Category Archives: News from Libraries

LAS visit to NAFA Library on 26 September 2014


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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.


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!



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.


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.



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



Submitted by Fang Sin Guek

LAS, Chairperson (Programmes & Social Committee)

17 August 2014


April 2014 Editorial

Hi all,

Welcome to the new Financial Year (for most of you) – and yeah, it’s April Fools’ day, there would be some pranks played throughout the day but we will survive them.

Some news from our libraries,  Temasek Polytechnic Library is now headed by Ms. Puspa Yeow, this was with effect from July 2013 last year.  My apologies for finding out late about this – here is where the publications team needs help from members, please keep us informed by dropping us an email to alert us of changes at your libraries!

NUS Libraries is now headed by Mrs. Lee Cheng Ean, with effect from March 2014.  We will be contacting Mrs. Lee to find out more about her role change and her vision and plans for NUS Libraries.

Congratulations to both Puspa and Mrs. Lee on their new roles!

In the mean time, at NLB, we were also informed of a huge change in terms of email address naming convention.  For those of you whom may have contacts with NLB Librarians, please remember to double check if their email addresses have been adjusted.  Take for example my email address has been updated from to

This will take effect immediately, from 1 Apr 2014, although the old email addresses would be valid for some time still, it will be good for you to update the contact details of your friends from NLB.

Please also watch out for the news about our up-coming LFT 2014 event from the project team.  The selected theme for this year is “People, Places, Possibilities” – everyone is invited to put up papers relevant to the theme, you may submit them to – we will make sure the organising team will get to review them.

A gentle reminder that next month, our AGM is coming up, so please watch out for the details from our Hon. Gen. Secretary!


Challenges and Opportunities for Research Data Management

Daniel Tsang gave a presentation on the role that librarians can play in research data management held at the Li Ka Shing Library, Singapore Management University on 7 January 2014. Daniel served as data librarian at the University of California, Irvine as a data librarian since 1986. He recently chaired a working group for OCLC which has released its report, Starting the Conversation: University-wide Research Data Management Policy.

At UCI, one of the findings of the Faculty Assessment of the State of Research Computing Report was that “long-term research data storage, and associated data management, is the single most critical research computing need not being met on campus.” The report provides the library with opportunities to provide support in this area. The library plans to recruit a new head of E-Research and Scholarly Communications. They are potentially implementing DataShare for deposit of and access to research data generated by UCI faculty and researchers. They are working on collaborating with faculty on archiving research conducted from and around Orange County, especially in the area of biodiversity. They intend to enhance their subject guides for data sources and data management.

On the researcher’s side, the challenges for data include: data sharing culture varies by discipline, need to protect their ideas, sensitivity of data, and lack of consent from respondents to share the data.

Some of the challenges to librarians supporting research data management include, lack of skill-set, lack of knowledge about faculty research or sub-disciplines. These factors are exacerbated by the already full work loads of existing librarians and the lack of experience in data stewardship or data curation.

He highlighted the training courses available from University of Edinburgh and Vanderbilt University on research data management as possible ways to address the lack of skills and knowledge.

The talk was attended by 53 people mostly from academic libraries with some from the special libraries. The presentation is available at


Reported by Yeo Pin Pin, Li Ka Shing Library, SMU

A Sale with Heart – Lien Ying Chow Library Books & Magazines Charity Sale

There was excitement aplenty on 30 & 31 Oct in Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) – Lien Ying Chow Library was having our first ever Books & Magazines Charity Sale!

Our objectives for mounting this event were threefold. We wanted firstly, to support the Green Movement by re-distributing used library materials back to the community and thereby, extending the lifespan of our lifestyle books and magazines. We also wanted to promote reading in the NP community and to encourage lifelong learning. Finally, we aimed to involve the whole NP Community in making a contribution to the NP Student Aid Fund.

People browsing books
Staff and students browsing for good reads

Avid Reader
An avid reader

Our efforts most definitely paid off! The event was visited by over 450 people and together, we raised $4,441 for the NP Student Aid Fund! Over 1,795 books and 352 magazines were redistributed to the NP community as well! We were greatly heartened to see our community embrace their love for reading and also, the call of charity. This was indeed a sale with lots of heart.
Given how well received this event was, we will be having this event annually and adding academic titles to the sale as well.

