library@esplanade (Chinese: 滨海表演艺术图书馆) is a public library managed by Singapore's National Library Board. It is located on the third floor of Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay at Marina Centre, sited within Singapore's Downtown Core.

library@esplanade is Singapore's first public library for the performing arts. It is also one of the few libraries in the world to be located within a performing arts complex, and is the second specialised boutique library in Singapore, after library@orchard.

Background and history

library@esplanade was established as part of the Singapore Government's plan to develop the nation into a renaissance city of the 21st century. The objective of the library was to bring the performing arts to the general public and vice versa. Its specialised book collections, programmes and information services seek to enhance the understanding and appreciation of the performing arts for people from all walks of life with the aim of demystifying the arts as an elitist luxury.

The library was officially opened on 12 September 2002, by Khaw Boon Wan, then Senior Minister of State for Transport and Information, Communications and the Arts.


Spanning a floor area of 2,300 square metres (24,760 square feet), the layout plan of library@esplanade comprises four clusters or "villages" for music, dance, theatre and film. This arrangement seeks to create a conducive environment that supports creativity, learning and entertainment for both the layperson and the professional artiste.

The library features an exhibition space known as the "Innovation Gallery", a performing stage equipped with a glass projection wall and a miniature grand piano, a practice room with an upright piano and an electronic keyboard, screening rooms with home theatre systems, music sampling posts, a dance alley, and a special collection room with an archive on the performing arts scene in Singapore. There is also a café in the library that is operated by a private vendor.


library@esplanade has a start-up collection of about 50,000 volumes of performing arts materials in both print and electronic formats. The collection comprises books on history and biography, instructional textbooks, periodicals and magazines, screenplays, play scripts, dance notations, and music scores. The library also has audio-visual materials that include classical and pop music CDs, DVDs and videotapes of films, dance performances, opera and orchestral performances, and Broadway theatre productions. There are also journals, encyclopaedias and directories available for reference. The collection is international in scope, with an emphasis on the performing arts in Singapore and Asia. Like library@orchard, library@esplanade does not have any children's books.


The library works closely with practitioners and groups in the local performing arts scene to deliver programmes that reach out to various target audiences. Some of library@esplanade's regular programmes include "Film Saturdays", a quarterly series which showcases local films and their producers; "Open Mic", a monthly programme which offers budding performers and amateurs a chance to showcase their talent and hone their skills; "Taking the Stage", a quarterly series featuring veteran performers; and "Lunchtime Interludes", a monthly lunchtime concert or recital featuring performances by music students and teachers.

ee also

*Culture of Singapore
*Dance in Singapore
*Music of Singapore


*cite news | author = Eunice Quek, Kok Tse Wei | title = How the libraries stack up | publisher = "The Straits Times" | date = 2 July 2005| page=S6

External links

* [ National Library Board]

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