32 participants visited Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) Library on Friday, 8 April 2016.
The visit started off at the “Living Room”, with a screening of a video clip of SUTD Library at the school’s former Dover Campus.
Participants were then divided into 2 groups and taken on a tour of the 3-storey library. A common theme we noted in the tour is the library’s commitment to provide their users with innovative spaces for interaction and reflection.
For example, the discussion rooms are painted with special paint that is writable and erasable. Should all discussion rooms be occupied, users can even loan out portable mini-projectors and create their own discussion spaces anywhere in the library! Another unique feature is The Canvas. These are writable Mimio tables that allow users to share their doodles and thoughts electronically, and record group discussions for later viewing.
Users can relax at “Parkscape”. True to its name, this area has green carpeting which resembles soothing grassy fields. There also is a Kinect corner which allows users to relieve stress through Xbox games!
Spotted throughout the library are furniture made from interesting materials. For example, we saw comfortable looking chairs made of cardboard! This is in line with the library’s Material Collection, which is a special collection to cater to courses on product design. This is a unique collection which allows students to touch and feel what different materials are like. They can even borrow the material plates home!
Following the tour, the participants gathered at the Training Room for refreshments and a sharing session by the University Librarian, Ms Julie Sabaratnam. There were many interesting questions from the audience. Participants were interested to know more about the library’s design and architecture. Ms Sabaratnam shared that the library was very involved in the design and worked closely with the architects right from the beginning. She also spoke about the library’s close collaboration with the students. In fact, the library at the old Dover campus was planned with much student involvement and input. We were wowed when she revealed that her chunky ring was more than just a fashion accessory – it was designed by students and acted as her staff access card!
A group photo with the pavilion donated by Jackie Chan as the backdrop. Finally, we were brought to see antique structures donated to SUTD by movie star Jackie Chan. Majestic and beautifully conserved, the structures were a fitting backdrop for a group photograph to end the visit.
Reported by Georgiana Glass and Norlisa Binte Othman, Temasek Polytechnic Library. Submitted by Jenny Wong, Member of Programmes and Social Committee (LAS)