NLB is overseen by a Board comprising the Chairman, 17 other members as well as an observer from the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts - all of whom are non-executive members. The Board has established five Committees – the Establishment Committee, Finance Committee, National Library Advisory Committee, Public Library Advisory Committee and Infocomm Technology Advisory Committee – to assist it to carry out its duties. All five Committees meet once a quarter. The Corporate Governance Manual was updated during the year in review and given to each Board member for their reference and compliance. Every NLB staff received a copy of the Code of Ethics and Conduct. This would help guide them to act in the appropriate manner in the course of their duties, and thereby uphold public trust and confidence. An Ethics hotline was set up to help staff report on potential ethical misconduct in a confidential manner. Every report would be reviewed and investigated by an Ethics Panel chaired by a NLB Board member.


Fund-Raising and Book Donation Activities

The NLB Charity Book Donation Drive held at Temasek Polytechnic benefited more than 80 charity organisations.

In FY2007, 530 staff actively participated in 18 projects for three of NLB’s adopted welfare organisations: the Asian Women’s Welfare Association, Down Syndrome Association of Singapore and Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society. NLB donated 34 sets of used personal computers to Tanjong Pagar Family Service Centre, Jamiyah Children’s Home and other centres under the Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society. User education programmes were conducted for the children from these centres.

At the NLB Charity Book Donation Drive in October 2007, 305 staff volunteers selected and packed more than 50,000 books for 81 charity organisations. We also raised funds for the Singapore Duck Race in 2007 to help the Handicapped Welfare Association and the Down Syndrome Association. In addition, our volunteers helped provide used children’s books to more than 30 non-profit organisations/schools that embark on special projects for local and overseas disadvantaged children. In collaboration with the National University of Singapore Rotaract Club, NLB staff selected 1,000 books in April 2007 for a charity project. Also, working with the Singapore International Foundation, three NLB staff were involved in work@library in Bukittinggi and Padang, Indonesia, from 24 to 28 April 2007. In this exercise, used children’s books were donated, and training sessions for the staff in Bukittinggi were held. A further collection of 1,000 books were donated to the Bung Hatta, Bukittinggi Library in West Sumatra over the year.

Services for the Underserved

Info Literacy workshops and User Education sessions were offered to pre-release inmates at Changi Prison over the period of July to December 2007. The session focused on how inmates can make use of the public libraries. Areas include: becoming a member, using of multimedia services, borrowing and finding books from the online catalogue, etc. The sessions were well received and Changi Prison has requested for regular monthly sessions.

NLB participated in the Disability Awareness Public Education (DAPE) 2007 at the North East Care Fair from 29 to 30 September 2007. NLB showcased books targeted at caregivers and promoted the ASK! Enquiry Service.

From April 2007 to February 2008, NLB conducted a total of nine Info Literacy workshops and User Education sessions with 185 participants at the Singapore Boys’ Home, the Singapore Girls’ Home, and the Toa Payoh Girls’ Home. The sessions included onsite borrowing and book talks. This was part of our outreach programme to those who had limited access to the library.

NLB also participated in the Singapore Indian Development Association Schools Engagement Road Show at ‘Sangamam 2007’ at Serangoon Garden Secondary School on 4 August 2007. The Guest-of-Honour, for the occasion was Miss Grace Ng Wun Har, MOE Superintendent North 1 Cluster. The objective of the event was to reach out to more low-income families. NLB promoted the ASK! Enquiry service as well as the general library services.

On 2 September 2007, NLB’s Junior Reading Ambassadors and our librarians hosted 73 members from Club Rainbow at the Care-A-Lot event, in collaboration with Compass Point Mall. This event was held at the mall, complete with stories and booktalks.


Launched on 21 July 2005, the Library 2010 (L2010) plan details NLB’s strategic directions for the next five years. It addresses the challenges faced by Singaporeans in the new social and economic landscape, as well as outlines the next phase of development in NLB’s roadmap. It aims to develop the services and infrastructure to continue to make NLB relevant and attractive, not only in the physical world but in the digital one as well. There are basically three key strategies that support the ‘Knowledge Framework’ of L2010, namely, building knowledge and expertise, making information accessible and knowledge sharing and exchange.

