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National Library of Singapore Thrives in the eBook Age

The National Library of Singapore first opened its doors to the general public at the iconic old building at Stamford Road in 1960. After the hugely contested demolishment in 2004, it moved to the 16-storey modern establishment at Victoria Street in the following year. According to the National Library Marketing and Group Services, more than 3.5 million people have visited the library in 2010 and 2011. This figure suggests that the library institution has continued to thrive in this age of low-cost eBooks at the mere convenience of a smartphone or tablet download.

The library today has transformed beyond the disgruntled librarian stamping the loan return date on the book. The library is no longer just a building that houses a collection of books of different genres. It now has the mission to reach out to the communities and encourage people to read. The National Library’s success story lies in the multi-faceted approach to attract the general public.

The building has carefully enhanced various features to accommodate to the changing needs of the library user. Book loan and return are now fully automated with multiple self-service kiosks located in the building compound. There are fully computerised window blinds, which automatically unroll to shield the daylight glare from the afternoon sun. Reading tables have individual lamps and there are various study lounges for quiet reading.

The National Library also organises a wide range of activities to encourage the community to visit and read more. One such example is the weekly reading sessions during which volunteers read stories aloud to the children and conduct interactive activities that enhance their learning. The National Library has identified this as an important outreach tool since reading can be a good habit cultivated from the young.

The library has also developed to be a community venue for the general public. There are cafes for the public to just hang out at and various benches and lounges for the communal use. Empty spaces are also rented out for community events and there are in-house themed exhibitions on display at the various floors of the building.

The multiple facets of the National Library have given a strong case for the good visitorship numbers. Other than merely enhancing the library user’s reading experience as the basic function of the library, it has added value by organizing free activities for the public. Activities like the reading sessions encourage the young to read and develop the love for book reading.

The exhibition venues in the National Library also go beyond the regular library’s function to explore ideas and share Singapore’s heritage and history with the public. With the many faces of the National Library, it will hopefully continue to thrive in this modern age of eBooks.

How To Choose Great Paranormal Books

For people wanting to get an education in the paranormal, there are a multitude of books available that promise to help. A simple search on Amazon reveals hundreds of books in the paranormal category. Unfortunately, many of them are simply not very good. If you truly are interested in the paranormal and wanting to learn more, it is essential to read high quality paranormal books. If you are having trouble separating the good books from the bad ones, here are several tips that will help.

First of all, try reading reviews online. Spend some time browsing an online bookstore and reading the summaries and reviews of different books. Many online retailers enable you to create a wish list of books that you like. This is an excellent way to keep track of books that you would like to own. When someone mentions a book title to you, write it down and look it up later. You will soon see that some books have much more positive reader reviews than other books. Although it is far from a guarantee, in general the books with more positive reader reviews will be more helpful in your studying and learning.

In addition to reading reviews online, it can also be helpful to ask a more experienced friend for book recommendations. A friend who knows more about the paranormal than you do may be able to suggest books that will point you in the right direction. Lest you worry about offending someone, asking a friend for book recommendations is a form of flattery and most people appreciate being asked for advice.

Along the same lines, getting book recommendations from people who know more than you is almost always a solid choice. One option is to go to workshops or classes that are related to your areas of interest. When you attend a workshop, remember to take good notes. One thing that you should write down is any books that are mentioned as helpful references. If none are mentioned, ask the presenter for books that she recommends. Like asking friends for advice, this is a strategy that presenters usually appreciate as it shows that you are truly interested in learning more about their area of expertise. Reading books that have been recommended in this way is an excellent way to deepen your knowledge about a wide range of topic areas.

Lastly, if budget is an issue, don’t forget about your library. Most libraries have at least a moderate collection of boos about the paranormal. If there is a particular book that they do not have see if you can request it as a loan from another library. Borrowing books in this way is a great way to expose yourself to things that you would not normally encounter. At the same time, if you borrow a book and find that it is not what you were looking for you only have to return it to the library. There is no worrying about wasting money or trying to sell or give away a book that you find out you will not be able to use.

New Authors – Go to Your Local Library to Sell Your Books and Market Your Business

New authors often reach a point where they have finished writing their book and now want to begin selling it. But they often have no idea where to begin. They try to sell it online, with little or no success; they try to sell it to friends and family with the same level of success.

So what should a new author do? Is there a market for their book? How can they sell their first books and start a professional writing business?

Start by going to your local library, here’s why;

o Libraries – check out your local library, even a small town library can serve a community of 20 – 30 thousand people. And most libraries have at least one third to one half of the community as patrons. That could mean 10 thousand people or more that could see your book and learn about who you are what you can do for them.

o Used Book Sales – donate a copy of your book to the library as an inexpensive way to market your business using your book.

o Book Signing – ask to do a book signing in the library, this is a great way to speak to your prospects and local community. Most libraries let local authors do book signings.

o Give Presentations – most local libraries have meeting rooms, where you can give speeches and presentations, maybe even a workshop or two. You could use your book as the study guide for the class.

o Local Authors section – ask to setup a local authors section in the library for local libraries if there isn’t one already. Become a member of the friends of the library and petition to support local authors with a few prominently placed shelves in the library.