LAS Outstanding Newcomer Award

The LAS Outstanding Newcomer Award aims to recognise the accomplishments of outstanding newcomers to the library profession upon the completion of the professional library qualification.

The Award

The Award consists of a S$200 cheque.

Selection Criteria

  • Personal membership in LAS
  • Professional library qualification
  • Professional library experience of 5 years or less
  • Examples of outstanding qualities, e.g. outstanding work performance, level of involvement in professional activities, development of notable innovations at the workplace, success in promoting the library profession
  • Self-nominations will also be considered

Who is not eligible

  • Current LAS Council Members
  • Current LAS Award Panel Members

Selection Process

The LAS Awards Panel shall evaluate nominations received based on content and thoroughness of information provided. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

The LAS Awards Panel shall send the recommendations to the LAS Council for endorsement.


The Award will be presented at an annual LAS event.

Submission Procedure

Please complete and submit the application form along with the required supporting documents. Nominations must be received by 28 February 2020 by 12 PM.

Past Recipients

Dong Danping obtained her Master of Science in Information Studies from Nanyang Technological University in May 2015. She joined SMU Libraries in April 2016 as Librarian for Scholarly Communication. She was tasked with building the research data services, assisting with the SMU research information system, institutional repository, and citation metrics.

Danping has been playing a lead role in the project to implement a new research data repository for SMU since her arrival. She collaborated with the SMU Office of Research and Tech Transfer team in the development of the research data management policy. She investigated other universities’ research data management practices as well as journal policies for research data. She has created new training workshops for research data management targeted at students. She has been able to build her knowledge and experience and contribute to SMU’s new strategic initiative in a new area whilst helping advance new roles for librarians in Singapore.

Danping has been an active member of the Engagement Team of SMU which is a group of new professionals at SMU Libraries created with the aim of equipping them with library-wide experience, knowledge and vision in order to prepare them for future roles in the profession. As a member of the ET team, Danping participated in activities such as being a member of the planning team for the New Professionals seminar held in collaboration with LAS in August 2018.

Danping also came up with new workshop topics for library users, tried out gamification for information literacy by using new tools to make her workshops interactive, and experimented with a game to teach concepts in scholarly communication.

Before joining SMU, she worked at SUTD Library as Associate Librarian from August 2013 to March 2016. She led the implementation and use of LibGuides at SUTD and was involved in innovative projects such as smart RFID shelves and the Idea Room.

Danping has been an active member of LAS and a member of the Training & Development Committee since October 2017. She also volunteered for the 2016 Smart Libraries for Tomorrow Conference Organizing Committee.

The Library Association of Singapore is pleased to honour Dong Danping with the 2018 LAS Outstanding Newcomer Award.

Lim Hwee Ming joined SMU Libraries in June 2014 as a fresh graduate from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Masters in Library and Information Science programme. Over the past few years, she contributed to a wide range of activities and services at SMU Libraries, including cataloguing of library resources and supporting all aspects of electronic resource management. She played an active role in the implementation and roll-out of the new Library Management and Discovery System in SMU.

As part of her role in the First Year Experience team, Hwee Ming provided information literacy, orientation and user experience activities like LibQuest and the Program in Writing and Research course. Hwee Ming was actively involved in many library-wide projects like the Virtual Chat project and Learning Circle.

She became the Team Leader in the Information Access & Resources (IAR) section of SMU Libraries in 2016 where she oversees daily operations of electronic resources. She was instrumental in the merging of Course Support Services into IAR and helped to integrate Inter-Library Loan, Document Delivery and Reading List processes and services into the overall resource acquisition and delivery stream in IAR, making use of the knowledge learnt from Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification. She led two teams to upskill and cross train the Library Specialists and to provide training and support to those new to electronic resource management. She presented a paper detailing the training for the library specialists in SMU Libraries at the Charleston Conference in 2016.

Hwee Ming has consistently taken on higher levels of responsibility, as she learnt new skills and acquired new knowledge, whether by working with the IAR team on e-resources activities or participating in library-wide pilots and projects. Hwee Ming has proven herself to be a valuable member of the Libraries and a good role model for new librarians, capable of delivering exemplary performance with her highly motivated, positive and results-focused attitude.

