Thoughts on the closure of library@orchard

I’m sure some of us felt it was a pity that the National Library Board (NLB) was closing down its popular Orchard branch on 30 Nov 2007. Having said that, I like how NLB launched its Orchard blog and openly discussed it. The last time I borrowed books, it was from that branch. Having a library in town, near where I live, was very convenient.
I first heard the news of the closure on the radio, and almost couldn’t believe it. But considering the soaring property prices, I can understand how a commercial landlord would want to raise its rates. Thus, the lease is not being renewed (correct me if my assumption is mistaken). At least there’s a chance it may relocate to another part of town. An NLB-MCYS alliance sounds quite powerful.
Looking at the summary slides (using Slideshare, no less), the Orchard branch did fulfil one its objectives for me – “To woo back the inactive young adult library user into the public library system”. I was a very inactive member, not having borrowed books since I was probably in Secondary school. The key was convenience and having another bookworm friend take me the library.
However, most of the time, if I want to read a book, I buy it. The pressure of completing a book within an allocated time usually puts me off from borrowing them. I have lots of half-read books lying around. It’s a bit like leaving newly-opened bottles of wine to air. I blame it on the Internet, which gave us bite-sized information, making longer text more intolerable for me to consume in one sitting.
Still, I digress. It was good while it lasted. All I can say now is, thank you for being there.


  1. Dave

    I liked it. I don’t buy many books these days as I know I’m just going to read them once, and I’m running out of shelf space. Even if you can’t find books at the orchard library, you could get it reserved and shipped to you.

  2. walter

    Personally, I haven’t been very regular at Library@Orchard compared to the other community and public libraries (especially Bukit Merah which is near my home and Central Library which is near my office). However, I do enjoy what they are trying to do there and in a way, its a nice respite from all that hectic shopping at Orchard Road. I still love books though I haven’t been reading a lot these days.

  3. vantan

    Walter – I think we still read a lot, except that it’s shifted from books to the Internet (including feeds).
    Jillian – Nice to hear from you, and thanks for the link back! 🙂

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