Thursday, November 8, 2012

Case Study No. 0641: Staff of NLB Singapore

The Making of Molly (NLB Mobile Library Bus) 2008
A three-minute video produced by the National Library Board (NLB) Singapore. Shows the refurbishment of the bus for the Mobile Library Service. The service was launched on 3 April 2008. Video uploaded with permission from NLB.
Tags: NLB national library board corporate volunteerism community
Added: 4 years ago
From: ramblinglibrarian
Views: 13,127

["The Making of Molly, the Mobile Library" appears on screen, then cut to time-lapse footage of an old SBS Transit bus ("SBS 468K") being gutted and redesigned from the inside out]
[cut to the outside of the bus being re-painted (with "Start exploring!" on the front grill and a pink cartoon bus labelled "Molly the Mobile Library" on the side)]
[cut to NLB librarians moving books and computer equipment into the bus]
[cut to the bus (fully stocked) pulling out onto the road and making the rounds, as patrons enter and a female librarian sits at the "desk" near the bus entrance]
[camera pans across the side of the parked bus ("Wireless Enabled Bus for Instant Library Transactions" is written above the mural, as the children painted next to the pink bus are holding signs that spell out "M-O-L-L-Y"]
[cut to a picture of the Molly cartoon, with the text "A Star is Born!"]

Co-produced by
The Enterprise Challenge,
Prime Minister's Office

SBS Transit Ltd.

NEC Asia Pte Ltd.

Advance Interactive Technologies Pte Ltd.

Wavex Technologies Pte Ltd.

Directed by
National Library Board, Singapore

[cut to the NLB librarians standing in a line in front of the bus, spelling out "M-O-L-L-Y, Molly!" (similar to the Village People and "Y-M-C-A")]



Meet "Molly", NLB's Mobile Library Bus. Conceived about two years ago and launched today, on 3 Apr 2008.

It's a 14-year old public transport bus from SBS, given a fresh lease of life.

Singapore had a mobile library service in the 1960s. At that time, there were only three library branches in the system (two public libraries and one National Library). The mobile library service of the 1960s was a means to bring library materials to more Singaporeans throughout the island. The mobile library service was retired around the early 1990s, when more library branches were constructed in the HDB heartlands.

Today, the mobile library service is back again. Specifically, its aim is to reach the under-served (e.g. children's homes, orphanages, special needs schools), who for various reasons are unable to make their way to the 20 plus library branches that we have today.

Inside the bus:

* Books (3,000 items)
* One Borrowing Station
* Two service counters
* One e-Kiosk

Its wireless-enabled systems allow library transactions to be carried out where the bus goes. For most of Molly's outreach events, librarians would tag along to provide storytelling sessions, skits, arts and crafts activities, an onsite Advisory service etc.

The Pathlight School was chosen as the launch site for Molly.

The school is the "first autism-focused school in Singapore that offers the mainstream academic curriculum, together with life readiness skills". More about the school,

Additional details about Molly, from the NLB Media Release:

NLB launches prototype mobile library service to offer a taste of what its libraries can offer to underserved groups. Public will be able to sample the library experience with targeted collections of over 3,000 books, electronic transaction facilities and library programmes.

SINGAPORE, 3 April 2008 – The National Library Board (NLB) today launched a prototype mobile library service that brings the library experience to the underserved to encourage them to become active users of the public libraries. The prototype mobile library comes in the form of a bus named "Molly, the Mobile Library". Institutions and organisations such as children's homes, orphanages, special education schools and selected primary schools are some of the places Molly will visit to promote reading and lifelong learning.

"With the support of our partners, The Enterprise Challenge, SBS Transit Ltd, NEC Asia Pte Ltd, Advance Interactive Technologies Pte Ltd and Wavex Technologies Pte Ltd, we hope that Singaporeans who have so far been unable to use our public libraries will now be able to develop a passion for reading through Molly," said Dr N. Varaprasad, Chief Executive, National Library Board.

