In the good old days when the library didn’t allow people to study (yes, I am that old, in fact much, much older… we are looking at me nearing retirement, really), they used to *ahem* inform people that they should not be studying in the library and that they should give up the space to the people who are users of the library. Well, I used to be one of those “inconsiderate” people who occupied the seats for studying, and every now and then, I’ll be herded out of the library and I’d be left on to my own devices on where else to go.


Just a few days ago, I was back to the familiar place – to this place that, when I first stepped in many years ago (1999?), wondered why there was a stage and why were people allowed to make speeches, talks and hold shows and really make the library noisy! Isn’t the library meant to be quiet?!

Well, then I learnt that times have changed and I probably needed a paradigm change in thoughts. We still have to be quiet in the library, just that now, there can be talks and speeches and library users are informed of these events and most are invited to join in as well. If you (me?) were not a genuine library user (yes, I was just using it as a place to study), then you, well, are not supposed to be there. Haha…

However, this trip back to the library felt a little different – it was no longer one of happiness, but rather one that is a little melancholic. The library would be shifting to Youth Park (that means no more adult books?) and the library is, ahem, supposed to be looking at *ahem* some *cough cough* shopping *sneeze* center to house a new library. 30 days is the count down to the last day of the library from today and I was back a few days ago in response to their call for Citizen Reporters. =)

library@orchard very brief briefing

 I was there early – being the kiasu Singaporean and not wanting to be left standing outside the meeting to listen to their VBB (very brief briefing). It started at 7:30pm and people came in promptly. There were about 8 of us, excluding the Jilian “out of the ordinary” librarian as well as the Rambling Librarian. There were cakes – lots of it, and donuts, which according to Jilian, are not cheap because there are no cheap cakes in Orchard. Well, I have to agree with that. The donuts look really and I ate 1 2 3 of them. Hehe… Yes, I know I am a greedy pig =P

library@orchard food galore

We had some introductions and the Rambling Librarian wanted to find out how each of us got to know of this briefing. Much to his great disappointment, none of us knew about it through his website (I think), but surprisingly, only 2 of us knew it through – the rest knew it either from word of mouth of from the library blog.

library@orchard whiteboard of attendees (scaled)

The briefing started pretty soon and someone timed the duration of the briefing! So the Rambling Librarian went on rambling and rambling until it was… hey hey! just over 6 mins! That’s indeed a very brief briefing! We had some question and answer sessions and we helped ourselves to more cakes and donuts! Woot!

library@orchard drinks  library@orchard donuts  library@orchard cakes

Most of us are rather quiet and probably shy to ask too many questions. But it didn’t take too long for us to realise that Jilian isn’t really like the typical librarian. She’s like… Librarian.NextGen! Haha… very bubbly, very 开心果 (happy fruit). We then had a short tour of the library to look at the paintings that people have left behind as a remembrance of the library. Apparently, only some may be retained. And here’s also where you can find imagination at its best.

library@orchard paintings
library@orchard more drawings

Soon enough, the short tour was completed and I managed to find my one and only Mastering PHP 4.1 book in the Computers and IT section. (Heh. Yes, I am moving on to PHP although I had been with ASP for a very, very, very long time. Perhaps it’s just time to move on to OpenSource, not to mention that ASP hosting is now getting very expensive) Anyway, back to the library, I think there is also some Dream Wall event that is currently going on, but I have got no idea what’s really about. =P

 « Backlibrary@orchard dream wall rotated

Soon, it was time to go, but I left with pretty much a heavy heart. I spent quite a fair bit of my life at library@orchard, and I’d really be sad to see it go so soon. Well, they might be building a new library soon, but I guess the feeling will be different – there will no longer be memories of the library especially if it is going to be permanently torn down. Well, it’s sad that the library had to go due to economic reasons, but I think that’s just how things work sometimes.

 library@orchard leaving

Good bye, and I’ll be back soon! Very soon! Like… next weekend… =) I hope to capture more of the moods of the people in the library and hope that this will be a sort of memoir of it.

Acknowledgements: Whiteboard and group photo courtesy of the Rambling Librarian, the others, courtesy of

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