The concept of kid-friendly libraries in Singapore targeted specifically towards cultivating strong reading habits in children, is relatively new.
Most parents acknowledge that reading is good for their child but are unsure as to how a young child will fit in at a quiet space meant for hushed tones and silent reading.
This is where kid-friendly libraries in Singapore come in!
The sooner you introduce your child to books, the faster they will adopt the habit. Photo: iStock
Why Take Your Child to The Library?
These kid-friendly libraries are dedicated to fostering strong ties with reading, and aim to “catch them when they’re young”!
For indeed, the sooner the practice of reading is introduced to children, the faster they will adopt the habit.
Here are a few more reasons why a library will be good for your little one:
· Routine visits to the library encourages regular reading and helps make your child smarter!
It has been scientifically proven that reading strengthens brain cells and cell links in the brain. This aids cognitive development. Reading aloud helps build language, as well as the psyche.
Reading aloud helps build language, as well as the psyche. Photo: iStock
· Exposure to more books than the child can own
Like most parents, you may be on a budget or you may need the child to learn money management; either way, buying too many books is not a practical idea. Also, the habit of reading and savouring a book is different from stacking and storing. Thus, a library becomes a valid choice to love books without possessing them.
· Library membership can make your child more responsible
When kids are entrusted with a library card or books that do not belong to them, they are likely to be more accountable. They are going to have a sense of belonging to the community. From having their name on the card, tapping them on the register to borrow them and then returning them in due time, will all boost their self-esteem and improve their sense of responsibility.
· The librarian will have a better list of book recommendations
You may not always be able to guide your child towards the right books. The librarian knows better. Your child, under expert guidance, will access more titles than you may have known. The librarian may even recommend books based on the interests of a reluctant reader.
· The dynamics of libraries have changed
A kid-friendly library is not a quiet place to maintain silence. Today, libraries offer storytelling sessions, puppets and costume sessions and other interactive sessions as well. The kids learn to interact with librarians, writers and other children. Learning has taken a more hands-on and active approach.
Further, libraries in Singapore are peppered with little nooks and crannies that encourage reading in cosy spots, in addition to the common benches, sofas and chairs.
Libraries have cosy reading spots, apart from regular seating arrangements. Photo: iStock
Now that you are aware of how beneficial obtaining a library membership is for your child, let us take a look at all the convenient libraries available to your little reader.
Popular Kid-friendly Libraries in Singapore
There is no dearth of kid-friendly libraries in Singapore that caters to residents all over the city. Here is a list of the 20 most engaging ones.
- Central Public Library: This is the best eco-library a child can visit in Singapore. The three unique features of this place are – the TumbleBooks station, the Treehouse canopy and the Weather cloud. As the names suggest, the weather cloud is a live feed for local weather conditions that children can hit buttons and learn from. The treehouse is a green space made of recycled materials and TumbleBooks station offers interactive activities and digital books.
Address: 100 Victoria St, #B1-01 National Library Building, Singapore 188064
- Bedok Public Library: Here you have a library just right for new readers. Parents can look for books easily as they are arranged according to the literary skills of children. The theme is garden-based which adds a relaxing vibe. Soft furniture and two TumbleBooks stations keep the tiny tots happily engaged.
Address: 11 Bedok North Street 1 #02-03 & #03-04, [email protected], 469662
- Bukit Panjang Public Library: This was the first library to introduce storytelling with images, light and sound in its ‘stories come alive’ room. Its highlight is a ramp with varied shelf heights, termed the ‘Book mountain’. Books are arranged with covers facing forward to tempt the very young into book browsing. It also offers children’s magazines and audio-visual collections.
Address: 1 Jelebu Road, #04-04 & 16/17, Bukit Panjang Plaza, 677743
- Toa Payoh Public Library: An interesting kid-friendly library, it has a lot going on for kids. Story sessions are complemented by short songs and rhymes sessions for toddlers. There are workshops by writers and industry experts in various fields such as video, print, photography, designs, etc. There is a reading club too. And not to forget, shelves are in the shape of a huge ship!
Address: 6 Toa Payoh Central, Singapore 319191
- [email protected]: A multi-faceted library aimed at kids and adults; this is a new entrant to the scene. It houses a separate area for toddlers and children and a different area for teens and adults. Other than books, there are learning materials and activities that encourage children to develop many skills. There is a ‘stories come alive’ room and ‘augmented reality’ books to bring stories to life.
Address: 1 HarbourFront Walk, #03-05 VivoCity, Singapore 098585
Libraries have sections where there are story-telling and puppet sessions as well. Photo: iStock
- Jurong Regional Library: The second largest library in Singapore, it offers a wide range of learning options for children. Other than the ‘Early Literacy Library’, TumbleBooks stations and audio-visual materials, there is a workshop station called PIXEL [email protected] where regular workshops on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, are conducted.
Address: 21 Jurong East Central 1, Singapore 609732
- Pasir Ris Public Library: A huge library for toddlers and kids with a separate mezzanine space for teens, Pasir Ris caters to family reading time. The highlights are the ‘Doodle Wall’ for interactive storytelling and the ‘Magnetic Wall’ for budding writers to chalk out their stories. It offers low-seating and a children’s deck to make reading a comfortable affair.
