Top 10 Best Libraries in Singapore
Do you enjoy reading? If you prefer the traditional paperback, you must have visited one of the many libraries in Singapore before. National Library Board promotes reading, learning and information literacy by providing a trusted, accessible and globally-connected library and information service. This is through the National Library and a comprehensive network of Public Libraries. By forging strategic partnerships to cultivate knowledge sharing, the libraries also encourage appreciation and awareness of Singapore’s history. This is through their wide range of programmes and collection on Singapore and regional content. The National Archives of Singapore oversees the collection, preservation and management of public and private archival records, including government files, private memoirs, maps, photographs, oral history interviews and audio-visual materials. Tropika Club aggregated rankings or “ranking of rankings” compared from the following sources to further ascertain the final rankings. This is further refined using the TripAdvisor rankings to decide between the position in case there is a tie. Read on to find out where are the Top 10 Best Libraries in Singapore.
1. Library @ Harbourfront
Introduction: With huge windows that overlook Sentosa, the spectacular waterfront views at the reading lounge in Library@Harbourfront would make anyone feel like they’re reading by the beach.
Offerings: Take a break from the busy mall and step inside the 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.
Location: 03-05, VivoCity 1 Harbourfront Walk Singapore 098585
2. Tampines Regional Library
Introduction: Most Easties will probably remember the old Tampines library fondly, but it’s almost unrecognisable now. The library’s brand new digs – now at Tampines Hub . Tampines Regional Library is a library located in Tampines New Town, Singapore. It is the first regional library in Singapore and opened on 3 December 1994 by then Senior Minister of State for Education and Health Aline Wong.
Offerings: Spread over five floors, the library houses 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.
1 Tampines Walk, Our Tampines Hub, #02-01, Singapore 5285230
3. Yishun Library
Introduction: Yishun Public Library, is a public library located in Yishun in the northern region of Singapore, initially opened on 26 February 1998. 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.
Offerings: 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.
Location: 930 Yishun Ave 2, #04-01, Northpoint Shopping Centre Singapore 769098
4. Bishan Public Library
Introduction: The Bishan Public Library is a library in the National Library Board network situated at Bishan, Singapore just behind Junction 8 Shopping Centre. It opened on 1 September 2006 by Mr Wong Kan Seng, then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs, and Member of Parliament representing the Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC. 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.
Offerings: 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.
Location: 5 Bishan Pl, #01-01 Singapore 579841
5. Geylang East Public Library
Introduction: Geylang East Public Library is one of the 26 public libraries established by the National Library Board of Singapore. Just a five minutes’ walk away from Aljunied MRT, this library is one of the least crowded public libraries in Singapore.
Offerings: It’s stocked with tons of books over two floors, and beautifully designed with wood paneled floors and open spaces. A perfect place to relax and get some reading or work done!
Location: 50 Geylang East Avenue 1, Singapore 389777
6. Library @ Esplanade
Introduction: Library@Esplanade is a public library managed by Singapore’s National Library Board. It is located on the third floor of Esplanade Mall at Marina Centre, sited within Singapore’s Downtown Core. library@esplanade is Singapore’s first public library for the performing arts.
Offerings: 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.
Location: #03-01 Esplanade 8 Raffles Ave Singapore 039802
7. Central Public Library
Introduction: Central Public Library is home to My Tree House, the World’s 1st Green Library for Kids. This library is the first in the world to be steered by green principles in all facets from design and infrastructure to collection and programming. It also houses a good array of business and creative design offerings.
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.
Location: 100 Victoria Street Singapore 188064
8. Bukit Panjang Library
Introduction: Bukit Panjang Public Library is a public library in Bukit Panjang, Singapore. It is the fourth public library owned by the National Library Board to be located inside a mall. This library has long delighted neighbouring residents, but after a revamp in 2017, the enhanced features and design make it a perfect library for young readers.