The Library Association of Singapore is pleased to honour Lim Hwee Ming with the 2017 LAS Outstanding Newcomer Award.

Shameem Nilofar Maideen was already a committed and outstanding library professional even before she earned her Master of Library and Information Science from San Jose State University in the United States (2015). She also has the Master of Science in International Relations degree from Nanyang Technological University (2006) and the Bachelor of Engineering (Computer Science) degree from the University of Madras in India (1994).

Shameem began her library career as a Project Manager at the National Library Board (NLB) handling digital infrastructure, knowledge management, social media and web based projects before joining the Singapore Management University (SMU) Libraries in 2012 as Manager of Library Technology and Innovation.

As soon as she joined SMU Libraries, Shameem chaired the Pyxis Committee where she coordinated all technology-related matters, including taking the lead on the complex review, selection, and migration to a new library management system. She also assumed responsibility for technology issues in the library space transformation project. Additionally, she is the Project Management Coordinator for SMU Libraries, where she combines her project management expertise and patient, methodical, and supportive attitude to mentor colleagues on project management tools and techniques. Shameem’s planning, technical and people management skills were also instrumental in the success of the recently opened Kwa Geok Choo Law Library.

Shameen has been an articulate advocate for the library profession and an ambassador for SMU Libraries at external meetings, seminars and conferences. Shameem was elected to the prestigious International Group of Ex Libris Users (IGLEU) Steering Committee in 2015 which is an important achievement for her. She also volunteered to participate and work with librarians from NUS and NTU to plan, collaborate, implement, evaluate, and present the results of the first ‘A Day in the Life of….’ pilot development programme for staff in 20132014.

Shameem’s enthusiasm, pro-active, constructive and positive attitude as well as her strong leadership, and technical skills have proven to be great assets for the library profession in Singapore. She has also become a highly respected member of the global library community in the area of technology and automation. In recognition of her outstanding accomplishments to date, LAS is delighted to honour Shameem Nilofar Maideen with the 2016 LAS Outstanding Newcomer Award.

Hedren Sum, a 2015 graduate of Nanyang Technological University (NTU), with an MSc in Information Studies, is a subject librarian for the School of Art, Design and Media and is also in the New Media Group at NTU Libraries. Since becoming a librarian in October 2012, he has innovatively delivered library services and resources to support the teaching, learning and research needs in NTU.

Hedren worked closely with the School of Art, Design and Media (ADM) to execute the ADM Portfolio initiative to create platforms for faculty and outstanding students to showcase their visual works. He has also explored and created new ways of using blogs and social media tools for faculty members in NTU to communicate their achievements and their research output.

Hedren fosters strong collaborative librarian-faculty relationships. He works closely with the faculty, often becoming a valuable partner by creating customised instructional workshops and assignments for classes. He also became a member of several exhibition curatorial and research teams, providing research support and building digital collections. In 2014, Hedren joined the faculty team that brought 15 students to Arizona in the United States as part of the coursework. His role included providing research assistance and documenting the study trip. The final output was a printed publication entitled “A Desert Playground”.

Hedren has been a member of the Library Association of Singapore (LAS) since 2013, copresented a poster and co-conducted a workshop at IFLA 2013. He also presented a poster at IATUL 2014 in Helsinki, Finland. He has actively discussed his library initiatives at many forums in Singapore. He presented to reference librarians on social media engagement at NLB and the “A Day in the Life” initiative and explained his role as a design librarian at several events organised by the Singapore Computer Society, where he is also an active member.

Because of his notable accomplishments in a short time in creatively helping to transform the role of the librarian at the NTU libraries, his efforts to reach a global audience, and his active community involvement, the Library Association of Singapore is pleased to honour Hedren Sum with the 2015 LAS Outstanding Newcomer Award.

Low Jiaxin has demonstrated outstanding performance, passion and commitment to her work and the profession since joining the Singapore Management University Libraries in 2012. She has repeatedly suggested innovative services and activities. She energetically supports the resource needs of faculty, students, and the entire SMU. She oversaw the setup of the Investment Studio, a space dedicated to using of high-end finance information resources, undertook a project on tablet use, updated and raised awareness of the Lifestyle Collection, and implemented a well-received activity for the Banned Books Week.

