Discover New Sights, Sounds, Eats And Reads At The National Library Building

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Families can look forward to programmes and services from the new Central Arts Library, a revamped Central Public Library, as well as refreshed F&B options at the Plaza.

New sights, sounds, eats, and reads are coming to the National Library (NL) Building located in the heart of the Civic District. These will create more buzz in and around the NL Building, with the start of performing arts programmes and services from the new Central Arts Library, the reopening of Central Public Library in January 2024 following a revamp, as well as more food & beverage (F&B) options at the Plaza. Here's taking a closer look at what you and your family can look forward to:

Central Arts Library

From this month, the Central Arts Library will start to offer some of the popular performing arts collections, and the programmes previously offered at the library@esplanade which closed in June 2023. Patrons can access the collection through NLB’s online catalogue and join in the programmes at various spaces within the NL Building. The Central Arts Library’s physical spaces are expected to be ready in 2024. In the meantime, patrons can look forward to the following:

Arts Programmes

From now, NLB will host a series of programmes at the NL Building for patrons to create, learn, and discover more about the arts. These programmes include monthly movie screenings of picks from NLB’s performing arts film collection; Open Stage Originals where local singers, songwriters, musicians, filmmakers, playwrights, and choreographers will have the opportunity to showcase and promote their original works; jazz appreciation lectures; recitals; and performing arts workshops. 

Public Arts Programmes at the National Library Building (August-January 2024)

  • Remembering our Folk Songs and Roots Music by Resonance of Singapore Singers
    • 16 Sep 2023

The ROS Singers is Singapore's homegrown professional a cappella ensemble that helms the non-profit organisation Resonance of Singapore Ltd. (ROS).

This September, ROS celebrates our cultural roots and traditions, through folk songs such as Rasa Sayang, Muolihua 茉莉花, and freshly commissioned arrangements of Gelang Si Paku, Peribahasa and Singapura.

  • Jazz for Curious Listeners
    • Sep 2023 to Jan 2024

Jazz and music improvisation performance-lecture series held monthly at the NL Building Lobby, with the aim of educating the public on jazz appreciation and techniques of music improvisation.

  • Open Stage Originals
    • Oct to Dec 2023

A monthly open call opportunity and platform for local singer songwriters, musicians, filmmakers, playwrights and choreographers to showcase and promote their original works.

  • Monthly Movie Screenings
    • Sep to Dec 2023

Monthly movie picks from the performing arts film collection by Central Arts Library staff, held at the Imagination Room on Level 5 of the NL Building.

  • Young Musicians Festival
    • Sep and Dec 2023

Young music students of private music teachers and schools take to the Open Stage at the NL Building Lobby, for recitals open to members of the public in this school holiday showcase of talents. This event aims to provide a performance platform for children to develop and hone their craft in front of a live audience.

  • The Performer’s Body Series
    • Oct to Nov 2023

A series of monthly workshops focusing on developing and nurturing the performer’s body, held at the Imagination Room on Level 5 of the NL Building.

  • Kids Fest x Asian Children Literature
    • Nov to Dec 2023

Kids Fest is an annual line-up of programmes where children and families get to participate in workshops to explore and learn about the performing arts. This year’s edition will be held at the National Library Building and will feature stories from National Library’s Asian Children’s Literature collection. Look out for more details to be shared on NLB’s LearnXArts Facebook page.

Heritage Piano

Photo Credits: National Library Board

To kickstart the programmes lined up for the rest of the year, NLB will be unveiling a Heritage Piano – a 1952 Chappell Grand that has been painstakingly repaired and tuned — for public use from September 2023. The piano will make its debut at the lobby of NL Building with a live piano recital by LASALLE School of Contemporary alumna, Ms Eugena Kwong, and a talk by National University of Singapore Emeritus Professor Bernard Tan on the history of this piano. Members of the public will be able to play the piano at the NL Building Level 1 from September 2023 onwards.

Reservation of DVDs and Blu-Rays Collection

From 15 September 2023, the collection of DVDs and Blu-Rays from library@esplanade will also be made available for reservation. Patrons can reserve the items via NLB’s online catalogue, up to 16 items at one go and for a loan period of 21 days. Music scores will also be made available for for reservation in the coming months, with more details to be announced in Q1 of next year.

Reservation of collection materials can be made via NLB’s myLibrary account using the online catalogue, NLB Mobile app or the catalogue stations for a fee of $1.57 (inclusive of GST) per item. Patrons will be able to select the pickup location at the point of reservation.

Central Public Library

The Central Public Library closed in June 2022 for revamp and is slated to reopen in January 2024. The revamped library will feature upgraded adults and children’s sections, as well as new programme spaces for patrons of all ages to enjoy.

NLB welcomes individuals, families and schools to volunteer at the revamped Central Public Library. Closer to the reopening, NLB will host several sessions to share more about the various volunteering opportunities at the library. Interested parties may register their interest here.

F&B Options

Patrons to the NL Building can look forward to more F&B options starting this September. In addition to a café currently in Level 3 of the building, the Plaza will see two other F&B outlets in the coming months, including one that is Halal-certified.

More details on the Central Arts Library, Central Public Library, and F&B options at the NL Building will be shared when ready. Patrons may look out for updates on the NLB website and NLB’s social media channels (Facebook, Instagram).


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This article is prepared by

Leona Quek
Blessed with 3 handsome and loving boys in her life. Two of them call her Mommy, the other calls her Wifey. Every night, she wishes for an early bedtime, but misses her babies as soon as they sleep.

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