Photo credit: NATIONAL LIBRARY BOARD

Punggol Regional Library opens first two floors; features Calm Pods, Toy Library

The first two floors are open to the public daily from 12pm to 9pm.

Fitri Mahad

Probably the only person that likes to hear the koels go ‘uwu’.

Published: 30 January 2023, 6:04 PM

Interactive toys and accessibility features are some things visitors can expect when they head to the new Punggol Regional Library located in One Punggol.

Its first two floors are open daily from 12pm to 9pm, with dedicated collections and spaces for children of all ages, announced the National Library Board (NLB) on Monday (Jan 30). 

Library visitors can expect to see new accessible features such as Calm Pods, and an Accessible Collection with books for the disability community as well as their caregivers.

These are part of NLB’s ongoing efforts to make its libraries and archives “accessible for everyone”.

The Calm Pods can be found on both levels, and function as a quiet and safe space for both adults and children with disabilities to go to when they need a “private and calming sensorial experience”.

These pods comprise a waiting area equipped with sensory aids and a beanbag, and a “more private space” with padded walls and flooring.

 

Visitors can communicate with staff via the intercom to gain access to the Calm Pods. PHOTO CREDIT: NATIONAL LIBRARY BOARD

 

Also found on both floors are wheelchair-accessible Book Borrowing Stations, with increased font size and colour contrast on its interface to increase accessibility for wheelchair users and persons with partial vision loss, including seniors.

Found at level one, the Toy Library is suitable for children aged 6 years and below, and offers regular toys, educational aids, puppets and costumes. TinkerTots is also aimed at the same age range, letting children “learn about the world” through DIY tinkering activities under parental supervision.

 

The TinkerTots space will feature monthly thematic building challenges and DIY library adventure sheets to help engage children in sensory activities with their parents and caregivers. PHOTO CREDIT: NATIONAL LIBRARY BOARD

 

Suited for children aged 4 to 10 years, the Stories Come Alive Room is a storytelling experience that utilises moving images and text, and light and sound effects for an an immersive and interactive experience.

 

Visitors can also enjoy Words That Move, a new showcase unique to Punggol Regional Library’s Stories Come Alive Room. PHOTO CREDIT: NATIONAL LIBRARY BOARD

 

The Accessible Collection can also be found at Level One. It features 3,000 English books for children and adults with disabilities, their caregivers and their communities.

According to NLB, the topics selected were based on feedback from users in the disability community. These include Braille books with text for those with visual impairment and touch and feel books for people to learn through the sense of touch. There are also books for caregivers who want to learn about specific disabilities.

On level two, the World and Us Zone caters to children aged 4 to 12 years, where its collection explores themes of geography, cultures and migration. 

At Storyteller Cove, children aged 7 to 12 years can learn about different countries’ history, cultures and customs with interactive experiences. 

Catering to the same age range, Spark!Lab allows children to participate in hands-on activities such as creating an item that flies through a wind tunnel or a structure to balance on a teetering surface.

 

Some of the books in The World and Us Zone include Natural Wonders of Hungary by Áron Mirtse and Florence: A Painted Dream by Michèle Fantoli. PHOTO CREDIT: NATIONAL LIBRARY BOARD

 

The Artease cafe on level two offers mains, snacks, desserts, and beverages. Since 2018, it has employed persons with disabilities as full-time staff or on internships at its other branches and will continue to do so at this branch.

Throughout Levels One to Four, the library also implements assistive technology. These include assistive technology devices –  joysticks, trackballs, large key keyboards and high contrast keyboards – at catalogue stations to help persons with disabilities.

Also featured are Accessible Programmes, whereby various accessibility tools and services are available for persons with disabilities.

These include reader-friendly documents on the screens for persons with visual impairment and live captioning for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Those with autism and intellectual disabilities will also receive support through social stories, visual schedule boards, and a sensory hands-on approach for the library’s Children and Teens programmes.

The full list of Punggol Regional Library’s facilities can be seen at NLB’s website.

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