A Student’s Guide to NTU Libraries

By Kelly Leong

Finding the ideal study space is hard. Some locations are too noisy, others are simply too hot. If you’ve ever wanted conducive study spaces that can be found near many lesson venues, are air-conditioned, and don’t require you to fork out money to stay beyond a few hours, look no further than one of NTU’s eight libraries. This short guide explores the general features of the libraries and their study spaces, and hopefully, by the end, you’ll have a new spot in mind for your next study session! 

LEE WEE NAM (LWN) LIBRARY  

Image Credit: Victor Lim

The LWN Library, located on Level 5 of North Spine Plaza, is hard to miss. It spans three storeys; going up from the main entrance would bring you to its book collections, while going down would take you to a multitude of services—a printing shop, a recording studio, several reading rooms, and more.  

Owing to the large number of students using the LWN library, the low murmurs of ongoing discussions are ever-present, especially outside the designated quiet zone on level 5. For those of you who prefer to study away from crowds, going to another library would probably be your safest bet. Nonetheless, its convenient location and the sheer number of seats make it a good candidate for your next study session.

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION (NIE) LIBRARY  

Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of NTU is the NIE library. It’s easy to find a quiet spot to get to work as this three-storey building has plenty of study spaces ranging from spacious tables to small cubicles.

This is but a fraction of the study spaces available on the first of three floors in the NIE Library! 
Image Credit: Kelly 
Leong 

Each floor of the NIE Library houses different collections, which means it might not be easy to find the book(s) you’re looking for. One tip: the NIE library’s online catalogue (Yes, it’s distinct from the NTU library’s catalogue!) features a directory for all its collections, which will come in handy when navigating the expanse of books. 

BUSINESS LIBRARY

Many of us may think that the Business Library is located in Nanyang Business School (NBS). But it is actually in North Spine, just behind LT20 on Basement 2—a good alternative to LWN if that library is too crowded.  

 While the Business Library is smaller than the LWN and NIE libraries, it is no less impressive. It boasts three floors of seating, dedicated study pods (which must be booked beforehand) and discussion areas. Shelves in the libraries are largely stacked with banking and Business-related books—no surprises there! 

Individual study pods—Subject to availability 
Image Credit: Victor Lim

Overall, with provisions that check all the boxes of a standard library, those seeking a conducive space to study with minimal distractions will find this library a great choice for their next study session.    

 ART, DESIGN AND MEDIA (ADM) LIBRARY  

The ADM library’s futuristic design stands out against the other NTU libraries, reminiscent of Apple or Ikea stores sans the colours. With several unique facilities to offer, such as a room where one can rearrange furniture—aptly called ‘playground’—and a quiet attic area for screening movies (once again, booking required!), the ADM library is both a good study location and an interesting space to explore.  

You won’t be worrying about feeling cramped here 
Image Credit: Kelly Leong

The real draw of the ADM library is its extremely spacious study spots, which you might have to beat out other students for, as seating is quite limited. However, some exercise is needed to get there, especially since the school is not located along campus loop. 

 LIBRARY OUTPOST AT THE HIVE  

Located in the Hive, this is library is home to books that are required readings for NTU modules, known as course reserves (Actually, there’s a section like this in LWN too, for textbooks of the Sciences!). Since they are coveted required readings, trying to loan them requires good timing; if you borrow a course reserve item before 7pm, you must return it within two hours or risk a hefty fine. If you borrow the material after 7pm, you must return it by 11am the following morning, which is a steal compared to the 2-hour limit. Course reserves aside, the Library Outpost has a large variety of Audio-Visual materials like language learning guides, which you may borrow for the standard seven days. 

Image Credit: Victor Lim

As the smallest library in NTU, the study spaces are few and small, reminiscent of a café. Despite its accessibility to those who attend tutorials at the Hive, finding an empty table in a nearby tutorial room to study would probably be a good alternative.  

HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES (HSS) LIBRARY  

The easiest way to locate this library is to find your way into S.4/3, and tucked away in the corner of S4 is the HSS library. This library is significantly smaller than some mentioned above. Walkways between shelves are narrow, making the library seem rather cramped. Fans of Singlit will be pleasantly surprised that some key works are available as the library has a small Singlit collection, in addition to a collection of works on Singapore’s economy, politics and history (the ‘Singapore Collection’).  

 A small corner just for the Singapore Collection, with a short exhibition on Emeritus Professor Lim Chong Yah, a renowned professor of Economics 
Image Credit: Kelly Leong

Study areas are very limited, with only a few small cubicles lining the sides of the library — not the ideal place to study in groups. Perhaps this library is best used for checking out the books or simply killing time when alone 

COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION LIBRARY  

 The Communication and Information Library can be found on the first floor of the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI). The library is a cubic room, with a staircase hidden in a nook on the side, leading down to a few shelves of books and desktops. If you manage to get a seat, the area is well-lit because of the huge glass windows on the side of the wall. However, unless you’re visiting a friend at WKWSCI, there might not be much to offer there for the non-Communications students. 

 CHINESE LIBRARY  

Located close to the Yunnan Garden is the aptly-named Chinese Library. Like the Communication and Information library, this library is small and has a niche collection. Most (if not all) of the books are in Chinese, being of use to those among us who take modules relating to Chinese and Translation. More study spaces are available here than at the Communication and Information library, but the relative obscurity and inaccessibility makes it just that bit less appealing.  

All eight NTU libraries offer their users something unique. Some may stand out for their design, while others may be preferred for their conducive environment or accessibility. Here are some general tips to keep in mind for your library visits: 

  1. Study spaces are always in hot demand, especially during finals season. Try checking the NTULibrary website to get information on the real-time seating capacity (though be prepared for some differences when you arrive in-person!).  
  2. When in doubt, the friendly librarians are but a question away.  
  3. Those seeking out printers for assignments will delight at the fact that all libraries have printing stations, although the printing system may differ between each library. 

 The next time you find yourself with nowhere to go between classes, consider taking a trip to one of the eight NTU libraries. Who knows, you might just discover your new favourite study spot.  

 For more detailed information, do visit the NTU library’s webpage for more details on the spaces that each library offers.