Jiaxin is a proponent of professional development. She takes courses, participates in projects and committees, and serves as a “buddy” to new colleagues. As Chair of the SMU Libraries’ Learning Circle for professional development, she stimulates increased staff participation. Jiaxin is involved in professional activities in Singapore and abroad, including LAS. During IFLA 2013, she proposed and implemented the very popular Demystifying Wikipedia seminar. She attended the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Conference in 2013 and was ACRL Member of the Week. She presented a poster at the European Conference on Information Literacy in October 2014.

In just two years as a professional librarian, Jiaxin has become a deserving recipient of the 2014 Outstanding Newcomer’s Award and we look forward to her continued support.

It gives me great pleasure to present the Library Association of Singapore’s Outstanding Newcomer Award. This Award aims to recognise the accomplishments of outstanding newcomers to the library profession and to encourage outstanding contributions throughout their career. This year’s award goes to V. Somasundram.

Soma who recently graduated with a Masters of Science in Information Studies from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), is an Assistant Librarian at NTU Libraries. He has passionately pursued his combined role of library promotion and art librarianship (media arts). He has utilised social media to interact with library users in order to enhance the library’s image and accessibility. He has also encouraged colleagues to apply social media tools in their efforts to promote the library. Additionally, he has co-authored an article on the application of social media in libraries.

In addition to tapping social media to enhance library services, Soma has initiated other means of promoting the library by organising events, exhibitions and mutually beneficial collaborative projects with various student body organizations, including an anti-seat hogging campaign in conjunction with the NTU Students’ Union which led to a significant drop in complaints about seat hogging.

As the subject librarian for Media Arts, Soma has planned and coordinated various talks in collaboration with academic staff” which significantly enhanced the library’s profile and awareness of the library’s role in university life.

Soma has also been deeply involved in various Library Association of Singapore activities. His outgoing and affable personality has allowed him to excel as an emcee at LAS, IATUL and NTU events. Plus, he chaired the Organizing Committee for the NTU Library Year-End Party in 2011.

Soma has demonstrated an unusual degree of initiative, creativity, dedication and success in his roles at NTU as well as in LAS. His level of involvement and passion at an early stage of his career is impressive and should serve as a role model for other young librarians. For his accomplishments in his career, thus far, and the potential he has demonstrated for an exceptional career by going significantly beyond expectations, we are pleased to award V. Somasundram with the 2013 LAS Outstanding Newcomer Award.

Tay Chee Hsien, Aaron, Librarian at the National University of Singapore Libraries is the recipient of the 2011 LAS Outstanding Newcomer Award. Aaron has proven to be an innovative tour de force in the few short years since he graduated from the Nanyang Technological University with a Masters in Information Science by bringing a vast array of social media tools to the library, revamping NUS’ Library Subject Guides and FAQs, and sharing his unique knowledge with colleagues and students inside and outside of NUS through training sessions, articles, book chapters and conferences in Singapore and overseas. He has also launched an award-winning and influential blog on tech trends and the application of technology and social media in libraries.

Aaron has been involved in the Library Association of Singapore (LAS) by presenting papers at LAS seminars and conferences and was voted Best Speaker at LAS Libraries for Tomorrow Seminar in 2011. He has received other awards including an NUS Service Award in 2010 and was the first person in Asia in 10 years to be named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2011 in the Tech leader category by the American Library Association.

We applaud Aaron’s amazing accomplishments and encourage him to maintain his enthusiasm, initiative, vision, and contributions to the library community.

Nurhazman Abdul Aziz is the recipient of the 2010 LAS Outstanding Newcomer Award in recognition of his early professional success as a Librarian at the Nanyang Technological University Library, his active involvement in the library profession by furthering social media initiatives and scholarship through presentations at the LAS Conferences in 2008 and 2009 and IFLA in 2010, as well as his noteworthy service to the LAS Business Librarian Group in developing the Online Community Portal. We commend his tireless efforts and look forward to many more years of contribution to the library community.