The National Library Board aims to be the cornerstone
of life-long learning. To that end, collaborative and synergistic links
with local and international organisations are not an option but a necessity.
Over the past year, the Board has actively forged ties with many and streamlined
its own management practices. The delivery of information services to
its various publics will be swift and efficient.
|Signing of Agreements|
The Board actively boosted its expansive range of
information. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed with the Singapore
Management University (SMU) in September 1999. The Board would help plan,
establish and manage library and information services for SMU, as well
as provide SMU access to its extensive collections and information services,
both locally and internationally. Other areas of cooperation under the
MOU included organising joint seminars, workshops and courses in the business
and management fields.
Hot on its heels was the signing of agreements on
implementation details of cooperation with the National Library of China
and Shanghai Library in December 1999. The signing of these agreements
would facilitate access by Singaporeans to the collections and services
of these two libraries. These agreements included the provision of library
materials, document delivery and inter-library loans, information search
and packaging, and mirroring of websites. It will also substantially strengthen
the scope of Chinese reference and business services offered by the National
In the New Economy, knowledge shared is knowledge
gained. Recognising this, the Board hosted the 6th National Libraries
Group-Southeast Asia (NLG-SEA) meeting in April 1999 for directors and
delegates of the national libraries of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia,
Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The 10 national libraries signed a declaration for greater cooperation
and mutual sharing within the NLG-SEA.
In conjunction with the event, the Board also conducted
the fellowship programme for Top Library Professionals from ASEAN. It
was attended by directors of national libraries and presidents of library
associations from nine ASEAN countries and Cambodia.
The Board continued its efforts to encourage learning
in schools and among the public. Following its successful inaugural Book
Sale last year, the Board held a second Book Sale in July 1999. It occupied
a 2,500 sq m hall at the Singapore Expo. More than 100,000 visitors attended
the Book Sale, and bought 250,000 volumes of library books and magazines
in all languages.
In December 1999, NLB held a Millennium Book Exhibition
at the National Library to showcase a selection of the century's best
books, award-winning titles, and significant Singapore books published
since the independence.
The inaugural NLB/Ministry of Education (MOE) School
Library Conference was held in September 1999. It was attended by some
900 school principals, heads of department, MOE headquarter's staff and
The conference focused on Information Services and Management in the New Millennium. The revamped Student Virtual Community was successfully launched at the conference. The Student Virtual Community encourages continuous learning, sharing of ideas, creative thinking and interaction among students. The service was accessible through the Internet. It was a success that recorded an average of 300 new registrants every month since its launch.
|In Search of Excellence|
It has always been the Board's aim to progressively enhance learning and quality standards. It therefore came as no surprise when the Board won the Silver Award at the National Quality Control Circle Convention 1999.
In the tradition of excellence, a system-wide library audit was launched in February 1999 to evaluate collections, understand library needs and identify performance gaps. The audit included a programme of 12 visits to community libraries. During these visits, questionnaires were administered to staff to gather information on perceived strengths and weaknesses. Debrief sessions were held at the end of visits. The audit led to a review and updating of policies on renewal of overdue books, registration, basic subscription, and multimedia service.