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Singapore - Libraries

Singapore has a very good public library service managed by the National Library Board. It operates two regional libraries, 19 community libraries and the National Reference Library. The National Library houses the National Reference Library and the Central Community Library. A new National Library is being built.

The libraries have books and magazines in English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. There are reference sections and audio visual sections. The borrowing and return of books is handled by an automated system. Some of the libraries have cafés and many have regular events with talks or music.

Library information
Telephone Answering Service: 1 800 332 3188 (only in Singapore)
Library Phone-In Service + 65 6774 7178
The website provides addresses of branches and more information about services.

Becoming a library member for non-citizens
Join at any library or on-line. Adults must show their passport and employment, dependant or student pass. Members pay a registration fee ($10.30) and an annual subscription ($10.30). Children must show their passport, parent’s passport and student or dependant pass and pay the same fees. Payment can only be made by check or Cashcard. You can borrow four books for three weeks using the automated book borrowing system. There is also an automated system for checking on any fines or for reserving books. A fine of $0.15 cents per day will be charged for each overdue book or magazine. Renewal of books can be done at the library, online, by post or fax. The libraries are very user friendly and have an information desk.

National Library
91 Stamford Road
Tel: + 65 6332 3255 (Reference Point)
Fax: + 65 6332 3248

Operating Hours:
Mon: 11.00am - 9.00pm
Tue - Fri: 10.00am - 9.00pm
Sat: 10.00am - 5.00pm
Sun: 1.00pm - 5.00pm
Closed on Public Holidays

[email protected]
391 Orchard Road
#05-22 to 26 Ngee Ann City Podium Block
Tel: + 65 6838 5188
Fax: + 65 6838 5190
Community library with café and lots of events.
Operating Hours:
Mon - Fri 11.00am - 9.00pm
Sat - Sun 11.00am - 8.00pm
Closed on Public Holidays
Book Drop Hours 10.00am - 10.00pm

[email protected]
8 Raffles Avenue #03-01
Fax: + 65 6837 8587
Newly opened library in a new arts complex. Specializes in drama and music, including musical scores.
Operating Hours:
Mon - Fri 11.00am - 9.00pm
Sat & Sun 11.00am - 8.00pm
Closed on Public Holidays
Book Drop Hours 7.00am - 2.00am

Many of the expatriate organizations listed under ‘Associations’ also have small libraries. Many of these libraries are open to everyone but usually only members can borrow books.

Alliance Francaise
1 Sarkies Road (near Newton MRT station)
Tel: + 65 6737 8422
Fax: + 65 6733 3023
This centre has a café, library and cinema/theatre. They hold regular art exhibitions and concerts and screen French movies.  French language classes are conducted and they produce a monthly newsletter. Membership is open to anyone interested in the French language and culture.

163 Penang Road
#05-01 Winsland House
Tel: + 65 6735 4555
Fax: + 65 6735 4666
This library holds exhibitions, puts on German films and has a library .

Singapore American Community Action Council
Counseling and Community Programs
21 Scotts Road
Tel: + 65 6733 9249
Fax: + 65 6733 9321
Email [email protected]
There is a small library of health and counselling related publications

Friends of the National Museums
51 Armenian Street, #02-00
Tel: + 65 6332 3650
Fax: + 65 6332 3650
This Library has books on many topics related to the art and history of Asia.

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