Author Archives: Editor

Visit to NIE Library and ILFA Sharing Session

This event held on 9 December 2014 comprised of two parts, where 42 attendees were first brought on a tour around the newly renovated National Institute of Education (NIE) Library, followed by an informative sharing session from three of our LAS members whom had been partially sponsored for their trip to IFLA 2014.

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This is the newly repurposed gallery space for library publicity. Selected titles were displayed in enclosed glass spaces beside touchscreen multimedia stations featuring publications by NIE staff for guests to peruse. This former study area has now been given a fresh look which articulates grandeur through the use of suitably toned lighting and carpeting, giving added appeal to showcased materials.

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New tables have also been added to the furniture within the library, they provide users with the option to lock their laptops in the drawer for added security. Wire trunking have also been done to existing furniture (not pictured) to provide users with power point sockets to ensure that their devices are charged up.

The learning pods, former walkway and shelving spaces, now serve to provide the future teachers of our country with adequate facilities to practice micro-teaching.

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Hand puppets are also a part of the collection in order to support Early Childhood Education teacher trainees. This perhaps brings a reminder to us as librarians that ‘resources’ should not solely be confined to print and electronic resources, but rather, be defined by their purpose and ability to meet users’ needs.

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But perhaps, as librarians who grew up with a love for books – we are still unable to help ourselves from falling in love with Big Books. These books are utilised by kindergarten teacher trainees to support read aloud sessions for emergent readers.

Another highlight of the tour is the 3D printing facility at the Makerspace where teachers perform rapid prototyping of their design ideas and projects. Some of us were delighted to be offered a 3D printed “Happiness Pendant.”

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After the tour of the library, Stephanie Ow (NIE Library), Jennifer Chor (SIT Library) and Carol Sim (NAFA Library) shared with us on their experiences of attending the IFLA Satellite Meetings and the World Library and Information Congress in August 2014. Apart from being treated to many visually appealing pictures of their tour and the libraries, the ladies shared with us key takeaways from the sessions.

Stephanie’s sharing on transmedia storytelling, which included a website to Hidden Like Anne Frank for readers of the book to experience the story in another dimension. Readers can now cover the route of their favourite character and experience Holocaust in a much ‘safer’ setting!

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Jennifer’s sharing on ‘1001 libraries to see before you die’ was also interesting. This is an online initiative which aims to share examples of library spaces around the world with fellow colleagues. (You can also nominate your own libraries!)

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Carol’s sharing on Art Libraries provided valuable food for thought for library professionals, especially her point on the merging of roles between publishers, distributors and librarians. Attendees were also treated to a feast for the eyes in the form of beautifully digitised art forms in some Art databases.

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Reported by Lim Xiu Ru (Singapore Polytechnic Library)

Photos by Singapore Polytechnic librarians

 

An Enriching Visit to Taylor & Francis on a Halloween Day

As we make our way up the steps to the office of Taylor & Francis, one wonders what experience can be gleaned from a short visit to this anchor publication company. To our surprise, we were greeted by two ladies in black gowns offering tricks-or-treats in a Jack-o’-lantern basket, complete with sweets and centipedes (mock ones of course!). We were further treated to a surprise appearance of Doctor Plague in a publishing office!

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This Doctor Plague was in fact none other than the Managing Director of Taylor & Francis Asia Pacific, Mr Barry Clarke. The witty ‘Doctor Plague’, accompanied by Marketing Director, Ms Brenda Foo, introduced the brief history and background of Taylor & Francis from the inception of Philosophical Magazine, dating back to 1798, to its global presence today.

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One of the main focus of this visit, organised by the LAS Programmes & Social Committee, was to attend the White Paper presentation on “The Usage of Social Media in the Library” by Journals Sales Director, Mr Don Low. Don shared recent research findings that social media is undergoing a profound transformation in its role in academic libraries in recent years. Mr Low unveiled the overview of academic libraries’ current practices in the use of social media, its objectives, and effectiveness based on the research facilitated by Taylor & Francis. The comprehensive paper can be retrieved here.