Address: 1 Pasir Ris Central Street 3 #04-01/06 White Sands, 518457
- Tampines Regional Library: Spanning a massive area with 5 floors, this is situated within the community space, Our Tampines Hub. One complete floor has been allocated for toddlers and young kids. There is even an indoor playground called ‘Playtopia’ with ball pits and tube slides to entertain the really small ones when their attention wanes. Older kids can visit the upper floors to read or engage in the ‘Space out zone’ or ‘PIXEL [email protected]’.
Address: 1 Tampines Walk, #02-01 Our Tampines Hub, Singapore 528523
- Yishun Public Library: Located in the old wing of Northpoint City, it has an ‘Early Literacy Collection’, TumbleBooks stations and age-specific book collections. The exceptional feature in this library is the interactive projection-based storytelling sessions in ‘Story Circle’.
Address: 930 Yishun Ave 2, #04-01 North Wing, Northpoint City, Singapore 769098
- Sengkang Public Library: One of the first libraries to offer separate areas for tweens, this library has age-appropriate area segmentation and pleasant design of a riverside port. The space located for young children has a TumbleBooks section and an ‘Early Literacy Section’. Tweens can benefit from the weekly programmes along with reading. Applying core principals in experiential learning, seating options are quite flexible here.
Address: 1 Sengkang Square, #04-19 & #03-28 Compass One, 545078
Libraries also offer age-appropriate sections catering to age-specific interests. Photo: iStock
- Serangoon Public Library: Spread out on the rooftop of NEX mall, this library offers interactive gaming stations along with books. It also has a boardgame session every 3rd Sunday for the whole family to join in.
Address: 23 Serangoon Central, #04-82/83 NEX, Singapore 556083
- Ang Mo Kio Public Library: Kids will enjoy the regular storytelling sessions at this public library with kid-friendly tables and chairs for them to read their favourite books in comfort. Their children’s section is the perfect quiet place for kids to immerse themselves into the world of books. With about 259,000 reading materials and a collection of print and non-print materials in Tamil, your and your child will definitely not run out of things to read.
Address: 4300 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6, Singapore 569842
- Bishan Public Library: From storytelling sessions to a wide collection of books for babies, kids and teens, this library offers a safe space for children to develop their love for reading. Its amazing treehouse-like building structure may also excite kids whenever they come to visit.
Address: 5 Bishan Place #01-01, Singapore 579841
- Cheng San Public Library: This library’s garden-themed children’s section with bright-coloured shelves, tables and everything will certainly make reading enjoyable for kids. It’s one of the best places to bring the whole family together for The Baby Corner can be a spot for both parents and their kids to read together in peace, maybe after a joining one of the scheduled storytelling sessions.
Address: 90 Hougang Avenue 10 #03-11 Hougang Mall, Singapore 538766
- Clementi Public Library: A wide variety of about 180,000 items of fiction, non-fiction, magazines and Singapore’s first-ever interactive digital storytelling kiosks makes this library a reading space for all age groups to enjoy. When on a family outing at Clementi Mall, make sure to check out this library’s collection.
Address: 3155 Commonwealth Avenue West, #05-13/14/15 The Clementi Mall, Singapore 129588
- Geylang East Public Library: This library is a certified kid-friendly reading environment with its children’s section, babies corner and even a Green Reading Space where you can comfortably sit down with a good book. Aside from storytelling sessions, they also have fun activities for kids during the weekends all for free!
Address: 50 Geylang East Ave 1, Singapore 389777
- Marine Parade Public Library: This is more than just a three-floor library for the location also includes interactive, multimedia exhibits and a collection of DVDs of new movies that the entire family can enjoy. Their children’s corner is also built with colourful sitting areas and tables so kids can occupy themselves with any book they like.
Address: 278 Marine Parade Road #01-02, Singapore 449282
- Queenstown Public Library: There are many different kid-friendly activities here aside from reading and the usual storytelling sessions. Kids can enjoy movie screenings, craft sessions and more! Their children’s section also has a colourful and sun lit corner where kids can read on small chairs and tables.
Address: 53 Margaret Drive, Singapore 149297
- Sembawang Library: While you grab a book to read yourself, your kids may be occupied with the library’s regular storytelling sessions and its Interactive Digital Storytelling Kiosks as well as low seating reading corners for babies and toddlers. Their Early Literacy Collection is also complete with different areas of playing, talking, singing, writing and, of course, reading.
Address: 30 Sembawang Drive, #05-01 Sun Plaza, Singapore 757713
- Woodlands Regional Library: More kids can join in on their weekend storytelling sessions as they include both Mandarin and Malay. Children will also be thrilled to see the library’s interactive architecture with its Enchanted Tree reading area and a Calm Down To The Library installation made as an autism-friendly space for the inclusion of kids with autism.
Address: 900 South Woodlands Drive, #01-03 Woodlands Civic Centre, Singapore 730900
These are a few among the plethora of kid-friendly libraries dotting Singapore. Invest your time in visiting a few (or all!) of these libraries, and give your child the early gift of gearing them towards a future of building worlds in their imaginations!