Gearing up towards year 2010, NLB has started on developing more digital services to extend its reach beyond the physical library. The digital services embrace social networking concepts and to some extent, facilitate collaborations with trusted partners to serve the public’s reference needs better. Along with the digital services development, the initial building up of a digital infrastructure has also begun.


Enhanced ExCEL Incentives

This scheme was reviewed to keep pace with the innovation needs of NLB. The enhanced scheme provides greater flexibility in recognising and rewarding staff for their relentless efforts in pursuing continuous improvements organisation-wide.

National Work-Life Harmony Conference’s Site Visit to NLB

NLB was featured as one of the companies for a site visit for this year’s National Work-Life Harmony Conference. About 60 staff from various companies turned up at NLB to learn about the best practices in our work-life initiatives.

Singapore Library Week

More than 40 academic, public and special libraries across the island joined NLB and the Library Association of Singapore (LAS) for the inaugural Singapore Library Week (1 to 9 November 2007) to celebrate the invaluable contributions of our libraries and librarians over the past 50 years. Singapore Library Week also marked the 50th anniversary of the Raffles National Library Ordinance in 1957 that allowed free public access to libraries in Singapore. The commemorative publication, ‘The People’s Library: 50 years of national and public library services’, was launched on 1 November 2007. Also, a local library visit to the Parliament House/Library and Supreme Court was organised for NLB and LAS members on 7 November as part of the Singapore Library Week celebrations.

Dr Lee Boon Yang, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts (left), presenting the LAS Lifetime Contribution Award to Mrs Hedwig Anuar,the first Singaporean director of the National Library (1965-1988) at the launch of the inaugural Singapore Library Week. Ms Ngian Lek Choh, President of the Library Association of Singapore (LAS) and Deputy Chief Executive of the National Library Board, looks on.

Singapore Library Week promotes the dynamic resources of libraries.

The IDEAS website showcases Proof-of-Concept ideas and encourages innovation within NLB.


Launch of IDEAS website

IDEAS ( is a website that celebrates creativity and innovation in NLB and around the world. It aims to inspire staff to be innovative in the workplace. It has accumulated numerous articles on creativity around the world, covering anything from innovative advertisements to the latest smart gadgets released in the market. IDEAS also showcases NLB’s Proof-of-Concept (PoCs) ideas and keeps staff in the loop on current PoCs, while putting a spotlight on our development teams.

Library Supply Centre Supplier Relations Portal

The trial Library Supply Centre Supplier Relations portal was conceptualised in May 2007 involving the gathering of pertinent supplier engagement information such as upcoming quotation and tender exercises, discount matrix, trade terms, library rates and vendor application forms. This culminated in Phase 1 of the Library Supply Centre Supplier Relations portal on 25 October 2007. This portal seeks to effect the transparent engagement of business transactions with NLB’s suppliers, to provide general announcements of new sourcing initiatives, and the calling of quotations for the supply of library materials. It also creates a communication platform with the suppliers on important information such as changes in policy or procedure. A portal link to this website has also been set up in NLB’s corporate website.

Discover NLB Newsletter

Keep up to date with happenings at NLB with the newly revamped newsletter, Discover NLB.

Library mementos can be purchased and delivered to both local and overseas customers via The Library Shop portal.

In September 2007, NLB launched the Discover NLB newsletter, which replaced the former e-newsletter, @the Library. With a brand new name and a fresh design, Discover NLB has received positive response from partners and library patrons. Featuring exciting programmes and events that have been held at the libraries, the newsletter allows readers to keep up to date with what NLB has to offer. The newsletter can be conveniently picked up at all the public libraries while those on the move can easily access the online version on NLB’s corporate website.

Launch of CREST

The CREST (Corporate Resources System) project, spearheaded by NLB, is a collaborative programme to develop a shared and integrated human resource, finance and administration enterprise system for economies of scale. CREST involves five statutory boards, namely, SPRING Singapore, Health Promotion Board, Media Development Authority, Health Sciences Authority and NLB. It is targeted for rollout in October 2009.