This 2.5-hour afternoon visit coincided with the Halloween celebration on Friday, 31 October 2014. The 39 LAS members cast their vote on the best décor of a workspace at Taylor & Francis, and celebrated with Halloween-themed goodies, such as eyeball puff and coffin cookies.

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The last item on the day’s agenda was a short excursion to the Taylor & Francis’s warehouse, led by ‘Doctor Plague’, Mr Clarke. A ‘fresh’ and couldn’t-be-more-familiar smell of enormous new books in the warehouse, a few block away from the office at Siemens Centre, fascinated the attendees. This enticed them to touch, feel and even smell the books, even though members were warned not to do so, for fear of misplacements. In this warehouse, Mr Clarke conveyed the processes behind-the-scenes on how books were collected and delivered.

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All the fun had to come to a close at 4.30pm, leaving members with an enriched perspective on the promises of social media in their libraries and its potential to enhance readership.

Reported by Mingshanwang, Executive Officer (Music), NAFA Library

Photos by Cheng Eng Aun, Librarian, NUS Libraries

Lecture and night visit to Lee Kong Chian Reference Library (LKCRL) on 23rd October 2014

49 students undertaking the MSc in Information Studies at the School of Wee Kim Wee, Nanyang Technological University was brought on a visit to LKCRL by Professor Shaheen on 23 Oct 2014. Mr Patrick Pu, Chair of Membership Committee, Library Association of Singapore (LAS) also joined the session.

The students arrived promptly at 6.30pm at the POD, Level 16 of National Library Building as the library is strategically located in between Bugis and City Hall MRT. It was a lively gathering of students, a professor, an LAS member and library staff. This was the 9th networking and collaboration activity organised by General Reference Team of LKCRL since 2006.

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Mr. Patrick Pu explained about LAS and its activities

The opening presentation was about LAS and its activities by Mr Patrick Pu. This was incorporated with the objective of encouraging the students to join the information professional association. This was followed by lecture by Professor Shaheen on Virtual Reference Services for 90 minutes and a 15-minutes break with tea, coffee and snack served, courtesy of LKCRL.

Prof. Shaheen's lecture on Virtual Reference Service

Prof. Shaheen’s lecture on Virtual Reference Service

Ms. Sharon Teng, Librarian of LKCRL, provided an introduction to Reference Work and Reference Services and that was followed by Mdm Hameedah M Ibrahim, Librarian of LKCRL, who explained on the collections (print and non-print) and services available at LKCRL. Students engaged themselves actively during the Q&A session and enjoyed the ambience and scenic view from the POD. They were busy taking photos from different angle at the POD for remembrance. Thereafter, students were up on their feet to get ready for a tour of the library.

Ms. Sharon Teng explained about the Reference Service at LKCRL

Ms. Sharon Teng explained about the Reference Service at LKCRL

2 LKCRL Librarians and 3 Library Officers led the tour of Library of Level 8 and Level 11. The students were divided in 2 groups. Key stops included the library promenade areas where exhibitions are held. A collection display on Virtual Reference was put up for their browsing and project assignment. The Librarians highlighted to the students on the Library Science collection, microfilms, microfiches, posters, maps, audio visual materials and ephemera. Some of the students were surprised, as this was their first time seeing such resources!

Mdm. Hameedah Ibrahim explained about collection formats and the layout at LKCRL

Mdm. Hameedah Ibrahim explained about collection formats and the layout at LKCRL

The 45 minutes tour ended at about 9.45pm at the Level 11, Reading Room area. Students were impressed with the facilities, collections and services offered at LKCRL. The feedback received was positive, with 51% rating the programme as “Excellent” and 49% “Good”. Almost all of the students commented that the programme had been useful and helped them to discover more resources (e-resources, databases and archives online) for their projects.

