Parents and children can explore the ocean’s wonders through marine biodiversity-themed zones and programmes, developed in partnership between NLB and S.E.A. Aquarium by RWS.
Venue: Central Public Library, 100 Victoria Street, National Library Building, B1, Singapore 188064
Opening Hours: 10 am - 9 pm
The National Library Board’s (NLB) Central Public Library reopens, transformed with an array of new features that incorporate Singapore stories on culture, heritage, and literature, as well as curated resources on sustainability, marine biodiversity and conservation. Themed Singapore: Kaleidoscope, the Central Public Library welcomes patrons of all ages to learn and discover in two key areas: All Things Singapore and Sustainability and Biodiversity.
Located in the National Library Building in Singapore’s Civic District, the transformed Central Public Library is the heart and hub of Singapore stories, providing access to brand new facilities, services and offerings. For families, you can expect a refreshed children’s section, which brings the wonders of biodiversity – with a focus on marine life – closer to young explorers. This is the first marine biodiversity-themed learning space for children at a public library in Singapore.
An immersive space which integrates the Singapore collection and an exhibition that tells Singapore Stories. The inaugural exhibition is titled Lepak Landscapes: Life and Leisure in Singapore, which focuses on our leisure culture. At the Singapore Alcove, patrons can generate a personalised QR code, which they can scan to interact with the content in various zones. This includes exploring stories on recreational practices in Singapore over time as told through digital storybooks, artefact displays and interactive elements.
Aligned with the library’s theme Singapore: Kaleidoscope, the Central Public Library showcases various Singapore-focused murals and artwork, in collaboration with renowned local artists, and students from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. The murals boast unique and personal perspectives of Singapore’s culture and heritage through the eyes of creative individuals. These murals provide patrons an immersive experience to explore more about Singapore through their interactive touchpoints.
The Immersive Room
The Immersive Room showcases a curved wall projection that displays immersive content through technology tools such as kinetic sensors for interactivity. In the first few months, it will showcase StoryGen, part of NLB’s ExperienceIT service to make emerging technologies such as Generative AI accessible to all. Through StoryGen, patrons can add a unique twist to well-loved stories including Singapore folktales, and visualise them through a multimedia experience.
For example, StoryGen can bring a scene of the boy and the garfish (in Sejarah Melayu) to life through AI-generated images, and take it further by presenting it in another genre like sci-fi or fantasy. There are also plans for more programmes in the Immersive Room, such as an extension of the Singapore Alcove that allows users to step into a scene of old Singapore, and regular programmes like immersive storytelling.
Courtyard and Memories Corner
Both the Courtyard and Memories Corner are spaces that merge the lines between the indoors and outdoors. Adjacent to the new Children’s Biodiversity Library, the Courtyard will grow mangrove saplings to be transplanted to Singapore’s mangrove forests with opportunities for children to take part in this process.
The Memories Corner will display a multimedia showcase by award-winning artist Brian Gothong Tan, titled The Library of Memory, screened on the 5,000 red bricks retained from the old National Library at Stamford Road.
Children’s Biodiversity Library by S.E.A. Aquarium
The Children’s Biodiversity Library by S.E.A. Aquarium is a partnership between the National Library Board (NLB) and Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) offering new opportunities, including monthly programmes, for parents and children to have deeper learning in marine biodiversity. It is the first marine biodiversity-themed learning space for children at a public library in Singapore.
The library includes features such as a floor-to-ceiling column with coral- like features, a collection of marine specimens including shark egg cases and coral skeletons, digital content from the aquarium, an outdoor mangrove showcase, and The Submarine, a room where families can expect regular educational programmes. The library will also feature gamification kiosks with features such as an interactive digital installation where patrons can colour an avatar from NLB’s well-loved Book Bugs series and see them appear on the projection screen.
Here's taking a closer look at what you and your little ones can look forward to at the new Children’s Biodiversity Library:
The Children’s Biodiversity Library by S.E.A. Aquarium takes visitors on an exciting journey of discovery about marine biodiversity, offering a diverse range of engaging and interactive features. The showcase is designed to inspire a deeper appreciation of our oceans through experiential learning and highlights the importance of protecting our marine life.
Open Ocean Zone
- Coral Zone
At the heart of this public learning space is a floor-to-ceiling column with coral-like features. There are also infographics to help parents and children learn about the important role that coral reefs play in marine biodiversity.
- Sea Jelly Zone
Visitors can immerse themselves in the habitats of sea jellies, which have many important roles within the marine ecosystem, through a projection of marine life at the S.E.A. Aquarium. In addition, they can get close to S.E.A. Aquarium’s collection of specimens including shark jaws and coral skeletons.
In this zone, designed to help foster a deeper appreciation of intertidal biodiversity, young learners and their parents can learn about the multitude of organisms living on marine shorelines through interpretive displays.
A dedicated space, designed to resemble a submarine, is set aside for educational programmes. They are led by trained volunteers – including RWS staff volunteers and members of the public – on marine biology and conservation.
The space will also house the Central Public Library’s children’s collection, comprising books and reading material across a wide range of topics to enhance learning and love for reading.
Children can look forward to new monthly programmes on marine biology and conservation led by trained volunteers in a dedicated space, designed to resemble a submarine, in the Children’s Biodiversity Library by S.E.A. Aquarium.
These include an interactive human library activity where children get to meet real-life divers and aquarists, intertidal animal art workshops, storytelling sessions, upcycling workshops, and more. The programmes, developed by NLB and the S.E.A. Aquarium teams, combine an immersive learning experience with engaging activities and are designed to better captivate children’s interest and help foster a deeper understanding of marine biodiversity and conservation.
You may look out on NLB’s GoLibrary Eventbrite page for upcoming programmes.
Location and Opening Hours
The Central Public Library is located within the National Library Building, B1. The address is 100 Victoria Street, Singapore 188064. The library is open from 10 am to 9 pm daily.
*Photo Credits: The National Library Board