I have some friends who are unabashed about the fact that they hate reading. At school, they loaded up on math and science subjects while religiously avoiding the humanities. If that sounds like you, that doesn’t mean you need to avert your gaze in disgust each time you walk past one of Singapore’s many public libraries.
Libraries aren’t just repositories of books, but also a community space where you can pick up skills such as Photoshop and improv for free. Yes, you heard us. FREE. Here are 6 programmes in the coming weeks you might be interested in.
If your childhood years consisted of holing yourself up in your room watching Naruto, you’ve probably tried more than once to recreate your favourite manga characters on paper. Learn how to make your pictures look less like grotesque ghouls and more like manga characters at this five-part manga illustration workshop at Queenstown Library. You’ll have to register for the first class to be able to join the rest.
When? 3 Oct 1-3pm, 4, 11, 18 and 25 Oct, 2-4pm
Where? Queenstown Public Library
If you’re a big bhangra fan and are constantly trawling Facebook groups to find the best bhangra night parties in town, stop embarrassing yourself on the dancefloor by participating in this four-part bhangra dance workshop that will have you learning not just how to execute moves but also about the history and culture behind bhangra.
When? 17, 18, 24, 25 Oct, 1-2:30pm
When? Bedok Public Library
Always fancied yourself a bit of a fashionista and regretted taking banking and finance at university instead of enrolling in a fashion design course at Lasalle? Always felt envious when you read stories of corporate slaves-turned-self-taught fashion designers? Get your feet wet in by taking this fashion art workshop where you’ll learn how to display the ideas in your head on 2D human figures.
When? 18 Oct, 3-5pm
Where? Sembawang Public Library
Now that our entire lives basically take place online, Photoshop skills are in huge demand. Whether you’re working in the media and design industries, are a photography enthusiast or simply want to make yourself look like a supermodel on your blog, you’ll be pleased to find that the library holds frequent photoshop courses teaching you skills such as photo retouching and manipulation. In fact, there’s a photo retouching course coming up this October.
When? 25 Oct, 12-3pm
Where? Choa Chu Kang Public Library
If you want to ad lib on the fly and crack people up without having to spend half an hour trying to think of something witty to say, an improvisational theatre workshop would be right up your alley. Conducted by Act 3, this workshop will have you learning how to role play and how to use your voice to maximum effect.
When? 8 Nov, 2-5pm
Where? Central Public Library
Upcycling your tshirt
Most Singaporeans have piles of old tshirts at home, many of which eventually become rags. If you have a closetful of old PE tshirts from your secondary school days and souvenir tees from fun runs and company events, attending a workshop on how to upcycle your tshirt will help you to turn that junk into something less hideous. Tshirt upcycling workshops are held periodically at the national library branches and will make you glad you didn’t throw out those old Primary 5 Camp shirts.
When? 25 Oct, 12-2pm
Where? Bukit Panjang Public Library
Have you ever attended a free course at one of Singapore’s public libraries? Share your experiences in the comments!