Tag Archives: NLB

Library these days ain’t what it’s used to be

The few interesting things that happened to me, between my 8th April post and last paper on 9th May.


Part 2: AMK library


  For the period I am studying for my exams, I have been going to Ang Mo Kio library on a regular basis. The reason I chose to meet up there with my study group was because it is at a central location and is “supposed” to be conducive; but I got more than what I had bargained for.


I have nothing against AMK library, in fact, I used to go there occasionally to borrow books until I somehow managed to incur a 13 dollars fine; which I am pretty sure was due to the books that I returned didn’t get scanned properly when it was deposited in the return bin. It is a very good studying location in the morning but the nightmare begins sometime during 1 pm.


Around 1 pm would be the time taken by schooling kids between 11-17 of age to take their lunch and congregate at the library. They would sit between shelves and get together at various corners and start chattering loudly. Some individuals might be more adventurous, they would take out their hand held game to play, play with items like a LIGHTER or carry on where they has left off from their last date.


Initially, I thought I was the only one who was aware of the cacophony of chattering but I guess I was not that unique after all. When I looked I around, I could see faces of some people frowning when they are reading, occasionally giving the kids disapproving looks. But there was this one time when a group of giggling and squealing Chinese secondary school girls got it from an Indian lady. She went “Can you shut up or not!!!!” I wasn’t exaggerating with the 4 exclamation marks. For a brief moment, silence reigned supreme in the Indian section, and I am quite sure all the other readers were heaping praises on her telepathically.    


Later, I was discussing with Deepak about behavior of kids these days (outside the library), what I distinctly remembered was that there was this fear of authority during our time; you don’t really find people unabashedly chatting in library.

Has times really changed? Such behavior wasn’t just limited to kids or teenagers, there were parents playing hide and seek with their child between the shelves and even reprimanding the child openly (and loudly). I am quite shocked at this degradation of basic manners because I though it was a basic levels of human decency and politeness to be considerate.


What I though was like changing the layout of the library so that there is a separate level for teenager and adults, another solution could be studying room with partition to singular study desks to discourage talking or even additional discussion room to segregate those kids from those who require silence. I was wondering about the measures that were taken by the NLB to curb such occurrences, however, one thing I am sure is that the regular announcements over the intercom doesn’t work.