The Library Shop

From March 2008, library patrons who wish to have a memento to relive their memorable experiences at the library can buy them online at NLB’s The Library Shop. The Library Shop is accessible at Mementos such as T-shirts, NLB publications, watches and notepads are available for delivery to both local and overseas destinations at reasonable rates.


Ethics Training

To equip staff with the necessary guidelines to uphold public trust and confidence when they perform their duties, eleven ‘Ethics in Action’ workshops were conducted and 200 staff were trained in FY2007.

Adjunct Specialist Scheme

The Adjunct Specialist Scheme, introduced on 1 April 2007, engages suitably qualified and experienced individuals to undertake assignments with NLB on a part-time basis. Invited to contribute are respected practitioners from the industry (including donors) in fields and skills that NLB needs to develop and acquire to better support its L2010 strategies. The intent of this scheme is for these Adjunct Specialists to exchange and impart their knowledge and experience with NLB professionals, and to develop the latter’s professional capabilities.

Competency-based Management Development Programme

To facilitate the implementation of a more structured Management Development Programme for non-librarians, the NLB Staff Competency Framework was established. Using the framework, the competency level of 26 leaders were baselined via an online 360-degree feedback tool. More than 130 staff including the respective superiors, direct reports and peers of the leaders were involved as raters. From the feedback, individual leaders were better able to target their learning and development to further improve their leadership and people skills, and management effectiveness. The programme will subsequently be rolled out to other tiers of managers in FY2008. The focus will then be on managerial competencies that would enhance our managers’ effectiveness in leading and building relationships that are anchored on trust, caring and sharing.

Education Assistance Scheme Awards

The Education Assistance Scheme (EAS) endeavours to encourage self-directed learning through the provision of partial subsidy for staff seeking educational advancement. Three staff were awarded education assistance under the FY2007 EAS to pursue a recognised Bachelor degree programme at the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) or SIM University.

Open Performance Review

To further support professional capability building, information on performance ratings and moderated grades were released to professional staff to facilitate open communication with their managers on their developmental needs and career aspirations.

Professional Development Programme

Seventeen librarians completed the second year of NLB’s Professional Development Programme, which aims to develop a talent pool of librarians to deliver critical library services. Adopting the Learn-Immerse-Practise (LIP) model, the librarians were given the opportunity to expand their knowledge through specialised courses, matched with experienced external mentors. The librarians are then attached to local or overseas libraries. To mark the successful completion of the programme, the 17 librarians were awarded Certificates of Completion.

Implementation of e-Learning Management System

The e-Learning Management System was implemented on 1 September 2007. It currently hosts 12 e-learning courses available for access by NLB staff and external clients.

Knowledge Culture and Services Project

The Knowledge Culture and Services project has the aim of sustaining Knowledge Management capabilities and leveraging on staff’s interconnectedness for better knowledge transfer and sharing. The project aims to develop and pilot a framework for Expertise Knowledge Transfer, embed knowledge and learning into the NLB’s project management approach, and pilot a framework to identify, establish and support Communities of Practice (COP). This 10-month long project leverages on 38 nominated Knowledge Champions within NLB.

NLB Learning Festival

NLB staff observing a demonstration by a Singapore Civil Defence Force officer at the NLB Learning Festival.

Into its second year, the Learning Festival 2007 saw a total of 320 staff attendance. In line with the theme ‘For NLBians by NLBians’, many of the staff were ‘engaged’ as trainers, facilitators and speakers for the programmes. The festival also saw the launch of the e-learning month where staff could access nine e-learning courses to try a self-directed and flexible mode of learning. Beyond work subjects, programmes such as a music clinic, jewellery-making sessions, clay-making workshops, personal life story sharing and a cross-culture sharing by our non-Singaporean NLBians were organised for staff.

NLB Innovation Carnival

The annual NLB Work Improvement Teams event held at Woodlands Regional Library serves as a conduit for staff to promote the spirit of innovation and continuous improvements through collaboration and friendly competition.

