Welcome Address by Mrs Elaine Ng, Chief Executive Officer, National Library Board at the Appreciation Ceremony of Read! Singapore 2011 on Thursday 10 November 2011, 1.00pm at The Plaza, National Library Building

Release Date : 10 Nov 2011

Ms Grace Fu,

Senior Minister of State for Information, Communications and the Arts

& the Environment and Water Resources

Ms Yeoh Chee Yan,

Chairman, National Library Board

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

1. Good afternoon, and welcome to the Appreciation Ceremony of READ! Singapore 2011. We are very honoured to have Ms Grace Fu, Senior Minister of State for Information, Communications and the Arts & the Environment and Water Resources, grace our event today.

Achievements of READ! Singapore 2011

2. The National Library Board (NLB) believes that reading extends beyond the words of a book. It stirs the imagination in one's mind. I am sure you would agree that the pleasures of reading are multiplied when they are shared with those who also read the same book. Some of you may have joined us for the CosREAD Competition at The Plaza this morning, and experienced the delightful costume display that made characters from the READ! Singapore stories come alive. I think I really enjoyed it very much. Thank you.

3. This year, READ! Singapore held a total of 496 activities, which reached out to 60,000 participants. We were particularly grateful for the support of 16 Singaporean and overseas authors, whose books or stories were selected for discussion during READ! Singapore. These authors personally interacted with participants during meet-the-author sessions and other activities organised by NLB. Some of these authors, including Singapore poet Felix Cheong and Singapore author Dave Chua, even held creative writing workshops and poetry writing clinics, which were well-received by many participants, including students. We would like to thank all the authors for taking part in this programme. Thank you very much.

READ! Singapore 2012 aims for wider reach and learning

4. We hope that every Singaporean can benefit from READ! Singapore. I am pleased to inform you that from next year, READ! Singapore will extend its reach beyond teenagers and adults to include children. We also hope to expand learning to include writing and storytelling in our activities. That way, readers can pen down their thoughts, share their reflections and express themselves through the activities. Hopefully, they can also gain a deeper appreciation of literary arts and culture.

Appreciation and thanks

5. On this note, I would like to thank all our sponsors and partners for making this campaign possible. In particular, I would like to thank F&N Magnolia for their generous support and sponsorship. We would also like to thank Ms Stefanie Sun, singer and reading ambassador, for her support for “MobileRead”. We are very grateful to her for taking time to do that.

6. Finally, I would like to thank the READ! Singapore Steering Committee members for their efforts in setting the overall direction and selecting the literary works for the campaign. I know it is not easy, but thank you very much for your effort. Together, we will work towards another exciting READ! Singapore campaign in 2012.

7. Thank you very much for coming.