They remarked that the library tour had served as a great platform for sharing practitioners’ experiences and gaining insights, and they now had a much better understanding of the types of reference work done at the library. Most of them were very satisfied and found that it was a well-spent and memorable evening.

Reported by Hameedah M. Ibrahim, Librarian, LKCRL

LAS visit to NAFA Library on 26 September 2014

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Ever wondered how it feels like to have the tunes from Bach or Strauss played live while you are browsing the books in the library? Or to study in the library accompanied by vinyl albums from the 60s or 70s? These are some of the features from the NAFA Library that LAS members experienced during the visit on 26 September 2014.

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There was a total of 22 participants during LAS visit to NAFA Library on that day. The visit started with a brief talk by Ms Carol Sim, NAFA Library’s chief librarian, about the history of the library, the enhancements made to the collection, including e-access and the renovation that it had gone through recently. A particularly interesting story was how the librarians had to digitize 7000 vintage slides within a 2-month short timeline. All the more amazing was the fact that there were only 10 staff in the library, who also had to maintain the day-to-day library duties while undertaking the digitization project!

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After the brief talk, we were led for a tour around the 2-storey library by Ms Esther Choong. Our first pit stop was the “learning@lib” room, which acts as a multimedia study room when not being booked for lectures. It was located near the entrance, which also hosted the new arrival materials displayed thematically. The reception desk next to the entrance facilitates borrowing of laptops for students’ use within the library.

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On the first floor of the library, we found a series of rooms which held the prized book collections. The first room, Shi Xiang Tuo room or “Old Book room”, hosted books and materials which were more than 300 years old. Next to this room was the “Celebrity room,” which contained personal collections donated by famous artists and musicians in Singapore. The last room, the “Heritage room,” hosted materials pertaining to the historical information of NAFA and the library. These rooms made up NAFA Library’s special collections and they could also be used by researchers beyond NAFA.

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Upon ascending the second floor, we were immediately greeted by the Tanoto Foundation Centre for Southeast Asia (SEA) Arts room. This room, which was one of its kind in Singapore, hosted more than 12,000 materials related to the arts scenes in Singapore and other Southeast Asia countries. Some of the materials inside the room were rare and highly sought after by researchers.

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Aside from the SEA Arts room, the library also held the reference collection, a consultation room, discussion rooms, and an alfresco study area on the second floor. Some of the materials inside the reference collection were expensive and rare, thus, they could only be used inside the library. At the media collection, we also chanced upon a vinyl player and a gift collection of records which could be played anytime the room is opened.

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Towards the end of the tour, we gathered again at the open stage area on the first floor for a vocal recital “treat”, courtesy of NAFA Vocal Department. The recital lasted for more than half an hour, and we were all awed by the vocal performances of the NAFA students. The LAS visit to NAFA Library was then closed with refreshments cum mingling session.

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We thank, Ms Carol Sim, Ms Esther Choong, NAFA Library colleagues and students for hosting the LAS visit, and for making the visit, an enriching and delightful one for all of us.

Submitted by: Stephanie V. Budiman and Quek Tze Guek

Sharing on Patron Driven Acquisition

The sharing session on Patron Driven Acquisition (PDA) at Singapore Polytechnic (SP) Library organised by the Library Association of Singapore’s Programmes and Social Committee on 22 August 2014 was well-received.  Registration for the session exceeded the maximum limit of 15.

During the 3-hour session, three academic libraries, namely Temasek Polytechnic (TP) Library, Singapore Management University (SMU) Library and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Library, shared with the 25 participants their experiences regarding implementation of PDA in acquiring e-books and print books.

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Ms Wong Choy Ming, Acquisitions Manager of TP Library shared that their Library implemented a 6-month pilot from Oct 2011 to Mar 2012, after learning from the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand Library in 2011.  A cross-section team which included librarians from Acquisitions section and Reference & Information Services section worked out the parameters for demand-driven settings and content profile in EBL. In their model, patrons are able to access EBL catalogue through EBL’s patron interface, or through the Library’s OPAC, as MARC records of titles on selected subjects are loaded to the OPAC monthly.

