Checking Out the National Library

Another pit stop for me is the National Library of Singapore. I used to hang out here. To read books and well yes, to get some snoozy. The place’s so modern and comfy that if you like books, it draws you like a moth to a light bulb.

I started coming to its steps in 2009. It has become  a habit that when I’m in town I check what’s going on at the NLB.

A former SAP colleague of mine from Korea told me that Singapore’s national library is better than theirs. When she asked how’s our libraries, I told her ours desperately need improvements. She then stated something I’ll never forget. “Libraries tells a lot about a country’s future.”

With what we presently have, our future’s getting dimmer by the day then.

I got in touch with our country’s book development agency’s head and Inquirer columnist not too long ago. Another Singapore library fan. We exchanged a few emails but when I started ranting about how our government failed to regulate and distribute books to those who needs it, she stop writing. I know that deep inside she knows I’m right. If we are to improve our education we need to copy what Singapore has done. Their reading programs are unlike any other. Yes, we can’t build a library like theirs for now. But we could drive reading among our youth with consistent campaign ads and creative programs.

An old poster from NLB’s reading campaigns in the 60’s.

The present day library.

There’s an on going exhibit dedicated to the builders of the old and present day Singapore library. From Raffles to LKY.

A few blocks from the library is this old fire station. My cousin who served as a fire man for his mandatory national service toured me here last year. Inside is an informative museum. It is still a working fire station by the way.

The church of St. Joseph’s rectory. This one was built in the early 1900’s. The church on its side was visited by Rizal when he first stayed in Singapore. This church complex sits right in front of the library.


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