The service reaches out to underserved groups with over 3,000 customised books during each visit, based on the user profile of the target audience at the destination. While onboard, patrons can perform electronic transactions such as the borrowing of books, checking of personal loan information and payment of fees and charges via Ez-link. Where space is available on-site, a variety of programmes typically offered at public libraries will also be included in Molly's visit to allow patrons to sample the library experience. These could consist of activity-based workshops such as art workshops and/or performance and edu-tainment such as magic shows and music performances.

In the sixties, mobile library services were introduced to help ease the overwhelming demand for the services at the main building in Stamford Road. Now, Molly, the Mobile Library, returns to deliver library books, facilities and programmes to entice potential users and attract underserved groups NLB's network of 22 public libraries around the island for their lifelong learning needs.

Institutions or organisations interested for Molly to visit them can email their request to NLB at helpdesk (at)



NLB's Mobile Library Service Reaches 58,000 Users Since Launch in 2008
Release Date : 23 Jul 2009

Special needs children help to write a series of attractive storybooks to celebrate this milestone

SINGAPORE, 23 July 2009 – The National Library Board's (NLB) prototype new generation wireless mobile library service named "Molly, the Mobile Library" celebrated its first anniversary today at the National Library Building. Graced by Acting Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, RAdm (NS) Lui Tuck Yew, the anniversary also marked a significant milestone for the mobile library service, which first began in the 1960s.

Since the launch of the prototype in April 2008, Molly has made significant achievements, including reaching out to 58,000 people resulting in 75,000 loans. Close to 1,400 people have also signed up as library users. Through facilitation sessions by NLB librarians, as many as 185 programmes, including storytelling and library workshops, and user education sessions have also been conducted as part of Molly's initiatives.

Making a comeback last April after the service was discontinued in the 1990s, the purpose of Molly is to reach out to the underserved groups and encourage these potential patrons to become active users of public libraries in the long run, as part of their lifelong learning journey.

Molly also uses 3.5G and RFID technology for transactions onboard the bus using equipment that can be typically found at the public libraries such as the borrowing stations and the e-Kiosks.

Molly hosts a collection of over 3,000 books during each visit, customised to the user profile of the target audience at the destination. While onboard, patrons can even perform electronic transactions such as the borrowing of books, checking of personal loan information and payment of fees and charges via Ez-link.

In conjunction with the anniversary, a series of Molly storybooks and a commemorative book on the mobile library service were launched. Written with ideas of 60 children from five special education schools, the picture storybooks, Adventures of Molly, chronicle the adventures of Molly and her crew of friends. Guided by NLB librarians, these students were involved in the creative process by contributing story ideas and plots.

The commemorative book, Molly's Memories, Milestones & Moments: Celebrating Mobile Library Services in Singapore, offers invaluable insights to how the National Library Board reinvented the library concept to meet the evolving needs of its users. The publication traces the history of mobile library services in Singapore and also goes behind the scenes of Molly and how she has touched many library users along her one- year journey so far. The publication captures the key milestones of the mobile library service and some of the accolades received from users and the partners.

Said Dr N Varaprasad, Chief Executive, NLB, "Molly is one of the several initiatives that the NLB has in place for serving the underserved communities. Guided by the belief that nobody should be left behind in their quest for knowledge, we shall continue to work with our partners in spreading awareness on the joy of reading through various channels."

Each month, Molly visits up to 20 organisations and its utilisation rate for the weekdays is up to 100%. Some of the organisations, which have benefited from the service include special education schools such as the Pathlight School and orphanages such as Jamiyah Children's Home.

Dr N Varaprasad further added, "The success of Molly in reaching out to our under-served communities testifies to the strong support garnered from the private and people sectors. Through such partnerships, we hope to reach out to more users and bring the library experience to those who otherwise would not have the opportunity to visit our public libraries."

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