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Singapore to Boost Reading, Digital Content

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In Singapore, more adults and teenagers are reading for leisure than in 2018, according to the National Library Board’s (NLB) National Reading Habits Study 2021. It has also become more common to consume digital content in formats like videos and e-books, even for the aim of acquiring research-related information.

The COVID-19 limits may in part be to blame for the rising popularity of reading and digital entertainment. According to NLB Chief Executive Officer Ng Cher Pong, “Despite the impact of the pandemic on our lives and lifestyles over the past two years, it is heartening to know that reading and learning are constants for most Singaporeans.”

To support NLB’s policies for encouraging reading and participation among residents, the National Reading Habits Study strives to comprehend the reading preferences of adult and teenage residents in Singapore.

The survey also reveals a rising demand for digital entertainment, particularly among young people. The developing and upgrading of NLB’s omnichannel service offerings as part of LAB25 (Libraries and Archives Blueprint 2025), will allow users of all ages to continue reading and learning wherever they are.

NLB will use its programmes and channels to promote reading and learning for everyone to address the main findings. In addition, NLB intends to provide more discoverable and instructive video material. Adults and teenagers frequently use video streaming platforms to access information and enjoyment.

To engage and deliver information to its customers, NLB will offer more video content on its streaming channel. One example is the “From Book to Cook” series, which was introduced this year to help customers learn about Singapore’s rich culinary legacy. Additionally, viewers can anticipate a series of films by “Read to be S.U.R.E.” to learn more about subjects including gender equality, balancing work, and family obligations, and the metaverse.

To facilitate reading and learning wherever and at any time, NLB is expanding its omnichannel service offerings under LAB25 with additional electronic books and online learning tools. Customers can access thousands of free courses via the NLB-Udemy Business online learning platform, as well as borrow free e-books and audiobooks from NLB’s expanding collection of e-books and audiobooks, while the older public libraries are still being renovated.

To give consumers digital access to NLB’s resources in public areas across Singapore, NLB is also growing its network of nodes. Likewise, NLB wants to improve the sharing feature of its mobile app. The social component of reading is becoming more and more significant, with “Social Readers” frequently finding new books via their friends’ and family’s social media accounts.

NLB will explore improving the “share” feature in the NLB Mobile App to make it easier to share book recommendations with loved ones and friends. This will complement NLB’s ongoing physical book club meetings, which support the development of a readership and a book-loving community.

The study also discovered that most readers choose new books to read depending on their interest in the book’s or article’s subject. Personalised suggestions based on members’ loan history are currently available through the NLB Mobile App.

The NLB offers free membership to all Singaporeans, who may then use the app to access, reserve, and borrow thousands of books, journals, and other publications. NLB focuses on resource and digital innovation, citizen involvement and co-creation, and innovation to achieve excellence. As a result, there are more chances for learning, more people have access to library services, resources, and archival collections, and novel library locations are continually being developed.

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