Verging All Teens (V.A.T.) at Jurong Regional Library to be Awarded the Japan Creation Award 2009 (Overseas Division) at a Ceremony in Tokyo, Japan on 16 March 2010

Release Date : 16 Mar 2010

This is the third win for Singapore in the history of the award, with the last win in 2002.

SINGAPORE, 10 March 2010 – The Verging All Teens (V.A.T.), a library space created by teens for teens, at Jurong Regional Library, will be awarded the Japan Creation Award 2009 (Overseas Division) by the Japan Fashion Association at a ceremony held on 16 March 2010 at the Meiji Kinenkan in Tokyo, Japan. This is the third win for Singapore in the history of the award with the last win in 2002; the previous two wins were in 1988 and 2002. The Japan Creation Award recognises the creative works in Japan and six Asian cities that contribute toward the creation of new culture and the improvement of lifestyles. Singapore is placed ahead of the other five Asian cities, namely, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul and Taipei, to win the Overseas Division category. This award consists of a cash prize of ¥250,000 and a trophy designed by renowned Japanese artist, Taro Okamoto.

The criteria for the Japan Creation Award include whether the work is timely and innovative, and its cultural, social and international impact on people's lifestyles. The creative work can be related to technology, art, the environment, a product, a cultural activity or a contribution to the society. There were a total of 20 nominations for the Overseas Division.

Mr Kanji Kimura, an official nominator responsible for submitting nominations for Singapore and Kuala Lumpur for the Overseas Division, said, "I am greatly interested by the concept of V.A.T. at the Jurong Regional Library. The younger generation is now living in an age of modern technology where emphasis is on the computer and Internet. I am very glad that there is this dedicated space that brings back the human touch for our young people. V.A.T. encourages the younger generation to read and build relationships with other people of their age group."

A Dynamic Environment for Teens to Express Themselves

Covering 1,200 square metres at the fourth level of Jurong Regional Library, V.A.T. provides a dynamic environment specifically targeted at the informational, educational and recreational needs of teenagers. It offers opportunities to the young people to express themselves and fulfill their aspirations. V.A.T. was developed by a group of teenage volunteers and librarians from the Public Library Services. These teenage volunteers were involved from the conceptualisation to implementation stages. It is a constantly evolving space that is conducive for teenagers to develop their creativity and learn about responsibility, teamwork and leadership through the various programmes held there.

"We are very delighted to be presented with the Japan Creation Award for V.A.T. Our network of Public Libraries provides active social learning spaces for everyone in the community. V.A.T. was developed to provide a space specifically to engage teenagers in lifelong reading and learning at the library. We will explore other opportunities to further involve the teenagers at the V.A.T., such as working with schools and our community partners to develop programmes that will appeal to the young people," said Ms Tay Ai Cheng, Senior Director, Public Library Services Group.