MCI Response to PQ on Government Support Available for Ground Up Community libraries
Parliament Sitting on 6 November 2023
QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
79. Ms Usha Chandradas: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information what is the extent of Government support available for ground-up community libraries that encourage reading in Singapore.
In addition to offering reading and learning resources through its network of 28 libraries, the National Library Board (NLB) works with partners and the community to ensure that Singaporeans have convenient access to reading materials. This includes donating older library books in good condition to community-run spaces as their seed collections. Doing so supports NLB’s focus on sustainability, as these books are given a new lease of life.
Since April 2020, NLB has provided more than 48,000 such books to 102 organisations, including Residents’ Committees (RCs), Community Centres (CCs), Senior Activity Centres, schools, and private organisations.
Communities also seek NLB’s advice when they are looking to run initiatives that promote reading and learning, such as the setting up of reading corners. NLB shares its experience in operating public libraries, especially on the importance of educating users that libraries are shared spaces providing shared resources, and should be used responsibly.
In addition, the People’s Association (PA) actively supports programmes initiated and run by residents and communities to promote reading. This includes the provision of its premises, support for publicity, donation drives, as well as funding under the PA’s Community Volunteer Enabling Grant (CV-EG).
NLB will continue to work with partners including PA, and the community to promote the habit and joy of reading, lifelong learning, and discovery.