The New Yishun Library


Well, weekdays being weekdays, I didn't manage to get up to Yishun last Thursday in time to enjoy Issak's world-exclusive, personally-guided bloggers' tour of the new Yishun Public Library before the doors were thrown open to the masses on Friday 14th.

I did pop in on Sunday though ... along with the rest of the masses. I mean masses. Just collage a few hundred faces on this picture and you'll get the idea:

The new library stretches across the entire upper level of both the old and new extension of the Northpoint shopping centre (correction: it only seemed that way. Apparently it's just in the new extension). That's a pretty huge space, and aside from some scary cubes in the kids' area, it's pretty much all given over to the collection itself.

Kind of makes sense for a library in a mall: drop in; pick up and move on. Side thought: my cynical mind wonders if the centre management insist the library limit the study space and reading corners. Can't have people inside a mall being distracted from spending money for too long, can we?

Sunday was very busy, and it did show up a few "scalability" problems in the layout. With hindsight, NLB may regret jamming the kids area right up to the entrance, having the customer service queue cut across the walkway, and not making space for a few more checkout machines. There seemed to be a perpetual log jam of people trying to get through the kids area to the adult collection. I guess things will quieten down over the next few weeks, but the floor plan could do with a few tweaks before the library can comfortably handle crowds like this on a routine basis.

I didn't mind too much - this once! After all, there's something very reassuring and downright wholesomely right about a LIBRARY opening attracting so much interest.

mrsburdak did make the blogger preview and posted a great photo tour. Also didn't pass up the opportunity to campaign on a few of the hot issues for library users in Singapore;-)
  • The whole nlb.gov.sg/nl.sg/pl.sg website confusion (and broken: go to pl.sg and click on a menu. Doh!)

  • Messing with the Dewey system by thematically arranging the library. Yep, I also find myself having to check every aisle to find the right section (I dare you to guess which section a book about google maps hacks is in). DBAs call that a "table scan" and hate them like the devil's spawn:-/

OK, so nothing as important as Obama still failing my spell checker, but it's emotional and heady stuff for people who love their libraries.

As I do;-) And now with Yishun I have a fantastic, fully stocked library a door-to-door bus trip away (rather than walk and bus, or walk and train).

PS: thanks Ivan for putting out the call to bloggers about the new library. Hope you continue to get bloggers involved (can't get us to turn up? Make your own: teach the kids to blog at the library). Libraries and blogging are a perfect match in my book.