library@orchard (Chinese: 乌节图书馆) is a closed public library under the National Library Board (NLB) of Singapore. It was first located on Level 5 of Ngee Ann City on Orchard Road, in the Central Area of Singapore.
Created as a boutique library, library@orchard, together with library@esplanade, was used as a test bed for NLB to introduce new services and products which could then be adapted for future projects. The library's location within the Orchard Road shopping belt was intended to attract the youth segment of the population.
library@orchard was created based on feedback in the National Reading Survey. Initially, the NLB had concerns about setting up a library that catered only to young adults as they were used to libraries that served everyone—from children to senior citizens. However, this uncertainty was assuaged after NLB's development team discussed the concept with focus groups made up of its target customers—young adults.
library@orchard became popular with young adults. Its success paved the way for more innovations, such as the music@orchard series of programmes that saw rap artistes and rock bands entertaining huge crowds. Another innovation was comics@orchard where comics went on loan in Singapore's public libraries for the first time. At its peak, the library had 120,000 items, with more than 33% of its total collection comprising English language novels.
With an appealing ambiance, and the presence of music booths and a café, library@orchard managed to double its outreach since its establishment, with an average of more than 1.4 million visitors per year.
Closure and relocation Edit
On 25 July 2007, the National Library Board announced that library@orchard will be closed on 30 November 2007 because the lease on the premises at Ngee Ann City would not be renewed. It was subsequently closed on that date.
Macquarie Pacific Star Prime Reit Management, which handled the library's lease, stated that the board paid rent that was below prevailing market rates for the 1,580 square metre (17,000 square feet) space. NLB had been told in March 2005 that the lease would not be renewed when it expires in February 2008. The vacated space would house fashion, beauty and wellness retailers. Rents in the Orchard Road shopping belt had increased 5-7% in the first half of 2007, and was estimated to go up by another 5-6% by end 2007.
To mark the relocation of library@orchard, NLB held a series of public events and programmes, such as exhibitions, film screenings, talks and even "live" performances by local bands and musicians, in the months leading to the closure. A "Moving On" party was then held on the closure date.</small>
Proposed re-opening Edit
The library@orchard is scheduled to re-open in the first quarter of 2014 at Orchard Gateway, a new shopping mall built at the site of the old Specialists' Shopping Centre. The new library will be slightly bigger than its predecessor at 1,700 square metres and will span two floors of the mall.
- "Sip coffee and borrow a book at Ngee Ann City", The Straits Times, April 6, 1999
- Script error