Welcome Address by Dr N Varaprasad, Chief Executive, National Library Board at the Launch of READ! IT, at the Multipurpose Room, Central Public Library on 18 July, 1.50PM

Release Date : 18 Jul 2010

RADM (NS) Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive, Infocomm Development Authority

Distinguished guests,


Ladies and gentlemen,

1. Good afternoon and thank you for joining us at the launch of READ! IT jointly organised with IDA. READ! IT, held in conjunction with READ! Singapore 2010, marks the first time that a nationwide infocomm-enabled reading event has been organised. There are several reasons behind this initiative.

2. Firstly, we want to showcase the possibilities one can experience by harnessing the power of infocomm. Reading does not need to be a solitary activity but one that can be shared and enjoyed with others. Through this portal, users would be able to connect with one another and exchange ideas and opinions. The portal also utilises social networking tools such as Twitter that allows the users to post their comments, further enhancing the interactive nature of this initiative.

3. Secondly, READ! IT provides a good platform for us to deliver an exciting and engaging experience for our participants. With the availability of new media technologies such as smartphones and iPads, our reading experience has been transformed to one where readers can access on-demand video, audio and other online resources to complement the storyline. Similarly through this portal, we hope to not only provide access but also compelling content that will attract users to our site and encourage them to read. We are heartened that our participants are willing to step forward and inspire others in their quest to spread the joy of reading. Making stories come alive requires effort, especially those that capture the imagination and interest of the audience. If you visit the portal today, you will see six teams at various locations using creative methods to present their stories. These participants who are strong advocates of our reading programmes come from all walks of life and include media personalities, gamers and Members of Parliament.

4. Each of them will bring something new to the event today. For example, here at the Central Public Library, some of the participants will be narrating stories from the 'Roads Less Travelled' anthology compiled specially for READ! Singapore 2010. They will also read from the publication, 'Dare to Dream: Stories of Imagination, Passion and Sporting Excellence' which contains winning entries from the short story writing competition, 'Youth Writers Awards Asia 2010'. The 'Youth Writers Awards Asia 2010' was organised by NLB in partnership with Reader's Digest last year and was held in celebration of Singapore hosting the 2010 Youth Olympic Games. We had received many good entries from youth from all over Asia and today, you will hear two winning entries from our Singaporean students. In addition, over at Nanyang Polytechnic, we have gamers and cosplayers who will entertain us with their interpretation of stories.

5. At the end of the day, we seek not just to inform and educate but also to entertain. We are indeed grateful to all of our participants for their support and will continue to engage them on other activities held as part of READ! Singapore, which will take place till end of August.

6. Before I end, I would like to thank our partners - IDA, iCell Network Pte Ltd, M1, the National Arts Council and Nano Equipment for their support towards this initiative. Through such synergistic collaborations, we hope to further reach out to more segments of the community and nurture their interest in reading.

7. Thank you and I hope that you will have an enjoyable time today.