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Choy Ming highlighted that although time and effort is required from staff to maintain MARC records, check content of titles against collection development policy and processing of Short Term Loan requests, they are outweighed by the benefits of using PDA in e-book acquisitions, such as immediacy of access of online content to patrons. Another benefit is that the usage of titles acquired is guaranteed as each title purchased is used at least twice. From the usage reports, Librarian is able to get information on reading preference of patrons and use the information for collection development. After 3 years of implementation, they have seen an increase in use of e-books.

A relatively new print PDA (PPDA) model was co-presented by Ms Tamera Hanker and Ms Nazimah Ram Nath from SMU Library. They shared that their objectives in adopting PPDA  were to encourage direct patron participation in collection development, to fill gaps in various subject collections, as well as to use a patron driven strategy to increase usage of print books.

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Their PPDA initiative was rolled out in Apr 2014. Their Acquisitions team, together with the subject librarians, worked on vendor selection. The vendors include aggregators and publishers, who established collection profile and the PPDA processes.  The processes involved loading and de-duping MARC records from SMU library’s holdings, developing APIs to transfer order and information to vendors and budget allocation.

Despite some challenges like continuous streamlining of processes, monitoring of budget to ensure no over-spending and duplicating titles purchased, there are also benefits in adopting the PPDA, such as providing patrons with wider access to titles. It is also more cost-effective to provide access to a wide breadth of scholarly resources just in time.

NTU’s PDA experience presented by Ms Ng Chay Tuan includes platforms such as EBL, Ebsco, Ebrary,  JSTOR, MyiLibrary and Dawsonera.  MARC records of the major publishers like Elsevier, Cambridge, Sage, Wiley, and World Scientific are loaded to library catalogues for users to discover and submit requests.

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Chay Tuan highlighted that it is important to get the profiling done correctly, which includes setting up subject coverage, publishers and publication year. Also, it is advisable to start with mediated PDA. Another important aspect is to train librarians in using the relevant apps for downloading digital content to mobile devices.

The advantages of using PDA are allowing patrons the access to larger collection, achieving high return-on-investment as each title is used at least one time, and providing immediate and seamless access to patrons.

As it is tedious to manage multiple PDA platforms and pricing models, NTU library is looking into reducing their PDA platforms.

The participants had a great time networking and sharing with each other during the session and at tea break.

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Credits:

Photos by: Jennifer Gan

Submitted by: Cher Sen Keuk (Singapore Polytechnic Library) 7  Sep 2014

LAS visit to Makerspace@Singapore Polytechnic

Visit to Makerspace@Singapore Polytechnic

The visit to the Makerspace at Singapore Polytechnic (SP) Library organised by the Library Association of Singapore’s Programmes and Social Committee on 26 June 2014 received overwhelming response and registration closed within a few days of the announcement.  There was much curiosity on what the first Makerspace in a Singapore library would be showcasing.

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Mr Kamaludeen Mohammad Rafi, Deputy Director of SP Library shared with the 29 participants that SP Library is re-framing its role to make the library as one of the centres of learning by providing users with opportunities to access new technology, enabling them to explore and experiment, to discover their interests, imagine possibilities, and to learn holistically.  With the Poly’s strong emphasis for students to achieve mastery in their areas of training and the growing interest in hands-on and activity based learning, various pilot projects such as RoboPod and Tech lending were introduced in the library and this led to the setup of the Makerspace in October 2013.

Makerspace@SP is an evolving space. SP Library is actively learning from the local maker community as well as overseas makers on how to support the objectives of the institution and help to inspire learning by encouraging tinkering and making.  It is an exciting journey and definitely work in progress!

