Yishun Community is probably the worst library in Singapore, National Library Board (NLB)

After the visit to Yishun Community Library during which I suffered acute embarrassment, I took my Laotian friend to a nearby coffee shop for a drink.

“The library is very beautiful and modern,” my Laotian friend said, ” but it was so noisy. Why don’t the people in charge do something about it?”

“They are stuck in their ivory tower,” I said.

“Ivory? The thing on an elephant? In Laos we have a lot of elephants.”

“Tusks,” I said.

“But what is ivory tower?”

“It’s an English expression to refer to people who are so cooped up in their office that they are don’t know what is going on in the outside world.”

“Oh, I see. What are the things they aren’t aware about?’

“There have been countless complaints in the newspapers about the unacceptable noise level but no effective action has been taken.”

“Why aren’t they taking all these complaints seriously then?”

“Because we are a small fry. Unimportant people. A nobody. Your feedback will only be taken seriously if you are a big shot…if you’re an MP for example.”

My Laotian friend nodded sympathetically.

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