Shogakukan Asia and City Square Mall, to bring this collection to everyone. The new Grab-n-Go library is part of our LAB25 plans to grow our Learning Marketplace by progressively expanding the network of touch-points for patrons to get NLB’s books and resources even more easily.”


Grab-n-Go Library in a Mall

NLB’s Grab-n-Go aims to make borrowing books easier and more convenient with a seamless automated self-checkout service. This initiative is part of NLB’s ongoing LAB25 (Libraries and Archives Blueprint 2025) efforts to enhance the reading and discovery experience for its patrons and build a vibrant Learning Marketplace through community partnerships. Patrons can scan their ID to enter the space, pick the books that they want to borrow, head to the exit gantry, and check out their books with ease. NLB will continue to explore collaborations with partners, including mall operators, publishers and individual donors, to set up more Grab-n-Go libraries around Singapore.


About the 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 29 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 in 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, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube channels.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Hoe I Yune
Weber Shandwick
Tel: 9324 2061

Leong Jia Yi
Weber Shandwick
Tel: 9236 9646


Annex A

Popular manga titles available in NLB’s first Grab-n-Go library in a mall


Manga Covers

Popular Titles and Synopses


Thumbnail of Dragon Ball manga cover

In Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball Z, Goku and friends battle intergalactic evil in a series that will please fans of action, adventure, fantasy and comedy!


Thumbnail of Cells at Work manga cover

Delve into the human body in Akane Shimizu’s series – Cells at Work! – featuring a red blood cell (who often gets lost during deliveries) and a white blood cell (always hard at work fighting germs) keeping a human body running.


Thumbnail of Spy Family manga cover

In Tatsuya Endo’s Spy x Family, follow a spy who has to build a “family” to execute a mission, but soon finds that his new “family” members have a wide range of skills.


Thumbnail of Bleach series manga cover

Tite Kubo’s manga series Bleach, also adapted into a popular anime series, follows the adventures of a teenager who obtains the powers of a Soul Reaper, along with the duty of defending humans from evil spirits and guiding departed souls to the afterlife.


Thumbnail of Fairy Tail manga cover

Fairy Tail, created by Hiro Mashima, follows the adventures of Natsu Dragneel, a member of the popular wizard guild Fairy Tail, as he searches the fictional world of Earth-land for the dragon Igneel.


Annex B

Manga titles donated by Japanese publisher Shogakukan Asia


Manga Covers

Manga Titles donated by Japanese publisher, Shogakukan Asia


Thumbnail of Beyblade Burst manga cover

Beyblade Burst by Hiro Morita is the new generation of Beyblade based on the popular Beyblade toy franchise by Takara Tomy.


Thumbnail of Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China manga cover

Based on the popular game Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China, Minoji Kurata’s manga follows Shao Jun, China’s last assassin, as she returns to her homeland for vengeance.


Thumbnail of Conan manga

In the popular Detective Conan series by Gosho Aoyama, which has been adapted into video games, live-action dramas, movies, and anime, Ace high school detective Shinichi Kudo was ambushed by a mysterious syndicate and fed a substance that shrunk him into a kid! Follow him on his adventure to find a cure, all while solving cases along the way.


Thumbnail of Pokemon manga cover

Based on the iconic Pokémon video games, Pokémon Adventures is the best-selling children’s manga in Singapore. In this issue, Red doesn’t just want to train Pokémon, he wants to be their friend too, but he has to convince Pikachu!


Annex C

Showcase of Singapore comics donated by local collectors


Singapore Comics Manga Covers

Comic titles and synopses


Thumbnail of Bookworm Gang manga cover

Bookworm Gang Adventures will bring back a sense of nostalgia for Singapore’s comic lovers. Smarty and gang enchanted thousands of Singaporean kids with their playful adventures when it was still in publication. The Bookworm book fairs were a hit in schools, with children scraping every last cent they had to buy the books.


Thumbnail of Captain V manga cover

The Amazing Adventures of Captain V by Siva Choy, was Singapore’s very first full-colour comic, published in 1987. Captain V was originally a mascot for the Singapore Police Force’s National Crime Prevention Programme, and was eventually immortalized in comic form, fighting against Dr Evil.


Thumbnail of Medium Rare manga cover

Medium Rare by Johnny Lau, published in 1991, was a comic book of many firsts. It was Singapore’s first novel-length full colour English comic book that was done in the style of a graphic novel. This was also the first comic book adaptation of a film in Singapore. The film that it was based on, also named Medium Rare, was Singapore’s very first feature-length English-language movie. The movie was loosely based on the Adrian Lim ritual murders in the early 1980s.