What is your vision/aspiration for LAS as Vice-President for 2019-2021?
Well, being new to the ‘library’ scene, I look forward to seeing more camaraderie between the newer librarians with the veteran librarians. I love the idea of the mentor/mentee programme and hope that this will continue for a long time to come.
In moments of self-doubt, how do you recharge and rally to keep going?
Well, once there was a senior librarian who thought she could belittle me (not sure why to be honest) at an external team meeting and I was quite doubtful of my capabilities. I got myself a new book (always a great excuse) and met my fiancé for a foot massage, a good meal, and a trip to our favourite game shop.
It also reminded me that although I may not have the years of experience like her or other veteran librarians heading their libraries, I do have passion and I’m a quick learner who is always eager to learn. Armed with that and being a heavy library user myself, I work with my wonderful team to derive new ways to improve the library experience and I should not second-guess myself anymore.
How do you balance council/committee work with your current library position?
I sit on a few councils apart from LAS not merely as a council member but on the executive council and I’m juggling all this, work, and school too. Honestly, I don’t know how I do it and I’ve been asked this question numerous times. I guess being passionate in all that I do keeps me going. Oh, and making sure that my calendar is always updated so that I turn up at the right place at the right time helps 😉
What genre of books do you like to read for leisure and who are your favourite authors?
Golly, where do I begin? I read across the board, except for westerns, romance, and I’m not big on self-help books. Yes, I even read kids’ books. I think that reading various genres keeps the brain ticking and kids’ books help bring a smile to my face if I’m having a long, rough day.
I love and support Singlit (Singapore literature) and my favourite local authors are Ovidia Yu and Shamini Flint. I love Ovidia’s Aunty Lee Murder Mystery Series and Shamini’s Inspector Singh Investigates series. I’m looking forward to reading Yu’s The Crown Colony Series sometime soon too. I have read almost all the titles published by local publisher Epigram too (yes, including the kids’ titles) and I enjoyed so many of them. Kudos to Edward Wee!
I love Alexander McCall Smith’s 44 Scotland Street series, his No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, and Isabel Dalhousie series. I have also read his other titles so yes, the minute I find out that he has a new title, off to the library or bookstore I go! I enjoy reading literary fiction as well. Comic books and graphic novel books are on my shelves as well though I still prefer the old school comic styles of Kirby and Lee. My favourite ‘modern’ comic book artists include David Mack and Chris Claremont. I give the other comic book artists a go too but I don’t have any specific favourites….yet. As for graphic novels, I read a lot of titles that are published by First Second publishers. My favourite graphic novels are Persepolis, The Art of Charlie Chan, as well as various titles by Seth, Guy Delisle, and well, numerous others.. I could go on and I think I have.
I also enjoy reading business, psychology, consumer behaviour, and other non-fiction titles. I love reading biographies, especially that of iconic singers or comedians. I’m intrigued by how they seem to have two sides to their personality and want to find out more. It helps that apart from being SIM’s head librarian, I also run the publications department where I get to review books for the magazine/web portal. Yes, paid to read and paid to be surrounded by books! *Huzzah* Ask me about books and I can go on and on.. if you’re keen to talk more about books and stuff, or even have books to recommend, send me a note. 🙂
What made you interested in joining LAS and now the Council?
I have been keen on finding out more on how to close my learning curve ever since I was promoted to head librarian, hence why I thought what better way than to join the LAS. Joining the Council was through the support of friends who felt that I could bring something interesting to the new Council and learn a lot whilst doing so. I really do appreciate the support and belief of these friends of mine and I hope I don’t disappoint. 🙂
What’s one thing LAS members could do today to help your team’s long term goals?
Be more supportive and do ask your colleagues / team to participate in the various activities. As it is the prices are really low for the conferences, etc. so show your support and help us help you. Also, dear LAS members, do consider putting in some time to help the various committees and round up the younger librarians to participate more too.
What recommendations would you have for a new LAS member who is unsure about how to get involved?
This was me not very long ago and what I did was to find out more about what LAS is doing and asking LAS directly as to how I can get involved. I suggest that you email anyone on the LAS Council stating what you’re interested in and maybe the Council can suggest how you can get involved. If it is something you might find daunting because you’re a ‘newbie’, well consider this, I’m pretty new and I’m now VP! Have a little faith in yourself and LAS is always open to getting people to collaborate so don’t feel shy. 🙂 There’s bound to be something for you and don’t worry, I don’t bite 😉
Interview questions prepared by Edward Lim. He is the Reference and Research Services Librarian for Business at New York University Shanghai and a member of the LAS Training and Development Committee.