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Touch of controversy over VivoCity library plan

A new public library is poised to launch at VivoCity in January.

The re-opening of Bukit Merah Public Library as “library@harbourfront” on VivoCity’s shopping mall level 3 is expected to attract 1.5 million visitors annually – three times more than at the old location, partly due to better public transport access.

The VivoCity library will feature an e-newspaper reading area and a children’s area, as well as a multi-purpose programme zone for storytelling, talks, and workshops. At 3000sqm, it will be Singapore’s largest library in a shopping mall. Its tenancy will be effectively rent free under an urban redevelopment programme.

Vivocity Library (2)

Vivocity Library (3)

The planned relocation is not without its controversies, with an online petition gathering signatures to protest at the library’s distance from residential areas. The original library will close its doors later this month, having stood in its current location since 1982. A mini-library is among community facilities planned for the site following the library’s move.

The VivoCity library move, however, represents an effort to shift public libraries to locations with higher foot traffic. Both Tampines and Yishun libraries have recently moved to shopping malls in their areas.

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