my recent reads..

Atomic Accidents: A History of Nuclear Meltdowns and Disasters; From the Ozark Mountains to Fukushima
Power Sources and Supplies: World Class Designs
Red Storm Rising
Locked On
Analog Circuits Cookbook
The Teeth Of The Tiger
Sharpe's Gold
Without Remorse
Practical Oscillator Handbook
Red Rabbit

Monday, November 17, 2008

The New Yishun Library

Well, weekdays being weekdays, I didn't manage to get up to Yishun last Thursday in time to enjoy Issak's world-exclusive, personally-guided bloggers' tour of the new Yishun Public Library before the doors were thrown open to the masses on Friday 14th.

I did pop in on Sunday though ... along with the rest of the masses. I mean masses. Just collage a few hundred faces on this picture and you'll get the idea:

The new library stretches across the entire upper level of both the old and new extension of the Northpoint shopping centre (correction: it only seemed that way. Apparently it's just in the new extension). That's a pretty huge space, and aside from some scary cubes in the kids' area, it's pretty much all given over to the collection itself.

Kind of makes sense for a library in a mall: drop in; pick up and move on. Side thought: my cynical mind wonders if the centre management insist the library limit the study space and reading corners. Can't have people inside a mall being distracted from spending money for too long, can we?

Sunday was very busy, and it did show up a few "scalability" problems in the layout. With hindsight, NLB may regret jamming the kids area right up to the entrance, having the customer service queue cut across the walkway, and not making space for a few more checkout machines. There seemed to be a perpetual log jam of people trying to get through the kids area to the adult collection. I guess things will quieten down over the next few weeks, but the floor plan could do with a few tweaks before the library can comfortably handle crowds like this on a routine basis.

I didn't mind too much - this once! After all, there's something very reassuring and downright wholesomely right about a LIBRARY opening attracting so much interest.

mrsburdak did make the blogger preview and posted a great photo tour. Also didn't pass up the opportunity to campaign on a few of the hot issues for library users in Singapore;-)

  • The whole website confusion (and broken: go to and click on a menu. Doh!)

  • Messing with the Dewey system by thematically arranging the library. Yep, I also find myself having to check every aisle to find the right section (I dare you to guess which section a book about google maps hacks is in). DBAs call that a "table scan" and hate them like the devil's spawn:-/

OK, so nothing as important as Obama still failing my spell checker, but it's emotional and heady stuff for people who love their libraries.

As I do;-) And now with Yishun I have a fantastic, fully stocked library a door-to-door bus trip away (rather than walk and bus, or walk and train).

PS: thanks Ivan for putting out the call to bloggers about the new library. Hope you continue to get bloggers involved (can't get us to turn up? Make your own: teach the kids to blog at the library). Libraries and blogging are a perfect match in my book.


Anonymous said...

The new Yishun Public Library is located only in the new extension of Northpoint Shopping Centre. The 4th floor of the existing Northpoint is still occupied by Timezone etc.

Paul said...

aw, you shattered the illusion of the library being so huge.

Thanks for the clarification though;-)

Ivan Chew said...

Thanks for the post, Paul! It's interesting how you and mrsbudak share the same views. Hey maybe if we revamp the shelves (and website), I can tap on your expertise and views (I'm seriously). Getting kids to blog. Hmm... we'll see. So far, I know some do, But mostly one-liners. heh.

Isaak Kwok said...

Thanks, Paul. You didn't miss much from the tour. :)

Well, if your definition of kids is the 12-19 years old, then we do have some kids who blog for us on the YO! blog.

As for the Web site, will leave it to Ivan to revamp it. :)

Paul said...

@Isaak but I was so disappointed when I found out I missed having you lead the tour!

This gonna be ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME said...

im a child and i m visiting dis blog. i wish u guyz can make more pics of the new yishun library cos it's my second home but now i m at china so cannot see it.
Sorry for any shortform and grammar mistakes
P.S.Puh-lease can u tell me if the new library have a silent reading room?

Nik said...

Wow! I made someone's blog! Thanks for linking to 'My Spellcheck Hates Barack Obama' from your site! It's nice to know I'm not alone in the universe of the WWW.

Hope you are well.

eve+line said...

I had the same view about the placement of the children's section, but I didn't say anything because there was nothing much the NLB could do by then. Went to the library again a few days after it opened... disaster zone.

Paul said...

@This gonna be ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME .. so you are feeling like you miss the library? checkout mrsbudak's flickr.

@Nik thanks for dropping by! I think I first heard about the Obama spelling issue on net@nite. You post came up first page google search, so now you are even more famous;-)

Paul said...

@eve+line yeah, disaster zone alright. Haven't been back yet to see if it's quietened down. Gonna go back just to check that. My kaypoh nature;-)

Anonymous said...

I really hate the kid zone...
extremely noisy and....when i got to the library that kid is crying midway...
my god...really make me feel upset..

Paul said...

hmm... kid zone. Doesn't sound like it is getting quieter after opening like I hoped!

I flipped a coin yesterday and decided to head over to Bishan instead. Sounds like it was a good move. Maybe next week I take the plunge and check out Yishun again.