Visit to NIE Library and ILFA Sharing Session

This event held on 9 December 2014 comprised of two parts, where 42 attendees were first brought on a tour around the newly renovated National Institute of Education (NIE) Library, followed by an informative sharing session from three of our LAS members whom had been partially sponsored for their trip to IFLA 2014.

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This is the newly repurposed gallery space for library publicity. Selected titles were displayed in enclosed glass spaces beside touchscreen multimedia stations featuring publications by NIE staff for guests to peruse. This former study area has now been given a fresh look which articulates grandeur through the use of suitably toned lighting and carpeting, giving added appeal to showcased materials.

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New tables have also been added to the furniture within the library, they provide users with the option to lock their laptops in the drawer for added security. Wire trunking have also been done to existing furniture (not pictured) to provide users with power point sockets to ensure that their devices are charged up.

The learning pods, former walkway and shelving spaces, now serve to provide the future teachers of our country with adequate facilities to practice micro-teaching.

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Hand puppets are also a part of the collection in order to support Early Childhood Education teacher trainees. This perhaps brings a reminder to us as librarians that ‘resources’ should not solely be confined to print and electronic resources, but rather, be defined by their purpose and ability to meet users’ needs.

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But perhaps, as librarians who grew up with a love for books – we are still unable to help ourselves from falling in love with Big Books. These books are utilised by kindergarten teacher trainees to support read aloud sessions for emergent readers.

Another highlight of the tour is the 3D printing facility at the Makerspace where teachers perform rapid prototyping of their design ideas and projects. Some of us were delighted to be offered a 3D printed “Happiness Pendant.”

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After the tour of the library, Stephanie Ow (NIE Library), Jennifer Chor (SIT Library) and Carol Sim (NAFA Library) shared with us on their experiences of attending the IFLA Satellite Meetings and the World Library and Information Congress in August 2014. Apart from being treated to many visually appealing pictures of their tour and the libraries, the ladies shared with us key takeaways from the sessions.

Stephanie’s sharing on transmedia storytelling, which included a website to Hidden Like Anne Frank for readers of the book to experience the story in another dimension. Readers can now cover the route of their favourite character and experience Holocaust in a much ‘safer’ setting!

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Jennifer’s sharing on ‘1001 libraries to see before you die’ was also interesting. This is an online initiative which aims to share examples of library spaces around the world with fellow colleagues. (You can also nominate your own libraries!)

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Carol’s sharing on Art Libraries provided valuable food for thought for library professionals, especially her point on the merging of roles between publishers, distributors and librarians. Attendees were also treated to a feast for the eyes in the form of beautifully digitised art forms in some Art databases.

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Reported by Lim Xiu Ru (Singapore Polytechnic Library)

Photos by Singapore Polytechnic librarians