New Career Development Framework

The new Career Development Framework focuses on developing professional competencies of NLB graduate staff. All staff will be anchored to one of the three Professional Tracks, namely, Library Professional Track, Domain Professional Track or Management Professional.

Work-Life Coaching Programme

NLB greatly values our staff and is committed to helping them cope with various issues which may affect their work and daily lives. As such, a Work-Life Coaching service was put in place from 3 March 2008 to provide staff and their families with a wide variety of personal and work-related solutions to support their personal wellness. Confidential Work-Life coaching sessions facilitated by trained external consultants are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via designated hotlines, and augmented by face-to-face consultation as and when needed.


NLB Scholarship Programme

To profile librarianship as a career of choice and to attract external talents to join the profession, four scholarships were awarded to external candidates for the Master of Science in Information Studies, tenable locally or overseas.

Sponsorship for Master of Science (Information Studies Programme)

As part of NLB’s ongoing efforts to develop professional capability, seven deserving staff were awarded sponsorships to pursue the Master of Science degree in Information Studies at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in August 2007.



NLB staff bond over exercise in support of ACTIVE Day.

The team from the Public Library Services Group comes out tops in a friendly competition during the NLB Staff Forum for their creative and fun take on NLB’s formula for success.

To promote the adoption of a healthier lifestyle while fostering staff bonding, the Annual ACTIVE Day for staff was held on 11 September 2007. About 200 staff participated and took part in activities such as StepFit, which analyses their fitness level.

Healthy Lifestyle Campaign Launch

A health awareness campaign with a series of activities relating to healthy lifestyle promotion - such as health screenings, fruits distribution, health brochure distributions and health talks - were organised for staff during the year in review.

NLB Staff Forum 2008

The Staff Forum is an annual event for all staff to hear NLB’s workplans from our Chairman and Chief Executive. The theme for Staff Forum 2008 was ‘NLB’s Formula for Success’ and it was held at the Nanyang Polytechnic Auditorium.


Silver Award for Universal Design

NLB receives the Energy Smart Label for best practices in building energy efficiency for the National Library Building.

NLB’s Smart Shelf project wins the Silver Award at the MICA Innovation Fiesta.

Singapore wins the Most Admired Knowledge City award for best harnessing intellectual capital for competitive advantage. NLB receives the award on Singapore’s behalf.

LOOK Architects clinches the ‘Design of the Year 2007’ Award for interesting details and its commitment to good design for Bishan Community Library. From left to right: Ms Tay Ai Cheng, Senior Director, Public Library Services, NLB; President S R Nathan; Mr Look Boon Gee - Principal Partner of LOOK Architects; Ms Ng Sor Hiang, Partner of LOOK Architects and Mr Edmund Cheng Wai Wing, Chairman of DesignSingapore Council, and Deputy Chairman of Wing Tai Holdings Limited and Managing Director of Wing Tai Land.

The National Library Building was awarded Building and Construction Authority’s Universal Design Silver Award on 10 May 2007 under the Institutional Building Category. The Award gives recognition to good practices and special efforts taken in implementing Universal Design.

The National Library Building, which is accessible from any of the four streets surrounding the building, exudes an ambience that is welcoming and friendly to people of different abilities and disabilities. Visitors on wheelchairs have barrier-free access to the entire premises and aisles are designed wide enough to allow everyone, including patrons on wheelchairs, to enjoy browsing the collections.


The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Asia and Oceania Section Newsletter (Issue June 2007) won the ‘IFLA Newsletter of the Year Award 2007’ from among the newsletters produced by the 45 professional IFLA Sections. NLB, being the IFLA Regional Office for Asia and Oceania, is proud to receive this award. The Chair of the IFLA Professional Committee presented the award to the Regional Manager-cum-Editor during the ‘World Library and Information Congress: 73rd IFLA General Conference and Council’ held in Durban, South Africa, 19 to 23 August 2007.

Energy Smart Label

The National Library Building was awarded the Energy Smart Label on 3 August 2007. The Energy Smart Label is an award developed by National University of Singapore and National Environment Agency to grant recognition to best practices in building energy efficiency. It also acknowledges buildings with energy efficient features and a healthy and productive indoor environment. The National Library Building was awarded based on its exemplary efforts to reduce energy consumption through efficient chillers and lighting systems as well as ensuring good and comfortable indoor environmental quality standards.

