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As a book-lover, if there is one thing that we might have missed in this lockdown the most, then it would be bookshops and libraries. So here’s a bit of happy news for all the book lovers in Singapore.

The National Library Board has announced that, “The National Library Building, the National Archives of Singapore building, our 25 public libraries and the Former Ford Factory will reopen to the public on 1 July 2020 with shorter opening hours and capacity controls in place. This is in line with the safe reopening measures under Phase 2 and to safeguard the health and safety of our patrons and staff.”

China and the League of Arab States on Monday agreed to strengthen ties between their libraries and establish a long-term cooperation mechanism for information and literature preservation. The two sides plan to hold a biennial conference of library, information and literature preservation professionals, according to a communique released after a forum attended by representatives of both sides. The two sides will also set up a network between major centers to jointly create a directory of information, literature and books, according to the communique. Read More

Currently, in India, the only libraries that are super-active seem to be housed in jails. One may never think of them as temples of learning, but they sure seem to inspire academic pursuits. Consider Kerala’s Kannur central jail, where—in 2012—eight inmates earned graduate degrees and another eight got post-graduate degrees while serving term. In the same year, 16 jailbirds passed their Plus Two examination; 76 the SSLC equivalent, while 50 prisoners managed to get through class 7. Everyone found their personal tutor in the jail library which has some 10,000 books in English and various Indian languages. It’s not just a southern phenomenon. Seeing the success of the libraries in Ghaziabad’s Dasna Jail and Lucknow Jail, a district jail coming up in Greater Noida is creating a modern library at a cost of `9 lakh, to be stocked with inspirational books by Indian writers.