Remarks by Mr Ng Cher Pong, Chief Executive Officer, NLB, at the Launch of the NLB-RWS Partnership on 22 Nov 2023

Mr Tan Kiat How, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information 
Mr Tan Hee Teck, Chief Executive Officer, Resorts World Sentosa 
Distinguished Guests 
Ladies and Gentlemen,


1.                A very good afternoon to all of you. Today, we celebrate another major step in the National Library Board’s (NLB) journey towards raising public awareness and appreciation of nature and the environment. 

2.                In collaboration with our partners, NLB has been offering programmes and resources on sustainability and biodiversity over the years. 

a.                For the past decade, we have been a member of the global Biodiversity Heritage Library consortium as Singapore’s representative, making contributions from the National Library’s Rare Materials Collection.

b.                Our Choa Chu Kang Public Library was revamped and reopened in 2021 with the theme, (Re)Connect with Nature. There, you can find a Hydroponics Showcase and a Climate Action Corner. We were humbled that the library was recognised in 2022 as Best Green Library by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.

c.                On an ongoing basis, we run Green Markets at our libraries. These events connect patrons to green groups and initiatives they can support through a range of fun activities and programmes. The most recent one was held at the Punggol Regional Library earlier this year, where we brought together partners and showcases for patrons to learn about sustainability.

3.                Empowering our patrons to learn about sustainability and biodiversity is an integral part of our efforts to reinvent ourselves under our Libraries and Archives Blueprint 2025 or LAB25. A key ingredient for success is to identify and work closely with like-minded partners.  We are therefore always on the lookout for partnership opportunities to reimagine how we can help patrons read, learn and discover more.

A partnership for change

4.                This is why I am glad that we have this opportunity to partner Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) to develop the new Children’s Biodiversity Library by S.E.A. Aquarium, at the soon-to-be-reopened Central Public Library.  

5.                This collaboration has been in the works for some time – we started the conversations about one year ago. As the saying goes, good things are worth waiting for. Through this partnership, we will bring interactive and fun learning experiences for children and their parents to learn about biodiversity and conservation. RWS’s strengths in research and education in the areas of conservation, sustainability and biodiversity will help shape many of the new programmes in this library. 

6.                Our teams are hard at work to get the space and programmes ready, for the library’s reopening on 12 January 2024. Parents and children can look forward to new monthly programmes on biodiversity, which will include an interactive human library activity where children get to meet real-life divers and aquarists, workshops on intertidal animal art and upcycling, as well as storytelling sessions. 

7.                The space will also carry a comprehensive collection of children’s books across a wide range of topics, going beyond biodiversity – as they would expect from all our public libraries. 

8.                As we gear up for the reopening, we have been reaching out to different public and private organisations, as well as community groups, to identify even more partners to expand the range of children programmes on sustainability and biodiversity at the Central Public Library. These could include fun workshops with sustainability experts, and more children-friendly content on wildlife and biodiversity.

9.                We hope that the library will spark interest among children in these important topics, and inspire them to treasure our biodiversity and take action to protect it. 

A continuous journey

10.              This is a continuous journey and NLB will continue playing our part, whether that be by transforming our libraries to be more sustainable or providing more programmes and resources so that patrons can better understand what is at stake.

11.              Once again, I would like to express my gratitude to RWS for helping us make the Children’s Biodiversity Library by S.E.A. Aquarium a reality. It is through such collaborations that we can reimagine and create even better libraries for Singaporeans to enjoy. Thank you!