Pasir Ris Public Library

Singapore Infopedia

by Ong, Eng Chuan


Pasir Ris Public Library, located on the fourth floor of White Sands Shopping Centre in Pasir Ris, officially opened on 6 October 2000. It is the National Library Board’s (NLB) eighth library to be located in a shopping mall and its 18th public library. This library serves residents living in the Elias estate, Pasir Ris Drive and Pasir Ris Town.1

Before NLB set up the new library at Pasir Ris, it carried out a survey, which indicated that a 41.6 percent of the residents in the area were between 25 and 39 years of age, and these were mainly young married couples with at least one child. The new library was thus developed with the aim of reaching out to the large number of young families in the area and an emphasis on family and parenting.2

Pasir Ris Community Library (renamed Pasir Ris Public Library in 2008) was officially opened on 6 October 2000.3 The construction cost S$1 million, excluding the expenditure on books and computers.4

In line with NLB’s strategy of setting up libraries at locations with high human traffic, Pasir Ris Public Library is located at White Sands Shopping Centre, which is next to the Pasir Ris MRT Station and bus interchange. It occupies the former site of an amusement arcade known as Time Zone.5

The library had a double-volume ceiling with exposed red and green pipes and blue iron frames running across it. The clean, clear lines of its interior design, which was based on a minimalist concept, created an “open and soothing” environment. The interior featured deep, soft carpets and shelves in glossy wood and metal. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows allowed a lot of natural light to stream into the library, and library patrons could look out and enjoy the natural greenery of the nearby Pasir Ris Town Park. Pasir Ris Public Library was the first library to use drop banners hanging from the ceiling to advertise its collections and services.6

There was a Programme Zone, which provided a platform for talks, forums, exhibitions and performances. At its opening in 2000, the library had a collection of 120,000 books and periodicals. The selection of titles reflected the library’s thrust, with the librarians actively sourcing for parenting titles.7

The library was closed for renovation on 1 March 2015, at the same time when the shopping centre underwent major renovation.8

Reopening (2015)
On 28 November 2015, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean reopened the Pasir Ris library after a nine-month renovation.9 The new library spans 1,986 sq m with an increased collection size of 125,000 books and 300 magazines titles. It boasts a new space for teenagers known as the Teens’ Mezzanine, which features doodle walls for users to express themselves and is run by a team of teenage volunteers. These volunteers, mentored by NLB librarians, are also tasked with curating book displays and organising youth programmes.10 Library patrons can view promotional videos for books on a screen, and recommend books by scanning library books and recommending these books to their peers.11


Ong Eng Chuan & Roy Won

1. Loh, K. F. (2000, October 7). Book them young. The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG
2. Loh, K. F. (2000, October 7). Book them young. The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG
3. National Library Board. (2016, March 10). Pasir Ris Public Library. Retrieved 2016, May 9 from National Library Board website: Ris Public Library; National Library Board. (n.d.). National Library Board annual report 2008/2009. Retrieved 2016, June 13 from National Library Board website:
4. Loh, K. F. (2000, October 7). Book them young. The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. Loh, K. F. (2000, October 7). Book them young. The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6. Loh, K. F. (2000, October 7). Book them young. The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG
7. Loh, K. F. (2000, October 7). Book them young. The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG
8. National Library Board. (2016, March 10). Pasir Ris Public Library. Retrieved 2016, May 9 from National Library Board website: Ris Public Library
9. Prime Minister’s Office Singapore. (2015, November 28). DPM Teo Chee Hean at the reopening of Pasir Ris Public Library on 28 November 2015. Retrieved 2016, May 9 from Prime Minister’s Office website:
10. Tan, A. (2015, November 28). Pasir Ris library opens doors again after nine months, with an eye on teens and digital natives. The Straits Times. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website:; National Library Board. (2015, November 25). Pasir Ris Public Library. Retrieved 2016, May 10 from National Library Board website: Ris/Pasir Ris Public Library - Fact Sheet.pdf
11. Tan, A. (2015, November 29). Revamped Pasir Ris library woos teenagers. The Straits Times. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website:

The information in this article is valid as at 2016 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history on the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.


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