Marine Parade Community Library

Singapore Infopedia

by Wong, Heng



The Marine Parade Community Library, opened on 10 November 1978, was the third full-time library built by the National Library under its plan to decentralise home reading services and to bring the Library nearer to the people. It was the first Branch Library to be designed for full airconditioning. It also had an Auditorium with a stage and dressing rooms, besides a multi-purpose Lecture Hall.

Planning for the Katong Branch Library began as early as 1972. A Katong Branch Building Committee, consisting of 5 experienced librarians and the PWD architect, was formed. It drew up a detailed building brief and plan for the Branch Library. Construction work began in August 1976 when funds were released by the Government. The Branch Library changed its name from Katong to Marine Parade in the Financial Year 1977. The building was completed in July 1978.

The Marine Parade Branch Library was officially opened by Mr Goh Chok Tong, Senior Minister of State (Finance) and Member of Parliament for Marine Parade on 10 November 1978. It was opened to the public 3 days later on 13 November 1978.


The Marine Parade Branch Library, built on the East Coast reclaimed land, was located at 6 Marine Parade Central, Singapore 449411. It was a stand alone two-storey building with its frontage facing directly opposite the NTUC Supermarket and has its own fenced staff car park. It has a floor area of 3,700 sq m, providing Children's, Young People and Adult Library services. Near the Library there are cinemas, a shopping centre ( Parkway Parade), a government clinic, a post office, banks, a food hawkers' centre, a Chinese restaurant and a multi-storey car park.

It was designed to serve a population of 160,000 living in the Mountbatten, Katong, Siglap, Marine Parade and Joo Chiat. Many of the residents served are professionals living in private estates and expect the Library to provide quality services. It replaced the Mobile Library Service point at the Joo Chiat Community Centre. The Marine Parade Branch Library was renamed the Marine Parade Community Library when the National Library became a Statutory Board in September 1995.

New Premises

The Marine Parade Community Library shifted to 278 Marine Parade Road in 28 May 2000 to occupy a portion of the Marine Parade Community Complex. This move was in accordance with Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong's call to optimise land usage.

Apart from the community library, the community complex with its new stunning appearance houses the Marine Parade Community Club and a theatre company, The Necessary Stage, within its premises. The library liaises with its two other neighbours in designing programmes for the residents of Marine Parade. Resources and facilities such as the auditorium and meeting rooms are shared amongst the three bodies. The library, in keeping with its new look, has stylish benches and chic looking couches between bookshelves. The hip place has a bubble machine on the roof. The walls are adorned with beautiful art pieces of artists from Laselle-SIA College of Arts.

Description of The New Library

The Marine Parade Community Library is spread over three floors with a gross floor area of 3534.57 sq m. A cafe is situated on the first level to enable readers to enjoy a cup of coffee as they read. The library houses 17 multimedia stations and state-of-art technology that makes borrowing, searching and loaning books simple and easy. This is done using the credit charging top-up kiosks, On-line Public Access Catalogues and Borrower's enquiry and payment kiosks. InfoXpress terminals are situated to help library users find answers to their questions on Singapore. Borrowing stations and book drops are situated on the first level.

On the mezzanine level, eight music spots are situated to enhance users' reading pleasure with music. Readers can settle into comfortable seats with snug headsets to listen to music of their choice from a six-channel selection. The entire second floor of the library is dedicated to the young. It houses an area called "Kids Discover" where children from 6 to 12 can learn from exhibits put up there on various things such as on water, light and earth. A huge game board with flashing lights makes learning an interesting play here. Bookshelves in this floor are low to enable children to reach books easily. The pre-schoolers' area is equipped with toys, cushions, tables and chairs.

The library has a health corner for its employees equipped with weighing machines, blood-pressure meters and exercise machines. Employees can read health magazines, watch health videos or exercise on the exercise machines after work. This is in accordance with the library's move to increase health awareness among its employees and cut down sick leave. Employees are given subsidised health screenings and talks on diseases.

Heng Wong & Naidu Ratnala Thulaja

National Library. (1982). Introducing the National Library, Marine Parade Branch. Singapore: Author.
(Call no.: RCLOS 027.55957 SIN [LIB])

National Library. (1972). 
Annual report (p. 9). Singapore: Author.
(Call no.: RCLOS 027.55957 RLSAR)

National Library. (1973). 
Annual report (pp. 19, 21). Singapore: Author.
(Call no.: RCLOS 027.55957 RLSAR)

National Library. (1974).
Annual report (p. 28). Singapore: Author.
(Call no.: RCLOS 027.55957 RLSAR) 

National Library. (1975). 
Annual report (p. 7). Singapore: Author.
(Call no.: RCLOS 027.55957 RLSAR)

National Library. (1976). 
Annual report (p. 12). Singapore: Author.
(Call no.: RCLOS 027.55957 RLSAR)

National Library. (1977). 
Annual report (p. 15). Singapore: Author.
(Call no.: RCLOS 027.55957 RLSAR) 

Annuar, Hedwig. (1983). The National Library of Singapore 1958 - 1983.
Singapore Libraries, 13, 5.
(Call no.: RCLOS 020.5 SL)

The artistic looking Marine Parade Community Club. (2000, May-June).
Asian building and construction, pp. 74-75.
(Call no.: RCLOS 720.95 ABC). 

Marine Parade Community Club. (2000, May-June).
Asian building and construction, pp. 77-78.
(Call no.: RCLOS 720.95 ABC) 

Further Readings

Foo, Serene. (2000, April 5). Marine Parade Community Club. The New Paper, Spotlight.

Kao, Chen. (1997, November 12).
National Library Board: Employee health Programme. The Straits Times, Home, p. 36.

Marine Parade to have its own arts fest
. (2000, June 28). The Straits Times, Home, p. 49.

Old library to begin big shift to new home
. (2000, April 6). The Straits Times, Home, p. 37.

Sng, Suzanne. (2000, May 27).
A three-in-one community hub. The Straits Times, Life!, p. 4. 

This CC is a community complex
. (2000, February 22). The Straits Times, Home, p. 43.

The information in this article is valid as at 1999 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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