LAS Passion Award

This award, presented by the Library Association of Singapore, aims to recognise one individual each year for outstanding contributions, commitment and service to the library profession.

It was previously known as the LAS Special Librarian Passion Award which was sponsored by LexisNexis from 2010 to 2012. As the name suggests, it aims to one individual or group each year for outstanding contributions to the Special Libraries Section or any of its Interest Groups. The award consists of a $300.00

The Award

The award consists of a $500 voucher.

Selection Criteria

  • Personal membership in LAS (associate or professional)
  • Demonstrates passion to and for the profession through activities such as innovation, outreach, leadership, community involvement, mentoring, promotion of profession, and others not mentioned here

Submission Procedure

The documents that must be submitted include:

Please note that self-nominations will be accepted.

Who is not eligible

  • LAS Awards 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. It shall send the recommendations to the LAS Council for endorsement.


The Award will be presented at an annual LAS event.

Past Recipients


Feng YiKang [Citation]

Just four years into his career as a librarian, Feng Yikang has proven to be an invaluable asset to the library profession, making numerous novel, pioneering and impactful contributions to the ever-evolving field of digital scholarship.

In 2015, Yikang was appointed as the leader of the Digital Scholarship (DS) Team to create and build DS services in NUS Libraries. He and his team have experienced significant success. Soon after launching the service, they were invited to work on three projects, including a Geospatial Data Guide (Asia), Singapore Places of Worship, and Map of Origins: Chinese Clans in Singapore. Subsequently, they were asked by faculty and researchers to partner on pro-jects ranging from meteorology to early European writings in Southeast Asia, and, then, to collaborate on five grant proposals.
Yikang’s partnerships with faculty extended beyond projects into organizing events to con-nect digital humanities researchers from leading Singapore universities and NLB to discuss their research projects and experience.
Yikang has also taken an active role in building the infrastructure necessary to turn the Col-laboration Space in NUS Central Library into a hub for digital scholarship in Singapore and beyond. In addition, Yikang worked with faculty, colleagues and collaborators from the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity to bring the “Datarama”, a 360-degree immersive data visualisation facility, to NUS.

Yikang has enthusiastically communicated his knowledge with fellow librarians and research-ers in Singapore and internationally through papers, blogs, sharing sessions and presenta-tions, including LAS’ Libraries for Tomorrow: Disrupt and Innovate Conference and a blog essay in LAS’ Singapore Libraries Bulletin. In 2017, he received the Karl Lo Award to attend the Pacific Rim Research Libraries Alliance (PRRLA) meeting to introduce a newly developed digital scholarship software tool, and has also shared the developments and his experience in digital scholarship with the international and regional library community.

In recognition of Yikang’s research skills, entrepreneurial zeal, determination, and ability to bring together librarians, faculty, stakeholders and collaborators not only in Singapore, but across Asia, and his willingness to generously share his knowledge, while opening up exciting new opportunities for librarians to actively collaborate with researchers and faculty in a bur-geoning field, it is a privilege to honor Feng Yikang with the 2017 LAS Passion Award.


Raneetha Rajaratnam [Citation]

Raneetha Rajaratnam has blossomed from being a children’s librarian to become the Deputy Director overseeing Children and Teen’s services in Singapore’s public libraries.

Some of Raneetha’s achievements in recent years include spearheading the Read@School programme to encourage a whole school reading culture which motivates all primary and secondary students to read for pleasure through a vast array of creative and customised reading activities, the development of an online reading platform, and the introduction of awards to recognize creativity and best practices for cultivating reading in preschools, primary and secondary schools.

She has also overseen the development of new teen’s services at the new Pasir Ris Public Library, including the creation of a teen only Inspiring Readers Society, upcoming services for tweens at Sengkang Public Library, and a very popular Book Bugs tweens reading incentive programme across public libraries.

Raneetha’s devotion to continuous learning is well recognized as is her relentless reading of Junior and Young Adult books, which allows her to remain current in these areas. She generously shares what she learns with others, as evidenced by the innovative services that her team develops. At the same time she has taken the initiative to upgrade the skills of library staff by launching a pilot skills enhancement programme which involved redesigning their jobs and building competencies to help align staff with new expectations and services.

Aside from developing services and staff development, Raneetha is also an accomplished speaker on children’s literature, children’s services and reading for children and teens. She is often invited to speak at various platforms including IFLA, the Asian Festival of Children’s Content, and the Ministry of Education (MOE). She is also frequently asked to introduce NLB’s children’s services to international visitors.

Raneetha has demonstrated dedication, innovation, and exceptional service to the children and teens of Singapore, along with unfettered enthusiasm, knowledge of children’s content and strong passion and belief in what she does.

LAS is delighted to honour Raneetha Rajaratnam with the 2016 LAS Passion Award.


Yap, Ian [Citation]

Ian Yap has excelled in his 17-year career with NLB. He is recognised as an innovator and motivator whose passion for librarianship has thus far allowed him to make many invaluable contributions to NLB and the wider community.

