Performing arts collections, books previously offered at library@esplanade to be available through NLB online catalogue

The new Central Arts Library’s physical spaces are expected to be ready in 2024.

Han Xinyi

Still doesn’t understand how the kopi c, o, kosong system works.

Published: 12 September 2023, 1:17 PM

Art collections and programmes originally from the now-closed library@esplanade are being offered once again online and in various spaces in the National Library (NL) Building.

The National Library Board (NLB) also announced on Wednesday (Sep 6) that library patrons can browse the art collections physically in a new physical library space in 2024.

Named the Central Arts Library, it is a new addition to the NL Building that will exclusively house performing arts catalogues and programmes originally from the former Esplanade library.

library@esplanade – which closed on Jun 30 – was once Singapore’s only public library dedicated towards performing arts. Due to the NLB’s move to “centralise its arts resources” in one location, the library was shut down and its art collection was relocated to the NL Building.

The new performing arts library’s physical premises will only open in January 2024, though interested patrons may reserve its art resources on the NLB online catalogue from Sep 15 onwards.

Some art collection items that are available for reservations include DVDs and Blu-Rays, while others like music scores will only be released in the coming months.

Reservations can be made on NLB’s mobile app, website, or library catalogue stations.

Before the Central Arts Library’s library premises open next year, art programmes like monthly movie screenings, stage performances, recitals and workshops will be hosted on a regular basis from now to January 2024.

The stage performances – called Open Stage Originals – in particular allows local artists to “showcase and promote their original works” to members of the public. It will be held monthly from October to December of this year, and is open to singers, songwriters, musicians, filmmakers, playwrights and choreographers.

Jazz appreciation sessions will be held monthly at the NL Building Lobby from September 2023 to January 2024. These sessions hope to educate others on the music genre, its techniques and improvisations.

Other art programmes will also be held between September to December 2023 in various NL Building spaces.

Aside from the Central Arts Library’s opening next year, the NL Building’s general public library – the Central Public Library – is also slated to reopen in January 2024.

The Central Public Library is home to the NL Building’s general selection of library books and materials. Its physical premises were closed temporarily in June 2022 for a revamp.

According to NLB, the revamped Central Public Library space will have upgraded adult and children’s sections, as well as programme spaces for all ages.

On top of the art collections and programmes, the NL Building will also introduce two more F&B options in the coming months.

More details about upcoming arts programmes, collections and the libraries will be announced at a later date.

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