Opening address by Mrs Elaine Ng, Chief Executive Officer, NLB, at Bukit Panjang Public Library's Official Re-opening, Saturday, 1 July 2017

Minister Yaacob, our Guest-of-Honour

Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Grassroots Advisor,

Board Members

Friends and patrons of the library,

Good morning. It is great to see all of you here today for the official re-opening of Bukit Panjang Public Library.

2 The library is a beloved part of the Bukit Panjang community, with a strong following of about 700,000 visitors a year. I am sure that since last September, many of you have been looking forward to its re-opening.

3 One of our regular patrons is Audrey, who visits three to four times a week with her three kids. Her family has been eagerly waiting for this day. I am also happy to welcome our volunteers back to the library. One of our most regular volunteers is Sabrina. She started helping out in 2012, when she was still in secondary school! I hope they enjoy the new and improved library with their family.

4 The new library is much bigger, with a lot more seats for you to have a comfortable read. It has a floor area of 2,300 square metres, almost double its previous size. There are two wings – where we are at now is the Children’s Zone. Across the atrium, we have the Adults’ & Teens’ Zones.

5 The library’s fresh new design is inspired by journeys. If you look around, you will see ‘ribbons’ along the ceiling and the floor, connecting you to the different collections. So take this chance, and go on a reading journey of your own!

6 We especially hope that young readers will enjoy exploring. Those aged seven to twelve are our most enthusiastic patrons, borrowing the most books from this library. So we have a wonderful new dedicated section for children.

7 We also have a new ‘Stories Come Alive Room’, which makes use of images, lighting and sound effects to make children feel as if they have stepped right into a storybook. Students from Nanyang Polytechnic are working with us to create digital storytelling content, as our community partner. I am sure you will enjoy the storytelling sessions very much.

8 Of course, the updated library has plenty to offer for the other age groups too. In the Adults’ & Teens’ Zones, a key feature is the new Book Mountain, which houses the Adults’ Non-Fiction collection. These creative shelves rise up along a gradual ramp and contain cosy reading areas, so you can enjoy a different reading experience from up on this ‘mountain’. The special Teens’ Zone is also equipped with everything that teens need for lively discussions.

9 The Adults’ & Teens’ Zones are run by our volunteers. So please help them out, by returning books to the shelves and by using our self-help services. This will make things easier for volunteers such as Kelly, who is a Friend of the Library here. We also have volunteers from Teck Whye Secondary School with us, who wrote book reviews so that you know which books to look out for. I would like to express my appreciation to all our volunteers who made it possible for us to run a new and larger Bukit Panjang Public Library.

10 Not just today, but over the weeks and months to come, I welcome all of you to rediscover the library. I hope that it will continue to be a special community space where everyone can come together to read and learn.

Thank you.