Worldwide icon-chevron-right Asia icon-chevron-right Singapore icon-chevron-right The best public libraries in Singapore

The best public libraries in Singapore

From browsing and borrowing different books to reading and studying in a quiet zone, these libraries know a thing or two

Library@Orchard
Photograph: Shutterstock/mokjc Library@Orchard
Advertising

There's no denying that bookstores are every bookworm's favourite place to shop, but sometimes you just run out of bookshelf space and would rather borrow than buy. Our public libraries are on point with a huge selection of famous classics and brand new titles by every author imaginable, along with amazing facilities and architecture to boot.

Alternatively, you can borrow an e-book or digital newspapers and magazines instantly via the NLB mobile app and read on the go. There are also audiobooks if you prefer being read to by calm, soothing voices.

RECOMMENDED: The best bookstores in Singapore and the best co-working spaces in Singapore

National Library Board, Yishun Public Library
Photograph: National Library Board
Things to do

Yishun Public Library

Reopened in 2018 after a major facelift, Yishun Public Library is home to over 125,000 titles. The interiors are inspired by the neighbourhood's evolution from natural plantation heritage to a bustling estate. The main pathway is mirrored with a ceiling light panel that guides you into the different sections of the library. The Virtual Library invites you to read and learn digitally, while The Quiet Reading Lounge is decked with cosy individual nooks for you to get comfy with a book in hand. 

Woodlands Regional Library
Photograph: National Library Board
Things to do

Woodlands Regional Library

Woodlands

The first and still the largest regional library, the Woodlands Regional Library is located within a stone’s throw of Woodlands MRT Station. The interactive library is nature-themed and has a special focus on children with its own features-galore Reading Park. Its Asian Children's Literature Collection includes children's literature and rare titles from all around Asia, with some published as early as the 1900s. It also houses a 250-seat auditorium in the basement, as well as a performance stage and 20-seat AV appreciation for public screening of TV programmes.

Advertising
National Library Board
Photograph: National Library Board
Things to do, Literary events

Marine Parade Library

Marine Parade

The first library to be built on reclaimed land, the book repository is the only one in the city with a mezzanine level. Here you can browse through shelves of Young People titles and graphic novels, as well as cosy seating to get stuck in. Children are free to read, learn and roam at its dedicated kids' section on the second level. Its Programme Zone also hosts exciting programmes including storytelling sessions for families. Find all sorts of genre, ranging from food to music, as well as reading rooms and study tables on the third floor. There's also Cafe Galilee if all that reading has left you feeling famished.

Library@Harbourfront
Photograph: National Library Board
Things to do

Library@Harbourfront

Habourfront

Take a break from the busy mall and step inside Singapore's newest public library where you will find over 200,000 volumes of books, conducive reading and learning spaces for children, teens and adults, learning pods, augmented reality books and enhanced services for both avid readers and those keen to learn. The main star of the library is the reading lounge with huge windows that offer spectacular waterfront views, overlooking Sentosa – just like reading by the beach.

Advertising
Tampines Regional Library
Photograph: National National Library Board
Things to do

Tampines Regional Library

Tampines

Most Easties will probably remember the old Tampines library fondly, but it's almost unrecognisable now. The library's brand new digs – now at Our Tampines Hub – boast an extensive collection of reading, visual and audio materials for users of all ages, as well as learning spaces such as the PA-managed culinary studios, interest group activity rooms, and an indoor playground for kids. There are even cooking stations for hands-on culinary classes. If you're feeling active, check out its 700 metre-long running track or exercise bikes that allow you to read and cycle while overlooking the football pitch. 

National Library Singapore
Photograph: National Library Board
Things to do, Literary events

National Library

Rochor

With a central borrowing library, reference library and a digital library in tow, the National Library aims to be more than just a place for book reading. Firstly, the building (which replaces the old National Library on Stamford Road) has been showered with architectural awards before it even opened. The new building is designed as two towers, linked by walkways and flanked almost entirely by glass. The spacious reference section and study rooms on the upper floors offer great views across the city. Additionally, there are small exhibition spaces and a Drama Centre for performances within the building. 

Advertising
Things to do

Library of Botany and Horticulture

Tanglin

Located in Singapore Botanic Gardens, the Library of Botany and Horticulture houses an impressive collection of horticulture, landscape architecture of botanical research done in Singapore. The only catch here is that while it is open to the public, the materials in the library are not available for loan – which is why it is a good thing that there are plenty of comfortable sofas to sink in and spend the day reading.

library@orchard
Photograph: Unsplash/Fahrul Azmi
Things to do

Library@Orchard

Orchard

The perfect pitstop when shopping in the city, Library@Orchard opened its doors in 2014, treating visitors to a cornucopia of resources centred on lifestyle, design and applied art. Located on the third and fourth floors of Orchardgateway, the library is split into The Studio and The Loft, which features a vast array of titles, as well as programme zones. Plus its gorgeous interiors is a great excuse to grab a paperback or a magazine and chill indoors.

Advertising
Things to do

Library@Esplanade

City Hall

Sited on the third floor of the Esplanade, Theatres on the Bay, the Library@Esplanade is an abundant resource hub for the performing arts. Music scores, compact discs and many various literary journals, books and magazines fill the 2,300-square-metre space, where ample sofa seats and chairs allow for comfortable reading sessions. Located within the library is Tiffany's Cafe, a cosy retreat with a view of Marina Bay. Other amenities available at the library include an exhibition space, a performing stage, a jamming studio, a piano practice room, screening rooms, and a dance alley.

Things to do

Singapore Sports Hub Library

Kallang

It’s a no-brainer when it comes to sports and active recreation materials – the Singapore Sports Hub Library is brimming with all the resources you could dream of. Not just for sports professionals, readers of all ages are welcomed. Browse through heaps of print, audiovisual and electronic resources of various genres that include sports, coaching, biographies, health and fitness, as well as business management, science, medical and more.

Advertising
Things to do, Literary events

Central Public Library

Rochor

Home to the world's first green library for children My Tree House, this library boasts a large collection of fiction titles. It also houses a good array of business and creative design offerings. Besides basic facilities like self-check borrowing sites, a 24-hour book drop service, multimedia stations, online catalogues and photocopying machines, it also has a fiction advisory service that gives users advice on fiction titles to read based on their interests, assistive reading devices and e-kiosks. About 134,000 print items are available here. Plus, it often hosts programmes like book launches, exhibitions, book discussions and meet-the-author sessions.  

Bishan Public Library
Photograph: Look Architects
Attractions, Libraries, archives and foundations

Bishan Public Library

Bishan

Designed by Look Architects, this distinctive four-storey public library with a basement and roof terrace is flanked by stained glass panels resembling light from a tropical tree canopy. Choose from the 250,000 titles at the library and chill out at the reading pods or snuggle up at the eatery in the library, D.I.G Dining In Garden on the first floor.  

Love books?

Advertising
Recommended
    You may also like
      Advertising