SILAS is a membership organisation managed by National Library Board of Singapore. At the moment, we have 37 member libraries, which include most of the public funded libraries in Singapore.We have three core functions:

  1. Provides cooperative cataloguing services to our member libraries. We use OCLC WorldCat Connexion Services to support this function. Through joining the Global cataloguing network, the holdings of our member libraries are updated in WorldCat and are exposed to the global users.
  2. Organises events and activities to keep up the knowledge and competence of cataloguing librarians in the community. We regularly run workshops, knowledge sharing sessions, cataloguing interest group meetings to encourage member librarians share their knowledge and promote the sharing culture among them. We also host a mailing list to circulate the latest cataloguing news and invite discussions from member librarians.
  3. SILAS participates in the NACO program from Library of Congress. We have staff that have the Independent Status of the program which enable them directly create Name Authority Records, in Personal and Corporate Name Headings in English, Malay and Tamil. SILAS also run training class of NACO program on behalf of Library of Congress to our local libraries which have interest to join the NACO program.


History of SILAS

SILAS grew out of proposals made by the Library Association of Singapore in 1982. After a feasibility study and much preparatory work, a licensing agreement for software to run such a service was signed with the Western Library Network in August 1985. It was officially launched on 10 April 1987.From the past to present…
…a message from the founder
I could not have predicted, when I arrived in Singapore exactly 14 years ago to take up the role of Director of SILAS, that the system I would be setting up would still be going strong into the new millennium.
Our shared vision then seemed a bit far-fetched to many—a national networked cataloguing and interlibrary lending support system that would allow the user to discover everything that had been published on a subject, whether it was held in Singapore, and whether it was available for loan. Yet just three years later, through a combination of hard work and cooperation, we had such a service running with some 35 libraries adding their holdings to a database of 4.5 million titles.
And now, with a database and a contributor community almost twice that size, SILAS is moving into a new generation of technology. I will follow its progress with great interest, and I wish all my SILAS friends, old and new, every good wish for future success.
Professor Bruce Royan