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Participants were given the opportunity to try out 3 hands-on activities so as to understand and experience the spirit of learning by making.  Dr Yeo Wee Kiang, Maker Coach gave an introduction to 3D printing and 3D design session. Participants were thoroughly engrossed in the session and those who completed the workshop were rewarded with a Vibrobot to bring home. Participants also saw 3D scanning and printing in action and everyone was happy to have a personalised 3D printed name tag as a souvenir.

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Raspberry Pi computer, LED lights, using the MaKey MaKey invention kit to turn bananas into piano keys, and applying Kinect technology to google earth travel were some of the other activities that participants were given opportunities to try out.

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Cardboard sculpturing was a fun-filled activity for some participants and one group very successfully created the Marina Bay Sands resort structure within a very short time.  The guideline to this activity was to create a structure by interlocking H-shaped cardboard pieces without the use of glue, staple or string. A creative design and a strong structure were the requirements given.

The participants enjoyed the visit to SP and had a great time interacting, networking and sharing with each other during the workshop and at tea break.  It was a time of making and learning together!

Here are some comments and feedback from the participants:

“I am totally impressed with the Makerspace.  I enjoyed the hands-on workshops.”  - Catherine Tan, NTU Library

“It was an interesting, eye and mind-opening experience.”  – Dexterine Ho, Inno-hands on

“For me the visit here was inspiring and provided new ideas for use of library spaces.  I have a chance to network with other library colleagues.  I enjoyed the cardboard-making, trying out the kinect travelling on google earth and the DIY electronics session.” - Wong Oi May, NTU Library

“It’s innovative to see how recycled materials are used.  Innovations do not necessarily have to be high-tech. It is interesting to know what a Makerspace is. I had fun with the group in making the MBS structure using cupboard materials.”  - Cecilia James, Tan Tock Seng Hospital

“Your Makerspace is a good example of making libraries relevant to their institutions.  It provides new opportunities for users to learn and explore. We should be proud of our own model of makerspace in Singapore.”  - Yit Chin Chuan, NLB

“It was an enlightening and educational visit for me.  Enabling serious play in the library is paving the way for the library of the future.”  - Max Ng, NLB

“I learned so much from this visit.”  - Goh Su Nee, NTU Library

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Submitted by Fang Sin Guek

LAS, Chairperson (Programmes & Social Committee)

17 August 2014

 

August 2014 Editorial

Once again our apologies for missing out on a July 2014 issue – I was caught up in a major shift in job scope.  This is August – it’s time to remember the birth of our nation – happy National Day Singapore!

On the LFT2014 note, we have seen a wonderful influx of submission of ideas for presentation – this year promises to be quite a bumper with a lot of different presentations from our peers across many institutions – so we look forward to seeing all of you at the event come October.

A reminder to all members, SLB is intended as a newsy platform -so it would be good for us to make use of it for announcements and other news that could be of relevance to our peers.  We would really love to see more of you contributing to this.

Yit

June 2014 Editorial

Hi all,

Our apologies for missing out on the May 2014 Editorial, but it was great to see our members continue to contribute to 2 articles for SLB in the month of May (covering LAS visits to places of interest). In the month of June, we need to make an important announcement with regards to the ISSN of our journal the Singapore Journal of Library and Information Management (SJLIM).

It was brought to our attention that our ISSN should have been changed when we change the title of our journal from Singapore Libraries to SJLIM in 1999. And in 2009 we moved SJLIM onto the e-version, we have also been advised to apply for a new ISSN as well.

As such, to clarify what ISSN we should be using for our publications (for the purpose of our member libraries who have records for our journals), please take note of the following:

ISSN: 0085-6118 refers to the publication – Singapore Libraries

ISSN: 2382-5626 refers to the publication – Singapore Journal of Library and Information Management (Physical copies 1st issue 1999 vol. 28 up till 2008 vol. 37).

