The Library Association of Singapore (LAS) Gold Medal was awarded to Chew Siew San upon completion of the MSc (Information Studies) at NTU in July 2006. The Medal is awarded to the student with the best results in the Information Studies stream. Here is what Siew San had to say about why she choose librarianship and her experience at NTU:
“The library is a treasure chest for children. While librarians share this perspective, do the children equally understand and appreciate the value of information? In turn, how competent are the children in their hunt for these gems? With the array of activities vying for the their time, how do the librarians excite the children to embark on a learning journey? The role of the children’s librarian is a challenging and multi-faceted one, more than it first appears to. There lies the question of effectively connecting and engaging the children to the wealth of information, so that they grow up to be information savvy individuals with a passion for learning and reading.
The four precious years as a public librarian with the National Library Board gave me invaluable opportunities to interact with children, parents, teachers and their caregivers. The supportive library colleagues and exciting scope of projects in the areas of collection, reader advisory, programmes and outreach collaborations deepened my interests and understanding of the informational needs of the children. At that juncture, it was good time to marry the practical experience with a structured professional training. And this is the logical next step to take so that my role as a children’s librarian will be delivered more proficiently. It would fulfill my hope to be an effective facilitator who connects library resources to the children needs and curiosity; and at the same time integrating learning with an element of fun and involvement.
The one-year full time MSc (Information Studies) programme at NTU was the right choice. The modules catered for a wide range of professional interests and specialization. In addition, the conducive learning environment made the most impact in my pursuit of knowledge. The professors, lecturers and fellow course mates were the ones who made the real difference. Carefully structured lectures, recommended readings, interactive classroom discussions, electronic discussion forums, thought-provoking tutorials and practical lab sessions were a few of the many beneficial avenues of learning. Approachable, committed and supportive professors and lecturers made the programme a truly enriching experience that extends learning beyond the classroom. The friendly culture promoted open-sharing and saw fellow course mates brainstorming with one another in applying concepts, bouncing off ideas and synergistic teamwork.
After graduation from MSc (Information Studies), I rejoined the library and I look forward to working closely with the team of librarians to provide value-added services. The treasure box of information should live in the heart of every child.”
Contributed by Betty Ong