– Despite the pandemic, volunteers have continued to contribute across the National Library Board’s (NLB) network of libraries and archives, enabling patrons to continue with their reading and learning. In the one-year period between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2022, nearly 2,000 active volunteers were involved in various areas ranging from online storytelling initiatives, and the Documenting COVID-19 (Oral History) project, to manning volunteer-run spaces at our public and partner libraries. With the further easing of pandemic measures, NLB is increasing the volunteering opportunities, and targeting to triple the number of active volunteers to 6,500 by 2026.
2 At NLB’s Volunteers’ Appreciation Evening 2022 today, NLB’s Chairman, Mr Lee Seow Hiang, thanked the volunteers for their strong and unwavering support. Mr Lee said: “During the pandemic, our volunteers enthusiastically and tirelessly worked alongside NLB to curate more digital volunteering opportunities when in-person platforms were not feasible. This included the online storytelling initiatives, the Documenting COVID-19 (Oral History) project, and webinars and workshops for other patrons covering topics such as coding, videography and career development. Partnerships like these, between the community and public organisations like NLB, are precious and we greatly appreciate the time, energy and passion of all our volunteers who are helping to build a reading and learning culture in Singapore.”
3 NLB’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ng Cher Pong, also paid tribute to the volunteers and how they are helping to realise NLB’s LAB25 (Libraries and Archives Blueprint 2025) goals. He said: “NLB and our patrons have benefitted greatly from the contributions of our volunteer community. Our LAB25 plan to reimagine libraries and archives in Singapore will benefit from their continued partnership as they share their time, ideas and know-how to enhance the reading, learning and discovery opportunities for all Singaporeans.”
4 New and existing volunteers can look forward to volunteering opportunities across NLB’s public libraries, including the upcoming Punggol Regional Library which will feature comprehensive services catering to all segments of the population, from toddlers to seniors. Volunteers can also help conceptualise and run more in-person programmes for NLB patrons. Those who are keen to volunteer can find more information here: .
5 At the Volunteers’ Appreciation Evening, Madam Agnes Teo, 71, was honoured as the top contributing volunteer of FY2019 and FY2021 with over 2,400 hours of contribution. Madam Teo, who first joined NLB’s volunteer community in 2006, said: “I just want to do my best and give back to the society. I’m thankful for the opportunity – even in my later years – to help run the day-to-day operations of Bedok Public Library, from housekeeping, storytelling, and community outreach programmes to event support.”
6 Another volunteer, 60-year-old Ms Vandana Aggarwal, was lauded as the top contributing volunteer of FY2020 with more than 900 hours of contribution. She has been a volunteer with NLB’s Citizen Archivist Project since its launch in March 2015. She said: “I have been regularly volunteering with NLB for several years and enjoy it immensely. I contribute by transcribing the historical Straits Settlement Records on Singapore's colonial past and history. Singapore is a young nation, and I am lucky to have this opportunity to save our historical records for future generations to enjoy and learn from.”
7 Prior to the pandemic, the Volunteers’ Appreciation Evening has been an annual occasion for the volunteer community to come together and be celebrated. NLB will continue to widen and strengthen its partnership with volunteers to provide relevant, enriching and fulfilling resources and experiences for our patrons’ lifelong learning.
NLB’s Chairman Mr Lee Seow Hiang and NLB’s Chief Executive Officer Mr Ng Cher Pong, together with NLB’s Board Members and staff, thanking NLB volunteers for their strong partnership at the Volunteers’ Appreciation Evening 2022. [Photo credit: National Library Board]
NLB’s Chairman Mr Lee Seow Hiang and NLB’s Chief Executive Officer Mr Ng Cher Pong giving heartfelt thanks to NLB volunteers at the Volunteers’ Appreciation Evening 2022. [Photo credit: National Library Board]
NLB’s Chairman Mr Lee Seow Hiang (left) and NLB’s Chief Executive Officer Mr Ng Cher Pong (centre) having a chat with NLB volunteer Radhika Shetty at the Volunteers’ Appreciation Evening 2022. [Photo credit: National Library Board]
NLB staff welcoming our volunteers at the Volunteers’ Appreciation Evening 2022. [Photo credit: National Library Board]
NLB volunteers enjoying themselves at the Volunteers’ Appreciation Evening 2022. NLB thanks volunteers for their strong partnership at the Volunteers’ Appreciation Evening 2022. [Photo credit: National Library Board]