ISSN 2382-5634 refers to the publication – Singapore Journal of Library and Information Management (e-periodical, 1st issue 2009 vol. 38 and onwards)

Once again our apologies for this oversight and kudos to the feedback we had received highlighting this needing our action.

regards
Yit

LAS visit to Library of Botany and Horticulture and the Singapore Herbarium

Date of visit: 9 May 2014

Time: 3-5 pm

Most of us would agree that the Singapore Botanic Gardens (SBG) is the long standing iconic garden of the country. But did we know that in its early years, it was also home to animals, such as rhinoceros, leopards, monkeys, birds, etc?

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Really? You may have asked, or laughed it off like some of us did in our LAS visit to the Botanic Gardens. When Christina, one of the NParks guides showed us an archived photograph, we realize that this was more truth than naysay. In fact, some of us found out later during our LAS visit that the SBG maintains a zoological status for more than 40 years from its founding years before it was abolished in 1903. Most of the animals became part of the collection from donation and their population was maintained through exchanges with overseas zoos. Today, one of the visible hints of its early history is the stone animal artifacts that greet visitors as one walks through the Green Pavilion.

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A quick walk through the history of SBG. The SBG was established in 1859 in the Tanglin area, by the Agri-Horticultural Society, through a government grant of a piece of land obtained from the merchant Mr Hoo Ah Kay, more famously known as Whampoa. Through SBG’s 155 years of history, 2 SBG directors notably spearheaded the proliferation of rubber cultivation in Malaya from 1890s and pioneered orchid hybridization, placing Singapore as a leading centre for commercial orchid growing. The SBG has also survived the Japanese Occupation from 1942 to 1945 and had a Japanese director during this period.

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Our 2-hour LAS visit by 28 librarians covers mainly the Library of Botany and Horticulture and the Singapore Herbarium, which are located at the Botany Centre. The Library consists of the Public Reference Library and the Reference Library. The Public library showcases herbarium specimens of plants common in Singapore and also has a self-service pictorial compilation for plant enthusiasts and students alike. The Reference Library, together with the Herbarium existed since SBG was established, and is one of the oldest botany library in Southeast Asia. The Reference Library collection has about 30,000 journals, books (including more than 4,000 rare books and botanical illustrations) and other media. Access is restricted only to NPark staff, visiting researchers and authorized users. We were privileged to be able to see some rare historical books and photographs of SBG in the backroom of the Reference Library.

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The Herbarium has a huge collection of 750,000 herbarium specimens from the Malesian region, Southeast Asia region and has a strong collection from Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia dating from the 1880s. Botanists from the Herbarium actively collect plant specimens sans seeds from these targeted regions from frequent field trips. Serena, our guide, gave us an introduction of the specimen-making process and the filing method of the Herbarium’s filing system. We also learned that multiple specimens were made for the same plant for exchanges with other herbariums. The Herbarium is also taking photos of plants to document 3D images and colors of real plants collected. It is also transcribing old specimen records which were hand-written.

All Rights Reserved. National Library Board Singapore 2007.

All Rights Reserved. National Library Board Singapore 2007.

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In the last 15 minute of our visit, we were taken for bonus visits to the Heritage Museum and the CDL Green Gallery. Qiu Xian and Christina walked us to the Museum which is in the Holttum Hall building, currently a conserved building. The Holttum Hall was built in 1920 and was once a laboratory and office of Professor Eric Holttum, the SBG director who pioneered orchid hybridization. The 2-storeyed museum has interactive and multimedia exhibits, which details SBG’s early history and heritage, including its past and present directors. There were old specimens, paintings and replicates of botanical books which are too fragile as real displays. Beakers and equipment used in laboratories lined the display at second level, and the staircase landing is also decorated by a magnificent chandelier made from beakers and test-tubes. Old pictures of the Holttum building often shows it pictured with an old kapok (silk-cotton) tree. Though not the flowering season yet, some of us were still thrilled to see the real giant tree and catch cotton fluff floating down from its crown.

