Glimpsing at the Libraries in Singapore

baey yam kheng singapore tampines regional library openingBy Dr. Thant Zin (Physics)

It’s heartening to learn that some suggestions are being made for the young people to make effective use of libraries and to provide continuously readers with publications such as tabloids, magazines, journals and periodicals published daily, weekly and monthly at the libraries. Periodicals prices for young adults are so high that they cannot afford it; as a result, they have to lend some books at the nearby libraries, where they have access to my library resources.
When I was in my childhood in 1969s, televisions and hand phones were not available, therefore I had to spend most of my time listening to radio and reading books a lot at home. At that time, I had to take refuge in the library where everyone could be able to enjoy the learning, knowledge and escapism that books offer.
Thanks to technological advancement and information technology, people are taking a liking to read daily news and updates by watching television, surfing the internet, using Facebook and Viber, running some applications, etc. rather than listening to radio. It’s found out that book reading habits have decreased dramatically nowadays; consequently, people are more active on Facebook because they thought that Facebook is more desirable networking in their real life that is superior to reading pleasure.
A library is a place that is a repository of information and gives people access to knowledge, and people from developed countries make effective use of library that includes health information. During my visit to Singapore, I happened to make a glance at some libraries, including the National Library, the YISHUN Public Library and the Orchard Library where many people make use of their many learning resources. The Singapore National Library covers 13 floors where books are arranged on the shelf according to the classification system. For instance, there are Business Collection and Science Technology Collection (Economy, Science and Technology) on the seventh floor. It also houses many rooms for reading, audiovisual, surfing internet and reference library etc.
Nowadays library culture has made a crucial changed, and public libraries are redefining their role in the face of a rapidly changing digital culture using ILMS (Integrated Library Management System) that is a computer-based system used to manage internal and external resources including tangible assets, financial resources, materials, and human resources. It performs library automation and collection development tasks broken down into different modules that are focused on simplifying tasks such as acquisition, cataloguing, and circulation commonly done in any library.
Many libraries have utilized RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) that is a device that can receive and transmit a radio signal. It is built to encode data stored in the tag’s microprocessor. Because of the higher cost, active and semi-passive RFID tags are used for valuable asset tracking. The passive RFID tags are used in RFID library management systems.
For the convenience of the readers, 24-hr Book drops have been installed at the library using Book Drop Machine that can operate the process of returning library’s books is becoming more convenient lately. This library has provided 2 units of Book-Drop Machines that are operated 24 hours a day. The latest technology facilitates users to return book at any time and their record will be updated automatically.
The Singapore National Library (SNL)is a national knowledge institution empowering individuals and businesses with knowledge and information as it continuously expands its vast array of reference collections and services. It’s learnt that there were totaling 2.4 million members in 2017 and 28.7 mobile readers, together with 25.5 million visitors at the SNL, according to the resources. Therefore the SNL is the premier resource center for the readers, researchers, professionals, the general public and their alike.
I have already noticed that there are some libraries at the top of the supermarkets where the shoppers can grant easy access to the libraries while doing their shopping. I had witnessed that there were some students studying their homework by searching for library books on the shelves, and another incident is that woman who brought her baby in the trolley. She could lend her books using collected reservation and mobile phones.
As time goes by, library culture has been changing all the time. School libraries play an important role in the process of reforming the new education system and help to improve teaching and raise academic excellence. Libraries have become a place not only for reading pleasure but also for multi-purpose libraries with a wide range of public room for events and activities such as music shows, talk shows, paintings, learning, research, culture, creativity and so on. As for the authority concerned, efforts are being made to open the public libraries across the country, aiming to keep pace with new technology development and adopt suitable technologies for the efficiency and effectiveness of library functions and services, and to keep pace with new technology development and adopt suitable technologies for the efficiency and effectiveness of library functions and services.
Translated by Win Ko Ko Aung

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