Welcome Address by Ms Yeoh Chee Yan, Chairman, National Library Board and Second Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education at the Official Opening of Serangoon Public Library on Friday 11 March 2011, 9.30am at nex

Release Date : 11 Mar 2011

Mrs Lim Hwee Hua

Minister in the Prime Minister's Office,

Second Minister for Finance and Transport, and

Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC

Mr Lim Biow Chuan

Member of Parliament for Marine Parade GRC and

Chairman of Marine Parade Town Council

Mr Seah Kian Peng

Member of Parliament for Marine Parade GRC (Braddell Heights)

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

1. Good morning, and welcome to the opening of the Serangoon Public Library.

2. Today is an exciting day for all of us at NLB. The new Serangoon Public Library is the fruit of close collaboration with the local community. In planning this new library, we have worked closely with users, residents and various community groups, seeking their suggestions to create a social learning space that is relevant, accessible and convenient to them.

3. This new library has a startup collection of over 150,000 items, including books, magazines and audio-visual materials. With 70,000 volumes for children, some 80,000 for adults and young people, and over 400 magazine titles, Serangoon Public Library has something for everyone, regardless of age or interest. Our physical collection, complemented by our innovative library services, aims to bring knowledge alive, spark imagination, as well as encourage life-long learning.

4. In addition, we recognise that this mall library will attract a large number of transit users, given its strategic location where transport and lifestyle activities meet. The library therefore offers a large selection of easy reads such as comics, graphic novels and magazines, for those seeking a quick browse. New arrivals and recommended reads feature prominently through the library's window displays and easy-to-access shelves. Our collection is deliberately configured to enhance the “pick and go” experience for users-on-the-move.

Reinventing Library Services

5. With each new public library, NLB introduces innovative new services. In view of Serangoon's relatively young demographic profile, with approximately 16 schools within the vicinity, the library has introduced a Digital Media Zone to appeal to the young. In fact, Serangoon Public Library is the first public library to have a special focus on educational gaming.

6. Complementing traditional book-based learning, gaming allows users a more interactive and experiential approach to learning. We are happy to have partnered with the Singapore Cybersports and Online Gaming Association, DigiPen Institute of Technology as well as private sector companies to develop programmes where participants can learn about cyber safety or the creative and engineering aspects of game design.

Collaborating for greater impact

7. Apart from gaming, residents can also look forward to a rich variety of programmes that cater to various interests. We have worked with community partners and schools to organise thematic programmes that will enhance the learning experience for our users. For instance, in the opening month of March, we have lined up a range of programmes related to heritage and gaming. Library users can find out more about these programmes through our Go Library website at golibrary.nlb.gov.sg.

8. We have also partnered with the National Heritage Board to showcase two exhibitions focusing on 'Food' and 'Spice'. These are targeted at children and young people, to create awareness and educate on the heritage of Singapore's street food and spice trade.

9. In addition, we are working with community organisations to set up reading clubs for the residents of Serangoon.

Appreciation and thanks

10. Let me take this opportunity to thank Minister Lim for taking the time out of her busy schedule to grace this opening. I would also like to extend my appreciation to all the Members of Parliament, grassroots leaders serving the Serangoon area, as well as the residents and all our partners for their strong support. We look forward to working with you to make Serangoon Public Library an exciting community learning hub for all.

11. Thank you.