Junior Library (1923)
Comments on article: InfopediaTalk
The Junior Library was declared open by His Excellency Major-General Sir Neil Malcolm, Chairman of the Library Sub-Committee, on Saturday 21 July 1923 at 2:30 pm. The Junior Library was located within the Raffles Library and Museum premises at Stamford Road.
The idea of a Junior library was first mooted in 1920 with a small collection of about 100 volumes for young people. These books were loaned out to children of subscribers of the main library. Due to the popularity of this small collection, further attempts were made to open a Junior Library in 1921, but due to lack of financial support, this did not materialise. However, factors such as: improving the knowledge of the English language; deterring the younger generation from reading unhealthy literature; and generating reading as a healthy past time, induced the opening of the Junior Library in 1923. The Junior Library was then the first of its kind in Malaya.
A large well-ventilated and spacious storeroom on the ground floor of the Raffles Library and Museum was converted into the Junior Library. It had its own entrance door adjoining the main Library. The room was furnished with bookcases, a 1,322 card catalogues and tables and chairs. A large crocodile, some spheres and other interesting specimens from the museum and some small palms presented by the Botanical Gardens were used to make the room bright and attractive.
Titles were selected from the Guide to Young Readers, published by the Glasgow Libraries Staff which were representative of literature for children and young people in Britain. One thousand books were added to the library of which 783 were purchased and 267 were donated. The collection comprised of fiction and non-fiction titles for boys and girls, reference books such as dictionaries, almanacs and yearbooks, periodicals and newspapers (Singapore Free Press).
The subscription fees were at $3.00 for a year, $2.00 for half a year and $1.00 for 3 months. Boys and girls had separate opening hours: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays were dedicated to girls and Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays were dedicated to boys. Opening hours were from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm on weekdays and 10:00 am - 1:00 pm on Saturdays.
Seet, K . K. (1983). A place for the people. Singapore: Times Books International.
(Call no.: RSING 027. 55957 SEE)
Raffles Museum and Library. (1919-1923). Annual report. Singapore: Author.
(Call no.: RCLOS 027.55951 RAF)
The information in this article is valid as at 2002 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history on the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.