Here’s a comment from one of our students:
“The NP Library Charity Book Sale in my opinion, was well executed! There were lots of magazines and a wide selection of books that were available! A job well done!” – Muhammad Irfan Iman, 2nd Year, Dip in Aerospace Electronics

Reported by Gerrie Kow

MSc student visit to Lee Kong Chian Reference Library (LKCRL)

40 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 29 Oct 2013. 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 National Library as the library is strategically located in between Bugis and City Hall MRT. It was a lively gathering of students, professor, a LAS member and library staff. This was the 8th networking and collaboration activity organised by General Reference Team of LKCRL since 2006.

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 assocation. 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.

Ms. Sharon Teng, Librarian of LKCRL provided an introduction to Reference Work and Reference Services. This was followed by Ms. 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.

2 LKCRL Librarians and 2 Library Officers led the tour of Library of Level 8 in 2 groups. Key stops included the library promenade areas where exhibitions are held.  Collection display on Reference Works and Digital Reference was put up for their browsing. The Librarians highlighted to the students on the Library Science collection, microfilms, microfiches, posters, maps and ephemera. Some of the students were surprised, as this was their first time seeing them!

The 45 minutes tour ended at about 9.45pm at the Level 8, Reading Room area. Students were impressed with the facilities, collections and services offered at LKCRL. Feedback received was positive, with 47% rating the programme as “Excellent”; 47% “Good” and 6% “Satisfactory”. Almost all of the students commented that the programme had been useful and helped them to discover more resources (e-resources and databases) 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 satisfied and found that it was a well-spent evening.

Some photos:

Mr Patrick Pu explained about LAS and its activities

Professor Shaheen’s lecture on Digital Reference Service

Librarian Sharon Teng presented on Reference Work and Reference Services at LKCRL

Librarian Hameedah Mohamed Ibrahim presented on Collections Layout and Resources available at LKCRL

Reported By: Hameedah M Ibrahim, Librarian, LKCRL

November 2013 Editorial

Hi all,

Apologies for the slight delay in this editorial and hope our friends who celebrate Deepavali had a joyous occassion!

This morning, I had the opportunity to hear Lucie Burgess (from the British Library) at the National Library Board (NLB) – she shared with the audience her topic “Contents in the Cloud – Contextual Collections, Coloassal Collaboration, Curious Connections.”

We also had some visitors from the National Library of Indonesia joining us for the occassion and this event’s invitation was also extended to LAS members.

Lucie highlighted various examples of Libraries making use of the Cloud and also shared what BL has done in their experiments with using the Cloud.  She also introduced to us the term “Cloud Culture” which was coined by Charles Leadbeater (if you are interested some of his points are covered in this pdf at counterpoint UK – Link)

She also highlighted the usefulness of Semantic Search for better contextual search results and making use of linked open data.  Some interesting projects for you to explore are:

HistoryPin – a way for millions of people to come together to share glimpses of the past and build up the story of human history.

Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) – an open and collaborative community that constantly seeks input from any and all interested in its work.

UK Soundmap – a nationwide sound map, invitng people to record the sounds of their environment, be it at home, work or play.

BL Georeferencer – inviting people to help identify old maps and matching to Google Earth images – creating a connection between the past maps with current images.

Harvard ShelfLife (now called StackLife) – a new way to browse the Harvard Library Collection.

Google Cultural Institute - which allows the linking of many musuems exhibits and collections all around the world and allows users to create their own galleries.

If you have any other news to share please let us know at



Demystifying Wikipedia at SMU

“I don’t use Wikipedia for research,” said no student ever. Recognizing the role of Wikipedia as the first stop for many students conducting research, the Singapore Management University’s Li Ka Shing Library hosted “Demystifying Wikipedia: Tips for Information Literacy” on 22nd August 2013.

About 50 librarians, educators and researchers from local and overseas institutions participated in this workshop. Speakers included Mr. Maximilian Klein and Dr Jack Tsen-Ta Lee who discussed using Wikipedia for information literacy as well as in teaching and learning.

