Reading Books in Style Your Guide to library@orchard
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Reading Books in Style: Your Guide to library@orchard

If you’re a book lover like me, you better add library@orchard to your itinerary! This library is located in Orchard Gateway, a popular mall, so you can stop by here when you’re done shopping for the day. 

To help you prepare for a fun, seamless experience, here’s a guide to the library. I’ll share some helpful tips, what to expect, and more, so feel free to take some notes. 

Background of library@orchard

— From: vanessastari

Along with library@esplanade, library@orchard actually started out as an experiment for the National Library Board (NLB). They wanted to see different ways to introduce new services and products for future projects. 

Most libraries in Singapore are created with everyone in mind—from children to senior citizens. But for library@orchard, the NLB decided to target young adults specifically—a move that eventually worked out in their favor. 

At first, library@orchard was located on level 5 of Ngee Ann City, but it was relocated to levels 3 and 4 of Orchard Gateway. In an effort to attract more youth to the library, the NLB has included music programs and a cafe with a cozy ambiance.

Things to Know

Address: 277 Orchard Rd, #03-12 / #04-11 Orchard Gateway, Singapore 238858 

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday—11 am to 9 pm

How to Get Here

Riding the bus is your best option for getting to library@orchard. Simply ride bus 106, 143, or 502, and alight at any of the following stations (they’re only minutes away from the library): Ngee Ann City/Takashimaya, Grand Park Orchard, or Somerset Road.

If you prefer riding the MRT, the closest station to alight at is Somerset, which is about two minutes from the library (on foot). Other nearby stations include Great World (10 minutes away) Dhoby Ghaut (13 minutes away) and Fort Canning (15 minutes away).

Best Time to Go

— From: passion_travellers

library@orchard is open every day (except for public holidays), and you can visit whenever you want. 

That said, if you prefer to come when the crowd level is at its lowest, I suggest stopping by during the weekdays, preferably as soon as the library opens. There won’t be a lot of visitors then, so you can choose your seat and enjoy a moment of peace. 

Weekends are usually the peak days of the library, so you might have a harder time finding a seat or getting to enjoy a quiet time.

Fees to Pay

— From: vntvy

Luckily, entering library@orchard is free—which is also the case for the other libraries in Singapore. So, you can come here any time you want and read books without paying a dime. 

That said, the NLB offers different membership programs, which will allow members to borrow items from libraries across the island. These programs are open to permanent residents and foreigners; Singaporeans are the only ones who get a free membership.

If you’re interested in getting a membership, here are your options: 

Membership Program Who Is It For? Price What Can You Do with It?
Basic MembershipPermanent ResidentsS$10.59 (one-time registration fee)Borrow up to 16 physical items and 16 eBooks (and audiobooks) for 21 days
Basic MembershipForeignersS$10.59 (one-time registration fee) and S$43.20 (annual fee)Borrow up to 16 physical items and 16 eBooks (and audiobooks) for 21 days
Accessible MembershipPersons with disabilities who are beneficiaries of eligible disability schemes and services or those who had attended or are currently attending special education schoolsS$10.59 (one-time registration fee)Able to enjoy basic library membership privileges as well as additional perks like a longer borrowing period, a longer renewal period, and priority access to accessible features
Partner MembershipPAssion card holdersFree upgradeIncreased loan privileges, such as being able to borrow up to 24 physical items and renew the loan(s) for another 21 days

How to Borrow Books

— From: jxxnne_1029

Only Singaporeans and NLB members can borrow books and take them home for a few days. So, if you’re a foreigner, you can only read a book or any other item within the premises. 

If you are a Singaporean or an NLB member, you can head to the book borrowing station once you’ve chosen the item you’d want to borrow. You can also use the NLB Mobile app to reserve an item and then pick it up in the library within five days. 

Library Policies to Remember

— From: iamkyangdis

If you’re visiting library@orchard, be sure to follow the library policies. These policies are as follows:

  • Be sure your phone is turned off or, at least, switched to silent mode. 
  • If you need to communicate with someone, send a text message instead of calling.
  • Drinking, eating, or smoking inside the library is prohibited. 
  • Take good care of every library material you’re holding. Damaging—and stealing—something from the library is a serious offence.

What to Expect in library@orchard

Modern Design

— From: raisekar

The first thing that most people will notice about library@orchard is its design. Most libraries have a traditional look to them, but library@orchard opts to embrace modernity instead, which is why it’s often called a “boutique” library. 

The main highlight of this library is its “petal” shelves. They look like waves when you look at them from a higher vantage point. 

It’s also known for its contemporary black-and-white color scheme, so it looks minimalistic and elegant.

Book Selection Catering to Young Adults

— From: mr.kabahay

The target demographic of library@orchard is the youth, and you can see that in its book selection. This library boasts roughly 100,000 items, and around 33% of its total collection are novels written in the English language. 

Novels aren’t the only ones that this library features. You can also find books and magazines on a wide range of topics, such as design, fashion, cultural studies, and even data analytics and virtual reality. 

The diversity of fields featured in library@orchard caters to the various interests of young adults. 

The Loft and the Studio

— From:

library@orchard takes up two floors of space, and they’re aptly named “The Studio” and “The Loft.” 

The Studio refers to the first floor where most of the shelves are located. In this section, your seating options are the giant steps in the corner; these are great for lounging. 

Meanwhile, the Loft is on the second floor, and it gives you an unparalleled view of the petal shelves below. It’s also in this section where you can find the cozy reading pods (perfect for leisure reading) and seats facing the window. 

Various Events

— From: scamsyndicates

Another great thing about library@orchard is that it doesn’t just stick to books exclusively. That’s why you can find various events being hosted here from time to time.

One of the most popular innovations the library has done is to host music@orchard, a series of programs that allow rap artists and rock bands to entertain the crowd. Another thing the library did is comics@orchard, which allowed people to loan comics. 

In addition to these two, library@orchard has hosted workshops, talks, and exhibitions throughout the years. There’s always something unique to look forward to here.