The Library@Harbourfront sets the bar for what will be the library of the future looks like. It has defined and shown what a modern library is without losing the classic touch of traditional libraries. Located at 3F of Vivo city mall, formerly known as Bukit Merah Public Library it is the largest public shopping mall library in Singapore, Originally founded in 1982, it was renovated and reopened with its new modern design in 2018. As a public library access is free for visitors.
It is divided into 3 zones: Kids, Teens and Adults. Books borrowing and returning area are located right as you enter and are self-serviced via their electronic kioks. From your left side is the kids zone which is super cool and informative. I've never been to this area but I could see that there are tons of activities, learning & play areas and most of all books which are both physical copy as well as e-books. It is really a kids friendly zone adjusting and catering to their needs so they will not feel constrained just by reading but it is a learning place where they can both read, study and have fun.
To my right are the Teens and Adult zone and this is the biggest area. With a collection of more than 200,000 materials both physical and digital books, magazines, and newspapers. This is where I study, write and read. My go to and favorite topics are Travel, Food, Fashion and Lifestyle. Right away the Magazines as well as Travel & Recreation materials are located first which is what I like very much. The interior design and layout is brightly lit, cozy, spacious and modern yet it maintains the standard library set-up in organizing their books and other materials. I loved that they painted the shelves and cabinets white which adds more brightness to the room. Materials are divided into different classifications and are catalogued accordingly which made it easier for to find. There is also a kiosk machine to find the materials you need. The spacing between shelves is perfect which gives you enough room and comfortable space to look around. Within the shelves you would see blue sofas where you could sit and can read/study/relax. There are charging stations for your phone, laptops and other electronic devices which for me shows more technological services provided by the library. There are study, observation and viewing rooms on the left side which I haven't tried yet but I could see huge display screens showcasing different movies and documentaries which are very interesting and will surely try next time. On the right side around the area there are study tables facing the window and as you move ahead you would see E-newspaper desks at the end of the shelves.
At the end of the the zone is where the grandest part of all where I normally stay: the classroom type seating area designed in U-shape presentation theater like hall similar to amphitheater. It has a huge panoramic window at the end which has the most amazing and impeccable view of Sentosa uninterrupted. I could see USS & Shrek's castle from here, the Sentosa Tram, Sentosa Boardwalk and the Sea. This is what makes this library stand out - a very creative and innovative design not found in other libraries. Not only I learned from going here but I also enjoyed and got relaxed with this wonderful view. This area is divided into 2 halls: the left one is bigger which has the best view and in addition it also serves coffee table books and DVDs. The right one near the e-newspaper area is the smaller one but still has the stunning view of Sentosa. I normally go to the left one which has different types of desks and chairs which I really loved as well as their coffee table books. At the bottom part of the halls are Yellow wooden type leaning chairs which perfectly match the amazing view.
Following the standard library procedures - silence and cleanliness is a must. This is a place to study, learn and relax. Maintain cleanliness and tidiness whenever your using their materials and services. During weekends and peak hours the library might be full so observe proper timing while using the library. They are closed during public holidays and during this pandemic, QR Code is a must for contact tracing and they usually inform designated usage time when entering the library. Finally, I wanted to salute the library staff who are very friendly and helpful, some of which are volunteers who maintain and manage the overall day to day activities & services of the library for smooth and efficient delivery of their materials and services to the public. Most notably the cleanliness and orderliness of the library itself - I could see their staff cleaning the library desk and chairs every so often - I really admire this, truly an impeccable service they provide. In addition, their toilet is also quite huge and very clean. Concluding my Excellent review, if you happen to drop by Vivo do visit the Library@Harbourfront and you will be surprised that it's not just your ordinary library - it is about what learning and relaxing means at the same time. Kudos to you all Library@Harbourfront!!!