Wikipedian-in-Residence at OCLC Research, Mr. Maximilian Klein, took participants through the structure of a Wikipedia article using his short video. Max then showed  how to go “under the hood” of an article to its history and talk pages to discover the development of an article and the surrounding editors’ discussions. He used the article on Prince George of Cambridge as a timely and entertaining example, much to the delight of the captivated audience.

Max also talked about Wikipedia’s Five Pillars and ended his presentation with this thought-provoking Zeroeth Law of Wikipedia: “The problem with Wikipedia is that it only works in practice. In theory, it can never work.” Worth pondering upon!

Max and five pillars

Next, Singapore Management University’s Assistant Professor of Law, Dr. Jack Tsen-Ta Lee discussed managing the SMU Constitutional and Administrative Law Wikipedia Project. He shared with participants the logistics of running the project and well as the challenges that he faced, such as running out of topics to assign students!

Jack Lee

Read more about his experience in the Wikimedia Education Portal’s newsletter.

After the presentations, both Max and Jack led a hands-on session where participants worked in small groups to edit articles in sandboxes – “preparation areas” for unpublished articles. Attendees used the newly-introduced Visual Editor that allows editors to make changes directly in a What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) interface instead of a text editor that uses wiki markup language. Most participants, being new to Wikipedia editing, appreciated this new feature as there was no new code to be learnt.


During the session, participants tried out basics of editing such as inserting links to other articles, creating references, and uploading media content with metadata to Wikimedia Commons. Being a law professor, Jack also mentioned copyright and Creative Commons licenses with respect to contributions to Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons.

All participants took away useful knowledge, either as beginner editors of Wikipedia, as librarians recognizing the role of Wikipedia in information literacy and research, or as educators who may be inspired to adopt a new tool in the classroom. My parting thought from the workshop: students – and most of us – are using Wikipedia almost every day. Rather than viewing Wikipedia as the enemy, why not harness its full potential and create more learning opportunities with this powerful resource?

First published in ACCESS@LibraryLearningSpace here

By Low Jiaxin
Business Research Librarian
Li Ka Shing Library, Singapore Management University

Visit to Singapore Polytechnic (SP) Library

40 participants visited the SP Library on Thu, 26 Sep 2013. Most participants arrived promptly at 2.30pm, thanks to the Dover MRT station which is located right inside the campus. It was a lively gathering of librarians as it was the first activity organised by the LAS Programmes and Social Committee in the new Council Year 2013.

A presentation on SP Library was given by Fang Sin Guek, the Library Director. SP Librarians led the tour of the Main Library in 6 groups. Key stops included the newly completed Open- Office concept Staff Room; learning spaces such as the design thinking inspired Da Vinci level which features architecture and design resources; RoboPod, the space for students to assemble robots using LEGO Mindstorms; E-I Pod, designed for case-based inquiry learning; Go MobilExp stations which display the latest mobile gadgets; Colours Zone, a chill out space; the various exhibits showcasing student projects; the prototype cocoon and book tree structures for library@orchard, etc.

The 75 minutes tour ended at the Colour social space. Tea, coffee and snacks, courtesy of SP were served. Due to the Polytechnic vacation, the Colours space was not crowded and participants could mingle around freely while having their refreshment. At about 4.40pm, participants were up on their feet to get ready for a tour of the branch Hilltop Library which was located some distance away.

Some participants chose to take a brisk walk to the western end of the campus while 6 participants who drove kindly took some passengers in their cars. As soon as the first batch of participants arrived at the Hilltop Library, Jennifer Gan (Manager, Hilltop Library) began the briefing and tour. The rest of the participants who arrived on foot were briefed by Edmund Lee and the other Librarians, and the tour continued. Some participants were impressed by the quaint 2-storey prefabricated building, the lush greenery surrounding the library, its two in-door gardens, one of which has an on-going student project on rainwater recycling, and some were quite surprised that the small building which seats only 160 students could offer a rather wide range of services.

The visit ended at about 5.20pm. A few participants seemed exhausted but many were satisfied that it was a well-spent afternoon. A group photo was taken outside the Hilltop Library for keepsake. All photos taken during the visit are available at SP Facebook Page.

Some photos:
SPLVisit1 SPLVisit2

SPLVisit3 SPLVisit4

SPLVisit5 SPLVisit6

Submitted By: Fang Sin Guek (Programmes & Social Committee).  5 Oct 2013.