2008 Volume 37

Back to the future: Augmenting competencies for Library 2.0

By Chan Ping Wah and Ngian Lek Choh, pp. 1-12

Abstract: With the widespread use of web technologies and pervasiveness of handheld devices, libraries are grappling with the changing use patterns and expectations of its varied clientele. Debates about the uptake of new digital technologies reinforce old conclusions about the role and purpose of the library. The authors argue that technological developments in the fulfilment of library services should be critically assessed in terms of how they satisfy the library’s purposes or use of its core competencies.

Communication channels and employee characteristics: An investigation

By Sajjad ur Rehman and Laila Marouf, pp. 13-34

Abstract: This study investigates the perceptions of 509 employees of nine Kuwaiti companies about the effectiveness of communication channels they have used while sharing information or knowledge with their coworkers. It was hypothesized that selected employee characteristics—nature of work, length of employment, age, educational qualifications, and gender—are significantly associated with their choice and use of ten communication channels. It was found that Kuwaiti employees perceived formal documents and formal one-to-one and group meetings to be most effective media of communication. Telephone communications were perceived to be less effective than face-to-face, text, and email communications.

Designing a collaborative learning space using pedagogical principles: The National Institute of Education’s LearningHub@LIBRIS revisited

By Isabel Yeo-Tang I-Sha, Douglas Lau Chin Tiong, and Hilary Ho Oon Seng, pp. 35-47

Abstract: When libraries redesign their spaces, it is now fashionable to incorporate information commons, cafés and multimedia laboratories into their plans. As the library of the only teacher training institution in Singapore, NIE Library and Information Services Centre (LIBRIS) naturally drew its inspiration from pedagogical principles when it redesigned part of its new library at the Yunnan Gardens campus. This paper examines the rationale behind the design of the LearningHub as a collaborative learning space and evaluates the impact of the LearningHub since its opening five years ago. It discusses the following areas: pedagogical principles that inform the design, impact of the LearningHub on stakeholders and future plans for the expansion and upgrading of the LearningHub.

Social learning spaces in the Li Ka Shing Library

By Yeo Pin Pin and Rindra Mokhtar bin Ramli, pp. 48-60

Abstract: This paper describes the efforts made by the Li Ka Shing Library, Singapore Management University, in the design, creation and continual improvements of its spaces to meet the needs of its community. The Collaborative Study Area was presented as an example of introducing social learning spaces into the Library. We conducted a survey to measure the satisfaction with our spaces and the activities carried out in the Library. In striving to become a research, social and event space for its community, the Library is also used as an event and training space.

English Schools and School Libraries before the Second World War: A Singapore Perspective

By Lim Peng Han, pp. 61-80

Abstract: This study attempts to uncover the beginning and development of English schools and school libraries in Singapore since 1819 until 1941. The growth of English schools from four before 1872 to 22 by 1938 was made possible by the reform of the Grants-in-aid system whether they were missionary or privately run schools. Although the first policy to initiate school libraries in an English schools occurred in 1899, the growth of school libraries was sporadic and gradual since many government-aided schools encountered difficulties to import textbooks and reference books into Singapore in the absence of a local publishing industry in Singapore.