Regional Accolade for Energy Saving

Our efforts in conserving energy have won the National Library Building a regional accolade awarded by the ASEAN Centre for Energy on 23 August 2007. The National Library Building ranked top in the ‘Energy Efficiency and Conservation Best Practices Competition for Energy Efficient Buildings: New and Existing’ category. The building has won on the basis of it being an innovative ‘green’ tropical building employing bioclimatic design techniques including passive low-energy systems, passive lighting concepts, climate-response building orientation and built-form configuration, effective facade systems and bioclimatic use of landscaping.

Smart Shelf Shines at Innovation Fiesta

The Smart Shelf represented NLB at the MICA Innovation Fiesta 2007 held on 18 September 2007 at the Asian Civilisations Museum. We were voted one of the top three projects showcased and won the Silver Award among competitive innovations.

Most Admired Knowledge City Award

On 20 September 2007, Singapore won the inaugural Most Admired Knowledge City (MAKCi) Award. Awarded by Teleos (which issues the Most Admired Knowledge Enterprise Award) and the World Capital Institute, the MAKCi Award recognises cities that best harness intellectual capital for competitive advantage. Singapore was selected as the overall winner, beating 38 cities, including Boston, Barcelona and Ottawa. As a key mover of the nation’s knowledge creation, discovery, acquisition and dissemination, NLB represented Singapore in collecting the award at the first Knowledge City Summit held at Monterrey, Mexico.

MICA Investiture Ceremony: MICA Merit Awards

The MICA Merit Award is a ministry award to recognise officers and teams who have distinguished themselves through a track record of outstanding work performance. NLB’s ‘Business Process Reengineering 2 People Inc’ (BPR2PI) was awarded the MICA Merit Award (Team) this year, and Ms Sharon Thien, Assistant Director, Public Libraries Services, was awarded the MICA Merit Award (Individual).

President’s Design Award

The prestigious President’s Design Award is Singapore’s highest accolade for excellence in design. At this year’s Awards Ceremony on 27 November 2007 at the Esplanade Concert Hall, LOOK Architects clinched one of the ‘Design of the Year’ Awards for the Bishan Community Library. The Bishan Community Library received the jury’s vote for impacting positively on community life and the streetscape. With a modest budget and programme, the library appears to be a simple building, but its delightful details demonstrate a commitment to good design. The project’s interesting features include its protruding glass boxes on its main facade, the promenade from the entrance to the bookshelves and the provision of semi-public/private spaces for reading.

Distinguished Public Service Award 2007

NLB was awarded the Distinguished Public Service Award by Head Civil Service for attaining key organisational excellence standards. The Public Service Award for Organisational Excellence was established in June 2000 to recognise public service organisations which have attained key organisational excellence standards. Organisational excellence ensures that public service agencies are able to harness and maximise their talent pool, and effectively manage their limited resources. It is a key factor that will enable the translation of vision and strategies into effective outcomes as the Public Service gears itself to respond to the challenges of the new economy.


Memoranda Of Understanding (MOU) & Agreements Asian Film Archive MOU

NLB and the Asian Film Archive (AFA) signed an MOU in January 2007 to set up a reference library collection of films made by Singaporean and Asian filmmakers. A tripartite collaborative agreement between NLB, AFA and the Singapore Film Commission (SFC) was also established to preserve and promote Singapore’s film heritage. Under the NLB-AFA MOU, NLB will facilitate access to the public and film researchers with reference copies of the AFA Collection. As of end February 2008, a total of approximately 160 English audiovisual titles were catalogued for the Asian Film Archive project.

Senior Staff Exchange Programme in China

As part of NLB’s MOU Senior Staff Exchange Programme, five senior staff members from NLB were invited to the National Library of China (NLC) from 15 to 20 April 2007. During this trip, Dr N Varaprasad, Chief Executive, NLB, shared NLB’s best practices in his presentation - ‘A Dynamic NLB - Management & Core Business of National Library Board’ at NLC’s ‘Forum of World Library Directors’. His speech was translated into Chinese and published in the ‘Journal of the National Library of China’.

