Speech by Mr Lim Theam Siew, Assistant Chief Executive, National Library Board, at the Charity Book Donation 2010, 9 July 2010, 9.05am, Singapore Expo Hall 6A

Release Date : 09 Jul 2010



Ladies and gentlemen

Good morning to all of you and a very warm welcome to the National Library Board (NLB)'s Charity Book Donation 2010.

Spreading The Joy Of Reading To The Underserved

2. Every year, NLB organises the Charity Book Donation in conjunction with the Library Book Sale to spread the joy of reading to the community. While the Library Book Sale allows the general public to purchase used library books and magazines at affordable prices, the Charity Book Donation, held a day before the book sale, allows invited voluntary welfare and non-profit organisations to be the first to select the used library resources for free. These resources complement the efforts of these organisations in promoting reading and learning to their beneficiaries. The Charity Book Donation is also part of NLB's Corporate Volunteerism Programme which aims to develop a spirit of volunteerism among our staff through their involvement in community projects. One such project is the fortnightly storytelling sessions by NLB staff at the Spastic Children's Association of Singapore.

3. The Charity Book Donation is guided by NLB's commitment to reach out to the underserved communities. We aim to promote a culture of lifelong learning among Singaporeans and one of the ways is to ensure that our library materials can be readily accessed by everyone. The Charity Book Donation thus serves as a platform for NLB to make its resources more easily available to the underserved.

More than 80 participating organisations

4. This year, more than 80 organisations are taking part in this meaningful event. The organisations serve various underserved groups, from the aged and sick to the physically and intellectually disabled. Some, like The Salvation Army, Singapore Indian Development Association and the Sembawang Family Service Centre, have been participating for many years. I am happy to note that there are also organisations, such as Wie Hwee Temple Ho Si Association and Madrasah Al-Maarif Al-islamiah, who are taking part for the first time.

5. We have a wide range of used library resources for selection today. There are fiction and non-fiction books, as well as magazines, that serve all age groups, including children, youths and adults. I hope that today's event provides a wonderful opportunity for your organisation to select suitable materials that can enrich the minds of your beneficiaries, spark their imagination and help them discover new possibilities.

6. An example of an organisation making good use of the books to create a positive impact on its beneficiaries is Clubilya. Clubilya is a non-profit organisation that aims to promote positive youth development through empowering youths to be economically independent and socially responsible members of the society. It first participated in the Charity Book Donation in 2009 where they had selected close to 500 books including reference books on topics like science and geography, and fictional and graphic novels targetting at youths. The books were used in their personal development workshops to inculcate good values and life skills in their youths, and also to encourage them to develop a reading habit.

7. I am pleased to note that our library books are a source of inspiration for the youths at Clubilya. I believe that the other organisations have also been able to find ways to make good use of the books to benefit those under their care.

Value-for-money experience for the public

8. Over the next two days, we will be holding the Library Book Sale for the public. The purpose of the book sale is to further encourage and facilitate reading and learning in the community. We are grateful that the public has given us their huge support for the past 10 years for this event. This year, we continue to aim to provide a value-for-money experience for everyone. Book lovers can look forward to a wide variety of books and magazines for their reading needs at bargain prices.

9. To facilitate our avid readers in choosing the books, we have sub-categorised the popular adults' English non-fiction books into 10 specific categories and a general category. The categories include Arts, Business, Computer, Cookery, Family, Health, Home & Gardening, Pets & Animals, Recreation and Travel Guides.

Appreciation to partners and staff

10. I would like to express my gratitude to our partners, Singapore Expo and TA-Q-BIN, for their support of the Charity Book Donation and Library Book Sale. My heartfelt appreciation goes to the staff of NLB who have worked tirelessly to ensure the success of these two events.

11. I wish all of you a fruitful time this morning and we look forward to your continued support.

12. Thank you and have a nice day.