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SINGAPORE: Manga fans can now borrow from a vast collection of 5,000 graphic novels and comics at the National Library Board’s (NLB) first manga library, a six-month pop-up at City Square Mall. 

The first fully self-service library in Singapore, which is situated on the fourth floor of the mall, opened on Monday (Feb 20). 

It carries popular titles such as Dragon Ball Z by Akira Toriyama and Spy x Family by Tatsuya Endo. 

Nearly a fifth of the manga titles, including Assassin’s Creed: Blade of Shao Jun and Pokémon Adventures RGB, were donated by Japanese publisher Shogakukan Asia, which will donate more copies in future, said NLB. 

All titles in the “Grab-n-Go” manga library will be available for browsing and borrowing. 


The concept allows patrons to scan their identification cards to enter the space, pick the books that they want to borrow, head to the exit gantry, and check out their books with ease.

A vast collection of 5,000 manga book titles for patrons to borrow and enjoy. (Photo: National Library Board)

“We are hoping that through this initiative, (people are introduced) to manga, which is actually something that is accepted by all age groups and not only for the young people,” said NLB’s head of planning and development Winston Tan. 

“So because of this, if they liked the pictures and the storylines, they may continue to read further and continue to interact with us.”

At the library, patrons are also able to discover local comics donated by collectors. 


This showcase aims to draw attention to Singapore’s strong culture of comics, and features those that are now hard to find in Singapore, said NLB, adding that these comics will also be added to the National Library’s collection of heritage materials subsequently.

The collection includes Captain V, Singapore’s first full-colour comic, Medium Rare, the country’s first comic adaptation of a film, and Bookworm Gang Adventures, which was popular with children in the 1990s. 

However, this showcased collection will not be available for loan, and serves as a permanent display. 

The library also has a Mr Kiasu robot concierge that can offer book recommendations, guide patrons in using the Grab-n-Go concept, among other services. 

The robot, created by NLB in collaboration with local robotics firm Dex-Lab and one of the co-creators of Mr Kiasu, is based on the lead character in the popular local comic series. 

NLB chief executive Ng Cher Pong said: “Many of our patrons enjoy creative and inspiring works like manga, and we are happy to collaborate with (our partners) to bring this collection to everyone.”

NLB said it will continue exploring collaborations with its partners, including mall operators, publishers and individual donors, to set up more Grab-n-Go libraries around Singapore.

This expanding network of touch-points will allow patrons “to get NLB’s books and resources even more easily”, said Mr Ng.