Welcome Address by Mrs Elaine Ng, Chief Executive Officer, National Library Board at the Launch of Quest III and Conquest on Saturday, 19 November 2011, 11.10am at the Jurong Regional Library

Release Date : 19 Nov 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen

Boys and Girls

1. Good morning and welcome to the launch of Quest III and Conquest.

Overview of Quest

2. This marks the third time that Quest, an innovative reading programme using collectible cards, has been organised. The video that was played earlier shows the success as well as achievements of this creative reading programme over the past two years. I am glad to note that since the launch of Quest, the response of young readers, particularly boys aged 7 to 12 years old, has been overwhelming.

Success of Quest I and II

3. Since its inception, Quest has reached out to approximately 150,000 young boys and girls, most whom now enjoy reading through collectible cards, which feature adventure, fantasy stories, manga and gameplay. During its first launch in 2009, Quest has been an instant success, attracting 69,000 participants with 1.3 million cards. The cards ran out within a short period of 4 months! As of October 2011, over 4 million book loans have been generated due to Quest. This innovative approach has even attracted attention overseas, and received the American Library Association's Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects this year.

4. Every parent would agree with me that not every child is a natural reader. I understand how challenging it is to motivate reluctant young readers. However, with the implementation of Quest, I have received much positive feedback. Nine-year-old Ethan's mother had difficulty getting him to sit still and read. When he was introduced to Quest, Ethan was instantly hooked. Since then, he has been an avid reader who enjoys bonding with his friends over Quest.

Highlights of Quest III

5. With Quest III, Quest fans can look forward to the unveiling of the “Quest of the Treasure Dragon” collectible cards featuring new characters from a new and exciting storyline based in Asia. To further engage Quest fans, the Quest team will be organising a writing competition in January 2012, as well as a “Design your own Quest character” competition. So boys and girls, please keep a look out for these fun and exciting activities!

Conquest, New Initiative for Tweens

6. Based on studies, the team had also found that most teens rate history as a less interesting content area. In this regard, I am pleased to introduce Conquest, a new board game to nurture a nation of lifelong readers among tweens aged between 10 and 15. This game will set readers on a learning journey about Singapore's history and culture, while bonding with their peers.

7. As part of this launch, NLB has organised numerous fun-filled reading and reading-related activities. I hope all of you will enjoy your time here today. I am also delighted to share that library members can now borrow more e-books. During the school holidays, from 19 November 2011 to 31 January 2012, the Double Up promotion allows library members to borrow twice as many items. In conclusion, I encourage everyone to enjoy not just gathering collectible cards and playing the board game, but also the joy of reading and learning.

8. Thank you.