Ian has served in many critical positions across disciplines within NLB. He oversaw school library services, assisted in managing a public library, setup and ran MOE’s Professional Development library, headed the public libraries’ children’s services, and managed public library programmes, marketing and partnerships.

Some of his major achievements in these roles include recognition for NLB’s best client site library for two years as a result of READ@TN; implementing the bookcrossing movement and Book Exchange, where 60,000 books were exchanged during the annual event; and initiating the Junior Reading Ambassador Programme, where children advocates motivated the young to read. Ian currently leads Read! Singapore, the nationwide campaign to promote reading, arts, and culture programming in public libraries for adults and seniors. Ian has also been recognised for his management skills, receiving the first NLB Best Manager Award in 2008.

Ian plays an important role in IFLA. From 2009-2012, he was the Information Coordinator for the IFLA Section for Services to Children & Young Adults, where he launched the Sister Libraries project to create collaborative partnerships among libraries, promoted children’s services globally, and assisted with the World of Picture books project, where countries nominated their best children’s books for a roving world exhibition.

Ian was also instrumental in organising the IFLA World Library Congress 2013 in Singapore, including the opening and closing ceremonies, public lectures by IFLA members and a cultural evening. In the same year, Ian managed the 2nd Summit of the Book, which brought together global thought leaders to discuss library, publishing, and reading trends.

Since 2013, Ian has been the Regional Manager for IFLA’s Regional Office (Asia & Oceania) where he organised capacity building workshops for librarians and library leaders, including the 2015 workshop for LAS members with the Brunei Darussalam Library Association to build stronger library associations in ASEAN, to advocate for access to information and libraries in developing countries, to present on library trends, and to seek partnerships and sponsorships to build libraries in disaster-torn areas in Asia.

For his selfless devotion and endless contributions to public libraries and the library profession in Singapore and overseas, it is a privilege to honour Ian Yap with the 2015 LAS Passion Award.


Khoo Ai Ling [Citation]

Khoo Ai Ling began her library career in 2003 as a Librarian with Singapore Polytechnic Library after completing her Master of Science (Information Studies) at Nanyang Technological University. After serving as a reference librarian, Ai Ling was promoted to the librarian-in-charge of the BizIT Branch Library. In 2004, she was the first Staff Advisor of the newly formed SP Library Club, inspiring greater student engagement with the library.

As Manager of Information Services, she trained many new librarians, developed the information literacy programme, packaged resources for courses, promoted library services and implemented project advisory and research assistance for many institution-wide projects. She heads a team of subject librarians who support the teaching and learning needs of the academic schools, enhances service delivery through new IT tools and techniques, and provide relevant content in a more focused, organised and attractive style. She also led the content curation initiative to support SP projects for coursework, research, business development, and planning. Finally, she also contributed to reorganising collections and transforming spaces such as setting up thematic floors.

Ai Ling has been deeply involved in LAS as Chair of the LAS Membership Committee and Assistant Honorable Secretary. She has played critical leadership roles in organising numerous LAS events in the last three years, including the 2012 Librarians for Tomorrow and 2014 Libraries for Tomorrow Conferences. Additionally, she has been heavily involved in developing and serving as a trainer and assessor for WSQ courses.

In just over a decade, Ai Ling introduced significant improvements and innovations in her library at Singapore Polytechnic (SP) and has been increasingly active in the Library Association of Singapore. Her sustained leadership and high level of commitment to her library and to LAS make her an ideal recipient of the 2014 LAS Passion Award.


Chia Ka-Yin, Janice [Citation]

Janice Chia is widely recognised as a highly committed, positive, energetic and passionate library professional. Her colleagues at the Nanyang Technological University Libraries (NTU) and in the Library Association of Singapore (LAS) acknowledge her dedication to her work, her users, her peers and her belief in the importance of libraries and librarianship. In her 14-year career, she had worked in a public library, an academic library and also the vendor community.

At NTU, Janice has been Head of the Instructional Services Division, a senior member of the Scholarly Communication Group and a valued member of the Library Management Team since 2010. She always gives her very best and is a good role model. She is admired for her positive attitude, a willingness to learn and grow, a commitment to share her knowledge, to respectfully and to flexibly educate users through an easy interpersonal style, and to invigorate and garner enthusiasm from all of those whom she encounters.

Janice, as the Training and Development Chair of the LAS Council 2011-2013 was an extremely driven and inspired member who took on several projects in addition to the already extensive training portfolio. She quickly organised, in a very short period, the successful “Librarians for Tomorrow Conference” and also planned the LAS/PPM joint conference after a break of seven years. Finally, she represented LAS in conducting a workshop for the Brunei Library Association very soon after she joined the Council. For each of these events, Janice received rave reviews and her capacity for handling complex projects and managing very sensitive relationships was impressive.

Janice has proven to be a great asset to her library and her profession. She brings joy and commitment to her work while inspiring all of those around her. We are pleased to present her with the 2013 LAS Passion Award.


Rajendra Munoo [Citation]


Gill Charlotte [Citation]


Wegener Debra [Citation]