Singapore’s first ever manga library is perfect for introverts with a robot concierge, wide selection of over 5000 manga titles & local comic books

by Marcus Leong

Remember the good ol’ days where you had to scan your library card in order to borrow books from the library? If this triggered any sentimental feelings, it means you’re old

manga library
Photo: The National Library Board

Anyway, library cards may soon be a thing of the past, especially at this pop-up library in City Square Mall doubling as the National Library Board’s first-ever Grab-n-Go manga library – double happiness for manga lovers. 

As the name suggests, the Grab-n-Go library aims to make borrowing books easier and more convenient. All you really have to do is to scan your IC to enter the space, pick out the book you want and head over to the exit to check out your reads. It’s pretty straightforward. 

Photo: The National Library Board

Most notably, the pop-up will feature a vast collection of over 5,000 manga books, which you can just grab and go anytime you wish. It’s kinda like streaming your favourite anime shows on demand – but with books. Many of these titles were also donated by Japanese publisher Shogakukan Asia – the folks behind Assassin’s Creed: Blade of Shao Jun and Pokemon Adventures RGB

Some other popular titles making an appearance on the shelves include Dragon Ball Z, Spy x Family, Beyblade Burst, and Fairy Tail. All titles in the Grab-n-Go manga library will be available for browsing and borrowing. You may also choose to borrow the digital copy via the NLB mobile app. 

manga library
Photo: The National Library Board

The library’s catalogue will also feature Singapore’s own rich comic culture with comics donated by local comic collectors. You (or your parents) might be surprised to find some interesting and rare titles like Captain V, Medium Rare, and Bookworm Gang Adventures. Again, only people of a certain age group will know what any of these titles are. 

Photo: The National Library Board

Growing up, we all would have met at least one scary and grumpy librarian. Playing the role of the grumpy librarian at City Square’s pop-up is Mr Kiasu – the robot version, that is. For all you young kids who don’t know who Mr Kiasu is, he is the lead character of the popular local comic series that was published in the 1990s. 

The life-sized robot concierge is programmed with an AI-generated voice and will recommend books and provide simple instructions on using Grab-n-Go. Don’t worry, Mr Kiasu is very friendly and won’t scold you (I think). Also, if you’re not in the mood to deal with people, this library is perfect for all introverts out there as there will be little to no human interaction

The manga library pop-up is open now and will only be around for six months so make sure to check it out before it closes.

Looking for a good read to fill your weekend? Head over to City Square Mall to check out what interesting titles are available for grabs!

Manga Library
????180 Kitchener Rd, City Square Mall level 4, Singapore 208539
????10am–10pm (Daily)

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