Since April, users at Lee Wee Nam Library (LWNL) would have noticed over 240 pieces of colourful blocks being constructed by students and other library users into structures such as functioning desk, staircase (great for selfies!), robots, meditation cave, airplanes, stools and benches.
As part of NTU Library’s effort to provide innovative services and alternative study spaces, these giant pieces of modular plastic building blocks (Everblock® *) were acquired to let users unleash their creativity and de-stress during the examination period. Users can take the blocks apart and reconstruct them into various configurations as per their imagination.
Since its introduction into the library’s spaces, observational sessions conducted by library staff have found that stacking activities were especially brisk during the stressful examination period. A second-year MAE student shared that though he was initially hesitant about wasting study time on the blocks, he was ‘pleasantly surprised’ by how building with the blocks helped him to relax and better concentrate when he returned back to studying.
Studies have shown that taking breaks from demanding mental activities by engaging with tasks requiring more physical coordination can be energizing and help to improve concentration (Nixon, 2008; Hillman, Erickson, & Kramer, 2008). Physical activities can also help contribute to developing creativity in the individual (Lupu, 2012).
NTU Library hopes that these blocks can create a participatory environment for users that is not limited to studying or accessing resources, but one that can empower them to transform their experiences into a memorable time at our spaces. We are happy to be the first university library in Singapore to introduce Everblock® and we welcome the NTU community to unleash their creativity and have fun with the blocks and share their creations and thoughts with us – take a photo and hashtag it with #BlocksatNTUsgLibrary – we will feature the inspirational ones on our blog with credits to you!
The blocks are currently located at the Exhibition Area on Level 3 of the Lee Wee Nam Library, to the left after the main entrance.
If you have suggestions on how we can improve and innovate our spaces, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you!
*Everblock Systems is a New York-based company that specialises in creating modular building blocks for large-sized and real-life objects. NTU Libraries is the first university library in Singapore to provide Everblock® to its community.
Hillman, C. H., Erickson, K. I., & Kramer, A. F. (2008). Be smart, exercise your heart: Exercise effects on brain and cognition. Nature Reviews. Neuroscience, 9(1), 58-65. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezlibproxy1.ntu.edu.sg/docview/70157832?accountid=12665
Lupu, E. (2012). Physical Activities as a Manner of Lifelong Developing Creativity. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 46, 1893-1898. Retrieved from https://www-sciencedirect-com.ezlibproxy1.ntu.edu.sg/science/article/pii/S1877042812015273
Nixon, A. M. (2008). An investigation of the relationship between movement breaks and attention (Order No. 3310892). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global: Social Sciences. (304833174). Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezlibproxy1.ntu.edu.sg/docview/304833174?accountid=12665