Electronic devices such as the iPad tablet computer and Kindle e-book reader are now available for loan at Bedok Public Library.
Pre-loaded with books, these devices can be checked out just as how one would take physical books out on loan.
Those who borrow the iPad, for example, will have access to the e-resources of the National Library Board (NLB) and more than 2.2 million e-books, magazines and newspapers from around the world.
Loans are for two weeks, and non-renewable.
The NLB has 100 iPads and five Kindles available under a three-month-long pilot project at its Bedok library.
Also available are 100 TumbleBooks Playaways, a handheld digital media player loaded with animated picture books for children from the TumbleBook Library collection.
Speaking at the launch of the new loan service at Bedok Public Library on Thursday, Minister of State for National Development Lee Yi Shyan said it will 'benefit those who do not own such devices or cannot afford to own one'.
The service will 'bridge the digital divide in our community and make information access more equitable', said Mr Lee, who is also Minister of State for Trade and Industry.
The devices were donated to the NLB by Factiva, OverDrive, W3.XS, FotoHub Holdings, InfoHost, DB United and the United States embassy here.
Those wishing to borrow the devices may register at the customer service counter of Bedok Public Library or through the NLB help desk.
No deposit will be collected for the loan of these devices, but the NLB will handle each case of accidental damage on a case-by-case basis, said Mr Roy Won, manager of the Bedok library.
School-bus driver Norjahar Muntazshah, 42, whose five-year-old son was among the first borrowers of the iPad, said: 'The new service will encourage him to read more. I think he'll borrow even more books from the library because of it.'
But the new loan service will not be only about reading.
Bennita Lim, five, another young iPad borrower, is most excited about downloading games to play on the device.
NLB chief executive Elaine Ng, when asked if such devices have made books obsolete, said the demand for books is still high, and that the number of loans has actually risen more than 10 per cent in the last year.
'I believe technology and books are not in competition, but actually complement each other,' she said.