I have finally completed all my tasks required for my masters in Teacher Librarian at Charles Sturt University, Australia. This summer I have conducted my mandatory study visits for my capstone subject in Singapore and simply said, I had a blast!
The library hopping has been a truly valuable professional development outside my comfort zone, the school library. I visited a range of libraries including the National Library of Singapore, few public libraries, a regional library, the National Archives and one international school library. I had the opportunity to visit spaces representing libraries of the future. Each library was unique in its design and its collection, both meeting the demographics of the users, and yet united in sharing the love of reading, sharing stories, promoting the importance of information literacy and connecting people. I met with people most of them librarians who gave me a warm welcome and talk about the library and how they serve their community with great enthusiasm.
The number of revamped public libraries have been redesigned to meet the needs of the users from youngest of age to seniors in the community. It was interesting how the interior design was matching the location of the library, resembling its surroundings.
All the libraries under the umbrella of the National Library Board (NLB) including the National Archives are intensively promoting the NLB app in the past two years. The NLB App allows users not only to borrow electronic materials but it also promotes books, events, initiatives, campaigns that users could take advantage of, hears users feedback etc. The NLB libraries truly exist for their communities. They include the users in the design of the physical space. Users also have a say in the collection development. Furthermore, Singapore public libraries are true entrepreneurship. Numerous events of different nature take place within the public library spaces making sure there is something for each age group.
My study visits highlights include the innovative, future looking interior design of the library spaces, campaigns promoting reading, the emphasize on information literacy and last but not least, exhibitions of curated collections such as On Paper (map collections) because every collection has a story to tell.
All in all I enjoyed traveling in library spaces of the future.