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Library users can borrow 32 books from April

This article is more than 12 months old

Library users no longer need to wait for school holidays to borrow twice as many books as usual.

From April 1, the National Library Board (NLB) will let them take out twice as many physical books, bringing the total to 32, including 16 e-books. They can keep each book for up to 21 days.

Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information, announced the increase in Parliament yesterday, during the debate on her ministry's budget.

Previously, users could borrow 16 e-books but only eight physical books.

Ms Sim said the change was to meet rising demand, adding that the library's e-book loans have more than doubled since 2017.

Ms Nabilah Abdul Karim, 33, who is self-employed, welcomed the higher quota. She used to be frustrated at having to often go back and forth from the library to take out more books.

"The increased number... means I can also get more books for other family members at one go," said the mother of two.

Ms Sim also said, in response to Dr Teo Ho Pin (Bukit Panjang), that the NLB will increase accessibility to its learning resources.

It is partnering bodies such as SkillsFuture Singapore, Workforce Singapore and the Council for Third Age to run job- and skills-related programmes for Singaporeans.

In the next five years, NLB aims to run 1,500 workshops for more than 50,000 participants, she added.

Library volunteer Noorjahan Kamaruddin is among those who have benefited from such courses.

The 58-year-old, who works part-time in customer service, attended the Silver Digital Creators workshop held by the NLB and the Infocomm Media Development Authority last year.

Ms Sim also highlighted the library's community efforts such as WondeRead, which was started last year to deliver used library books quarterly to less-privileged children without the means to visit libraries.

She added that the recent slew of revamped libraries has generated 50 per cent more loans and a rise in visitorship of 65 per cent, compared with their counterparts that have not been revamped.