The news that Esplanade Library, Singapore’s only public library dedicated to the performing arts, will be closing its doors on June 30 has been met with a mix of emotions from Singaporeans. While many are sad to see it go, others are looking forward to the exciting new opportunities that will arise from its closure.
In this article, we take a closer look at the history of [email protected], the reasons behind its closure, and what we can expect from the future of arts and culture in Singapore.
A Unique Library Experience at Esplanade Library
Source: Esplanade website
[email protected] opened its doors on September 12, 2002, on the third level of the Esplanade building. It quickly became known for its wide variety of performing arts materials, such as screenplays, dance notations, and music scores. It also boasted an exhibition space, a stage with a baby grand piano, screening rooms, and an archive of the performing arts scene in Singapore.
For many Singaporeans, [email protected] was more than just a place to borrow books and DVDs. It was a space where they could immerse themselves in the performing arts and connect with like-minded individuals.
Why is Esplanade Library Closing?
The closure of [email protected] is part of the National Library Board’s (NLB) plan to centralize its arts resources in the heart of the Civic District. NLB chief executive Ng Cher Pong explained, “We are excited by the opportunity of creating a new, consolidated arts resource in the heart of the Civic District. We are looking forward to working with partners, including Esplanade and arts institutions and communities around Bras Basah-Bugis, to deepen the creation, learning, and appreciation of the arts among Singaporeans.”
By moving its arts resources to the National Library Building in the Bras Basah area, NLB hopes to be closer to arts institutions and practitioners in the area. Such as the School of the Arts Singapore, Singapore Management University, and University of the Arts Singapore.
As Esplanade Library prepares to close its doors for the last time, we can take comfort in the fact that its legacy will live on. NLB’s plans to centralize its arts resources in the heart of the Civic District represent an exciting new chapter for the arts and culture scene in Singapore.
It’s sad to see [email protected] go. But we can look forward to a brighter and more vibrant future for the arts in our community.
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