Loan of the Raffles Institution Letters

The MOU between Raffles Institution (RI) and NLB was signed on 26 April 2007 in which the RI collection, comprising 134 significant historical documents including personal correspondence, music scores and photographs, pertaining to the institution, will be on loan to NLB. The letters in the RI collection date back from as early as 1823 to 1972.

Launch of the French Corner

On 11 July 2007, Dr N Varaprasad, Chief Executive, NLB and His Excellency, Pierre Buhler, French Ambassador to Singapore, successfully signed the MOU between NLB and the Ambassade de France à Singapour (Embassy of France in Singapore) to set up the French Corner at the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library on Level 7. The French government gave a donation to NLB to purchase books to make up the French Corner’s collection of 1,000 French books. These books, translated into Singapore’s four official languages, cover the areas of French Literature and works in Humanities, Social Sciences and Philosophy. Mr Jean-Francois Copé, French Minister of Budget (2004-2007) and Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) jointly launched the French Corner on 28 March 2008.

At the launch of the French Corner, Mr Jean-Francois Cope, France’s former Minister of Budget (left), browses the collection of books together with Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore’s Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports (middle).

From left to right: Mr Seow Choke Meng, Executive Vice President, SPH; Ms Ngian Lek Choh, Director, National Library; Dr Varaprasad, Chief Executive, NLB and Mr Alan Chan, Chief Executive Officer, SPH sharing the contents of a newspaper page dated a century ago after signing an agreement to digitise The Straits Times archives.

Digitising The Straits Times Archives

NLB signed an agreement with the Singapore Press Holdings on 31 July 2007 to digitise The Straits Times (ST) archives dating as far back as 1845. ST, with its 162-year old history, possesses a rich record of Singapore and the region throughout the years. In collaborating with the National Library, all available printed copies of The Straits Times will be digitised and made easily accessible to the public within NLB’s network of libraries in Singapore for individual research and reference purposes from the second half of 2008.

Strategic Partnership with RSIS

NLB signed an MOU with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) on 12 September 2007 to formulate a strategic partnership to preserve, archive and make accessible rare print and non-print information on international political violence and terrorism. The partnership aims to combine the resources of NLB and RSIS for more effective research and development in terrorism informatics. The collaboration includes joint efforts in public education initiatives on terrorism informatics and an exchange programme.

Artefacts from a Malay Literary Pioneer

An MOU was signed between NLB and Encik Abdul Ghani Hamid on 19 September 2007 regarding the donation of some 2,000 items, comprising mainly Singapore and Malaysian art and literature and his personal correspondence. Encik Abdul Ghani is a well-respected Malay literary pioneer and artist who is one of the founders of ‘ASAS 50’, the first Malay literary association in post-war Malaya.

NLB inks a MOU with Encik Abdul Ghani Hamid to preserve and archive his selected collection of rare books, manuscripts and other personal artefacts.

An unveiling ceremony by Mr Khoo Teng Chye, Chief Executive, Public Utilities Board (PUB) and Dr Varaprasad, Chief Executive, NLB at the MOU signing between PUB and NLB.

MOU Written on Water

An MOU with PUB was signed on 11 October 2007 to formalise a synergistic partnership in several key areas. It included building up a comprehensive collection of water-related resources at Lee Kong Chian Reference Library as well as promoting public awareness of water issues by organising information and education activities and programmes such as exhibitions, seminars and talks in the National Library and public libraries on water related issues. A bibliography titled ‘Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters: A select annotated bibliography on water related resources’ was launched to commemorate the event.

Senior Staff Exchange from Shanghai Library, China

Under the MOU for Senior Staff Exchange Programme, NLB invited a delegation of four Shanghai Library staff to participate in the 10th IFLA Interlending and Document Supply International Conference 2007 from 27 October to 2 November 2007.