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The walk through the CDL Green Gallery was a quick one, and was preceded with a 5-min video of Singapore’s greening history. The current theme of the Gallery is “Living in a Garden” and will be changed once every five to nine months. A quick search from the Internet showed that the Gallery is designed to be an eco-friendly building with solar roof panels capable of supplying all the electricity required to operate the building. It also has Green Walls and energy efficient interior fittings. For its zero-energy effort, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has awarded it with the BCA Green Mark Platinum status, highest tier for green buildings in Singapore.

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The LAS Social and Programmes committee will like to thank NParks staff, Christina, Qiu Xian and Serena for allocating their time to host the event and making the educational trip a rewarding one. There was much to explore in the 2 hour visit and we will be back personally again, to learn of the rich history and explore the botany diversity of the SBG.

Reported by: Quek Tze Guek

LAS visit to Hong San See Temple

Date of visit: 23 April 2014 (Wednesday)

Time: 3.00pm to 5.00pm

Reported by: Steven Chow and Quek Tze Guek

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Hong San See, the “Temple on Phoenix Hill” was originally built in Tanjong Pagar in 1829. Established by the Hokkien people of the Lam Ann clan, this temple is dedicated to Guang Ze Zun Wang (广泽尊王), the God of Fortune. It was relocated to Mohamed Sultan Road between 1908 and 1913. The temple currently draws worshippers from different dialect groups.

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Built in a distinctive Min-nan (闽南) style, the temple is a showpiece of traditional architecture and art. The temple, with its axial planning, courtyards and walled enclosures, depicts a southern Chinese traditional temple. The facade of the temple is decorated with intricate artefacts and guarded by double-leafed lacquered timber doors with paintings of door gods. The roof ridges and eaves have Chien Nien or Jian Nian (剪粘) ornamentation (a special method of cutting and pasting mosaic tiles) and plaster relief work. On the center of the roof ridge are two dragons each holding a blazing pearl. The temple has four carved granite columns, with entwined dragons and other figurines. Some columns are adorned with figures of flowers and magpies.

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The temple at Mohamed Sultan Road was built by Mr. Lim Loh, who is a well-known contractor originating from Lam Ann county of Fujian, China, and the father of World War II Singapore hero, Mr. Lim Bo Seng. The temple was gazetted as a National Monument in 1978. Between 2006 and 2009, a major restoration process was carried out for the ageing temple after a corner of the temple’s roof collapsed.

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This restoration cost about 3 million dollars, and part of the sponsorship was from the Lee Foundation, whose founder, Mr. Lee Kong Chian (1893-1967), was a strong supporter of the temple’s affairs during his lifetime. For the authenticity of the restoration, the temple became the first building in Singapore to be bestowed with the Award of Excellence in the 2010 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. In 2013, it was honoured with the Architectural Heritage Awards for Category A.

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This LAS visit was attended by 10 enthusiastic members. We had a short introduction of the temple’s history at its managing clan, the Lam Ann Clan Association, before moving up the hill to learn about the architecture and immerse in the splendour of the temple. We were delighted to have Mr. Ang Yik Han, a heritage cum archaelogoy enthusiast, guiding the visit. Mr. Ang has conducted guided walks to Singapore Chinese temples and the Bukit Brown cemetery. He has also been invited to speak on topics related to stone carvings of Bukit Brown and Chinese temples in Singapore.

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The itinerary was interrupted by an afternoon shower while we were in the temple. But thankfully, it was blue skies for all of us when it came time to leave. We were unable to have the guided walk around the Mohamed Sultan area, which had witnessed historical changes with its proximity to the Singapore River and Fort Canning Hill. There was, however, much to reminisce for some participants and the visit was very much a historical experience for all. We thank all the participants for their fervour discussions and their support.

Our next LAS visit will be to the Library of Botany and Horticulture and the Singapore Herbarium @ the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Please stay tuned on our next write up!