Update: 4 April 2020

With the escalating COVID-19 situation and in line with the government’s announcement on 3 April 2020 to elevate safe distancing measures, the National Library Board (NLB) will be temporarily closing all our facilities including the National Library Building, our 25 public libraries, the National Archives of Singapore Building and the Former Ford Factory with effect from 7 April 2020 until 4 May 2020.

NLB will be offering three new initiatives to our patrons from 1 April 2020, in view of the evolving COVID-19 situation. We have also added more digital resources and enhanced our safe distancing measures at our libraries and archives.

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1. Loan period extension to 6 weeks

To reduce the need for frequent visits to the library, NLB will extend the loan period for all physical items from 3 weeks to 6 weeks. This will apply for all loans made between the period from 1 April to 30 June 2020. If the library material is not reserved by others, patrons can renew it for another 42 days (6 weeks) for free. We will continue to monitor the situation and extend this beyond 30 June 2020, if necessary.

2. Shortened duration for reservation lockers

In view of the increased demand for our reservations lockers and to enable more patrons to benefit from them, we will shorten the pick-up period from the current 7 days to 5 days. As such, from 1 April 2020, patrons will need to pick up their books from the reservation lockers within 5 days. By doing so, we will free up lockers faster to cater to more reservations.

3. New Online Learning Packages and Content

Learning Packages

To encourage reading and learning among people staying at home, we will be rolling out two learning packages on the NLB mobile app. Each learning package comprise a mix of books, eBooks, articles and bite-sized videos and podcasts. The first package, rolled out on 30 March 2020, revolves around instances of virus breakouts and pandemics in the past 100 years and covers topics such as vaccination and public health in Singapore. With a total of eight parts in this package, content for each part will be released every Monday and Thursday, over a period of four weeks.

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Recognising that this may be a stressful period, the second package puts together eBooks’ recommendations on topics such as mindfulness, dealing with uncertainties, working from home effectively, coping with isolation and new hobbies as well as videos and articles on LyndaLibrary, an e-learning platform on the NLB mobile app. Content will be rolled out every Monday, for eight weeks. The learning packages can be accessed via this URL.

Curated Content

We have also launched a new blog site on 27 March 2020 where we have put together stories to showcase our collections and services. We will also be curating lighthearted content based on various themes. Titled {Bibliotherapy}, we hope to use content to inspire, comfort and uplift. The first post focused on arts with other topics lined up relating to food and others. There will also be increased digital offerings of upcoming programmes such as A Librarian’s World, the launch of “From the Stacks” Season 2 – a collection of exclusive videos highlighting rare materials of historical significance in the National Library’s collection and virtual gallery tours. These will all be made available on our social media channels below:

4. Expanded Digital Resources

NLB continues to expand our eBooks and audiobooks collection based on patron demand. We understand that many people are spending most of their time at home in view of COVID-19.

Children’s eBooks

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In March 2020, we added over 600 popular children’s titles to our eBooks and audiobooks collection. Patrons will be happy to find eBooks by authors such as Geronimo Stilton, J K Rowling, Roald Dahl, James Patterson, and Diana Wynne Jones. Also available are series such as The Smurfs Graphic Novels, Dork Diaries, Nancy Drew Diaries, Battle bugs, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Singapore publishers

More books from local publishers have been added to our eBooks collection. This includes books from Ethos Books and Epigram Books.

Evergreen classics

During this period, several publishers have offered unlimited checkouts for their eBooks. These include classic books such as Little Women, Pride and Prejudice, Anne of Green Gables. These are curated under the collection, “Evergreen Classics“.

eNewspapers and eMagazines

Beyond eBooks and audiobooks, library patrons can access the latest eNewspapers and eMagazines, available on the NLB mobile app, the same day they are published. Patrons can access over 7,000 publications from more than 100 countries on current affairs, technology, design and lifestyle. Popular eMagazines include Newsweek, Bloomberg Businessweek and Reader’s Digest.

eLearning on LyndaLibrary

Library patrons can also take up online lessons on LyndaLibrary, an eLearning platform from LinkedIn. It covers topics such as business, software, technology and creative design skills. There are over 8,000 engaging video tutorials taught by recognised industry experts to help patrons achieve personal and professional goals. LyndaLibrary can be accessed via the NLB mobile app.

5. Curated Book Lists

We have on a regular basis, curated collections on our digital platforms. Some of our newly curated lists include:

6. Enhanced Safe Distancing Measures at libraries and archives

The National Library Building, 26 public libraries and National Archives of Singapore will continue to remain open. For the safety of all patrons, the following precautionary measures have been implemented at all premises from now until 30 April 2020:

  • Temperature taking
  • Scanning of personal particulars to facilitate contact tracing
  • Reduced capacity and fewer seats at the libraries and archives
  • Safe distancing for patrons queuing and using library and archive services
  • The seats in the libraries and archives have been rearranged to be at least one meter apart and each table will have no more than 10 seats
  • Cancellation of all programmes, guided tours and events
  • Continued suspension of all senior-centric activities and programmes
  • Closure of the following:
    o Oldham Theatre at National Archives of Singapore Building
    o Study Lounge, Level 5, National Library Building
  • Exhibitions will remain open, with the entry of visitors adhering to social distancing measures.

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NLB will continue to closely monitor the development of the COVID-19 situation to make all its facilities safe for everyone.

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