When Margaret Meets the Queen #1July 1, 2008 at 12:56 am | Posted in itchy backside | Leave a comment
Tags: Architecture, History, Life, Uniquely Singapore
When was the last time you visited the library? In today’s society where almost nothing comes free, I think the most wonderful thing that one can still enjoy free must be picking up a book from the national library at absolutely no cost. Well, that’s if you are a citizen here. :p
Grewing up in the Margaret Drive/Queenstown/Commonwealth area, (remember my family has an explained liking for moving house…?) the Queenstown Library was one of my favourite hang out place during my school days. I even had a short stint working as a part-time Library Assistant during one of the school holidays. Haha…basically the job was just to arrange books lah...the pay sucks – less than $19 per day (no CPF). To save money, I would walk 20minutes from my old house at Commonwealth to Margaret Drive. But it was one of the best holiday job I had done cos I liked the environment. Besides arranging books on shelves and repairing torn ones, the best thing about the job was that as staff, we had priority in borrowing new books after they had been stuck with stickers and book jackets. Haha…so you always wonder how come new books on the computer catalogue are not available huh…? Now you know…:p
I continued visiting the Queenstown Library even after my school days until I shifted to my present new place. After the 2003 upgrading, I had only visited the Queenstown Library once.
But the interior had changed by quite a bit, with the addition of a cafe and I was kinda lost in the new library. The central staircase was gone. I couldn’t find my old memories.
I didn’t return until recently, and was kinda glad that the government has chosen to upgrade the old library instead of tearing it down. I am sure many Singaporeans are still feeling the pain now that the Stamford Library, another library that I used to visit often for research, had been demolished to give way to the ugly, gigantic tombstone-like Fort Canning Tunnel. 😦
The papers reported that the lease of the building is up for renewal in 2010. The former thriving Margaret Drive neighbourhood around the library is shrinking, especially so after the polyclinic next door has been relocated.
The old Queenstown Polyclinic had served the public since 13/01/1963
Anyone who had visited the Queenstown Library would definitely have taken a meal or drink from the food centre just opposite the road. Famous for its various stalls of local food, many of the hawkers have been doing business there for years.