Offerings: Dotted with colourful rounded shelves called “Book Mountains,” the Kids’ Zone is like a playground. Pick a book and step inside one of the Mountains to hold your own private storytelling session with your child! Many regular programs are also targeted at kids, from unstructured play to movie screenings to immersive storytelling sessions. And visitors of all ages will be fascinated by the library’s AutoSorter book drop system. You can finally discover and watch how the books you return get sorted on the conveyor belt!
Location: 1 Jelebu Road, Bukit Panjang Plaza, #04-04 & 16/17, Singapore 677743
9. Library @ Orchard
Introduction: 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.
Offerings: Located on the third and fourth floors of Orchard Gateway, 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.
Location: #03-12/#04-11 Orchardgateway 277 Orchard Rd Singapore 238858
10. Singapore Sports Hub Library
Introduction: The Library is located at 4 Stadium Walk (S397697) and is situated adjacent to the Stadium MRT Station. 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.
Offerings: 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.
Location: 4 Stadium Walk Singapore 397697apore 180261
11. Library of Botany and Horticulture
Introduction: 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.
Offerings: The Library of Botany and Horticulture holds a variety of collections for specialist botanical and horticultural resources. 70% of the collection is searchable in the Library Catalogue. 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.
Location: Singapore Botanic Gardens 1 Cluny Rd Singapore 259569
Contact: +65 6471 9942
12. Deck Library
Introduction: Just along Prinsep Street, it’s hard to miss this intriguing stack of black industrial containers, its central vertical column standing tall. Organisers of the biennial Singapore International Photography Festival, Deck is an independent art space dedicated to inspiring local interest in photography.
Offerings: Clamber on up to the second floor, and step into the container marked Library; you’ll come face to face with industrial-metal shelves stacked with photobooks, including 2,800 titles of self-published, handmade and limited edition printing matter. You can take your time paging through the glossy pages, steep yourself in the cosy ambience, and stick around for Photobook Conversations, a series of talks organised bimonthly that’s centred around the library collection. You can even move your party of intellectuals over to the onsite pub, fulfilling both the ‘C’ (Community) and ‘K’ (Knowledge) in Deck
Location: 120A Prinsep Street (4.04 km) 187937 Singapore
Contact: +65 6734 6578
13. Library @ Chinatown
Introduction: If it’s an escape from the heat and the crowds you’re looking for, head straight up to the fourth floor of Chinatown Point, and follow the sea of yellow fan motifs right into the library. Be it the traditional Chinese screen panels or the floral motifs underfoot, let yourself get lost in Singapore’s first themed library on Chinese arts and culture.
Offerings: Centred around the four trademark manifestations of arts, Performance Arts, Strategy, Literary Arts, and Visual and Fine Arts, you’ll find a curated selection of elegant titles on calligraphy, music, painting, customs and more. If you’re really looking to connect with your roots, you can even peruse titles and audio-visual materials in dialects like Hokkien, Teochew, and Cantonese—and make your grandmother proud. Congregate with fellow arts and cultural enthusiasts too, and watch out for their roster of readings and workshops frequently held.ound to satisfy your cravings and will surely delight your taste buds.
Contact: +65 8691 0246
14. Queenstown Public Library
Introduction: The one that started it all, this library spanning 3,349 square metres was Singapore’s first full-time branch library, opened in 1970. The current building, having stood through decades of change, still retains original architectural features like its distinctive outer fence and the bow-tie motif at the entrance
Offerings: Quiet sanctuary away from the crowds, leisurely browse through over 200,000 titles across all kinds of categories, and settle yourself down for reading in their rooms bathed in natural light, pouring in generously through the glass panelled windows. If it’s a trip down history you’d like to take, participate in the library’s segment of the monthly Heritage Trail, where you’ll hear all about its past and present; proof that reading never dies
Location: 53 Margaret Dr, Singapore 149297
Got a Place to Suggest?
We need your help! Do you know any other noteworthy places that deserves to be added to this list? If so, do write to us via our email. Tropika Club will do a review of your recommendations and update the list accordingly.