Donation from the Late Kouo Shang-Wei

An MOU signing ceremony held on 31 October 2007 between NLB and the Kouo family formalised the donation of about 7,000 items from the Kouo Shang-Wei Collection. This collection is made up of photographs, slides and artefacts of Singapore scenes from the 1950s to 1988. It includes award-winning photographs of Samsui women, the Singapore waterfront and Changi Airport.

Staff Attachment at State Library of Victoria, Australia

His Excellency, Holger Standertskjöld, Ambassador and Head of the Delegation of the European Commission to Singapore, and Dr Varaprasad, Chief Executive, NLB, signing the agreement to host the only European Union Information Centre (EUi) in Singapore.

Ms Lim Li Sa, a Librarian at the Jurong Regional Library, completed her staff attachment programme at the State Library of Victoria, Australia from 19 to 30 November 2007 where she learned about their reading initiatives and programmes for teens.

EUi Agreement with European Union

An agreement was signed between The European Union Delegation (Singapore) and NLB to appoint the National Library as a host for a European Union Information Centre (EUi). As a EU depository library, the National Library carries electronic as well as hard copies of official EU publications, so as to promote an awareness of EU to Singaporeans. The EU will donate materials to help NLB build a collection of EU materials that will be available for study, research and information dissemination.

Attachment for Visiting Staff of National Library of China

Two staff members from National Library of China, Ms Wang Yang, Chief of Chinese Bibliographical Records Section, Acquisition and Cataloguing Department and Ms Li Wenjie, Chief Assistant of Rare Book Section, Rare Books and Special Collection Department, were attached to NLB under the MOU for Staff Attachment Programme from 26 February to 25 March 2008.

Attachment for Visiting Staff of State Library of Victoria, Australia

Ms Leneve Jamieson, Manager of Access and Information Services, State Library of Victoria, visited NLB from 3 to 7 March 2008 as part of our MOU for Staff Attachment Programme.


Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians

Dr N Varaprasad, Chief Executive, NLB, attended the XIV Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians (CONSAL) Executive Board meeting on 20 April 2007, Hue City, Vietnam. The CONSAL was founded in Singapore in 1970 in response to a growing sense of Southeast Asian identity, fostered particularly by the formation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). To date, CONSAL has 10 members, which include the library associations and librarians of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. NLB continues to host the CONSAL website.

IFLA’s 73rd General Conference and Council in Durban, South Africa

A total of 10 NLB Senior Management Staff participated at the ‘World Library and Information Congress: 73rd IFLA General Conference and Council’ held in Durban, South Africa. Held from 19 to 23 August 2007, the IFLA Section meetings were platforms to present papers and updates on global library developments. Ms Ngian Lek Choh, Deputy Chief Executive, NLB, wrote a paper on ‘Managing National Libraries in an interconnecting future: insights on an inclusive reference service and networking’, reflecting on the Singapore experience. The paper was translated into French and Chinese languages and uploaded onto the IFLA website.

To Further Library Skills

NLB, being the IFLA Regional Office for Asia and Oceania, was appointed by IFLA Actions for Development through Libraries Programme (ALP) to manage the ALP Scholarships, training attachments and projects for Asia and Oceania Section. IFLA ALP received funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), a government agency of Sweden, to further the library profession, library institutions, and library and information services in developing countries.


NLB staff network with counterparts during the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions General Conference and Council held in Durban, South Africa.

Her Royal Highness, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand (second from right) viewing rare materials at the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library during her visit.

His Excellency (HE) Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, President of Iceland, taking a tour of National Library Building.

HE, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, President of Iceland, signing the guest book at the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library.

A total of 109 visits were organised by NLB for 2,981 local visitors. These visits consisted of government officials as well as visitors from statutory boards, educational institutions, the private sector and members of the public.

From overseas, NLB received a total of 232 visits for 3,543 international visitors. Besides professional librarians from around the world, NLB also played host to VVIPs such as Her Royal Highness, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand, Mr Abdul Waheed Khan, Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, UNESCO, His Excellency Eng. Basem Rousan, Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Jordan and His Excellency Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, President of Iceland.

Overseas Visitors

  1. Mr Albert Atkinson, Head Information Resources and Services, Asian Development Bank, 16 April 2007
  2. Her Royal Highness, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand, 24 April 2007
  3. Mr Matarang Sarath Upali Amarasiri, Director of Sri Lanka National Library, 11 May 2007
  4. Four senior officials from National Library of China, 11 June 2007
  5. His Excellency Eng. Basem Rousan, Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Jordan Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, 19 June 2007 Abdul Waheed Khan, Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, UNESCO, 25 June 2007
  6. Ms Penny Carnaby, Chief Executive & National Librarian, National Library of New Zealand, 9 – 12 July 2007
  7. Five visitors from the Royal Brunei Police Force,7 September 2007
  8. 26 senior professional IT delegates from ASEAN, 12 September 2007
  9. Nine prosecutors from the Maldives, 13 September 2007
  10. Ms Sadia Paracha from Pakistan, on attachment from the IFLA ALP Training Attachment Programme, 13 September to 3 October 2007
  11. Ms Kate Molloy, Director, Corporate Services and Planning, State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia, 20 - 21 September 2007
  12. Mr Ian Cook, Managing Director, 3CS Asia Pacific Connecting Cultures Creative Solutions, Australia, 12 October 2007
  13. Mr Musa Al-Zainel, Senior Assistant Director of the Qatar National Council for Culture, Arts and Heritage, 24 October 2007
  14. 42 members of the Council of Chief Librarians’ and their staff, 15 November and 17 December 2007
  15. Hon. Ignacio R. Bunye, Press Secretary with Hon. Robert T. Rivera, Undersecretary for Operations, Office of the Press Secretary with Mr Rolando Atienza, Chairman from Film Development Council of the Philippines, 28 November 2007
  16. His Excellency Mohammad Al-Romy of the Embassy of the State of Kuwait, 4 December 2007
  17. 25 senior officers from ASEAN, Middle East and Africa under the MFA-Singapore Co-operation Programme (SCP), 7 December 2007
  18. The Honourable Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Paduka Haji Yahyua bin Begawan Mudim Data Haji Bakar, Minister of Energy in the Prime Minister’s Office, Brunei Darussalam, 7 December 2007
  19. His Excellency Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, President of Iceland, 12 December 2007
  20. 10 librarians, led by Mr Dady Rachmananta, Director of the National Library of Indonesia, 14 December 2007
  21. 25 librarians from the Macau Library and Information Management Association, 21 December 2007
  22. 13 international participants from the ‘Leaders in Governance’ Programme held at Civil Service College, Singapore, 22 January 2008
  23. YB Datin Hajah Fatimah Abdullah, Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Human Resource and Training), Sarawak, 28 January 2008
  24. Project managers from the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, 31 January 2008

Guest Speakers

For the year in review, experts and specialists were invited to speak to NLB staff on their respective areas of specialisation and expertise. NLB staff benefited from the sharing and imparting of knowledge during these talks on topics ranging from the historical background of French rare books and manuscripts collections to research skills on Chinese genealogy. NLB’s guest speakers for the year in review include:

  1. Mr Raymond Lum, Asian Bibliographer, Widener Library of Harvard University
  2. Ms Fe Susan Go, Southeast Asia Bibliographer, University of Michigan
  3. Mr David Gurteen, Founder of Gurteen Knowledge Community & Publisher of Gurteen Knowledge Website
  4. Mr Danny Chin, Asia Area Manager, Genealogical Society of Utah & President of Hong Kong Archives Society
  5. Mrs Aurelie Bosc, Chief Librarian, Orleans Public Library, France
  6. Mr Gordon Mohr, Chief Technologist of Internet Archive Web Group
  7. Ms Leneve Jamieson, Manager of Access and Information Services, State Library of Victoria, Australia
  8. Ms Wang Yang, Chief of Chinese Bibliographical Records Section, Acquisition & Cataloguing Department, National Library of China (NLC)
  9. Ms Li Wenjie, Chief Assistant of Rare Book Section, Rare Book and Special Collections Department, NLC

Library Management Executive Programme

NLB conducted a Library Management Executive programme for a group of 40 Chief and Deputy Chief Librarians from Jiangsu, China.