Welcome Address by Mrs Elaine Ng, Chief Executive Officer, National Library Board at the Opening Ceremony of READ! Singapore 2011 on Thursday, 23 June 2011, 11.00AM at Woodlands Regional Library

Release Date : 23 Jun 2011

Dr Yaacob Ibrahim

Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts

Radm (NS) Sim Gim Guan

Deputy Secretary for MICA

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

1. A very good morning to you. It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the opening of READ! Singapore 2011. We are also very honoured to have Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts grace our event today.

Learning through reading and discussion

2. This year, the theme for READ! Singapore is “Transition”. We chose this theme because we felt that this is a topic that people relate to since we all experience transition at some point in our lives.

3. As such, the Steering Committee for READ! Singapore 2011 has selected twenty literary works — eight novels, eight short stories and four poems — in the four official languages, which depict this theme. We have translated some of these works into the other languages and these will be made available to the public for community reading and discussion.

4. Just a while ago, you saw a lovely presentation of Shel Silverstein's poem “Little Abigail and the Beautiful Pony” by our Junior Reading Ambassadors. Since 2007, these young ones have helped to instill the love of reading among their peers through creative storytelling and writing of book reviews, as part of our Junior Reading Ambassador Programme. I am pleased to inform you that from next year, READ! Singapore will extend its reach beyond teens and adults to include children. We also hope to include a “writing” component and encourage people to pen their reflections after reading.

Highlights of READ! Singapore 2011

5. This year's READ! Singapore has many activities lined up for the next three months. Participants of READ! Singapore can look forward to book discussions, while budding writers and poets may sign up for creative writing workshops and poetry writing clinics, some of which are conducted by local poet Felix Cheong and local author Dave Chua.

Appreciation and thanks

6. On this note, I would like to thank all our partners and sponsors for making this campaign possible. In particular, I would like to thank F&N Magnolia for their generous support and sponsorship.

7. I would also like to thank the READ! Singapore Steering Committee members for their efforts in selecting the literary works and setting the overall direction for the campaign.

8. Finally, I would like to thank Minister Yaacob for taking the time to attend this event and for supporting this nationwide initiative.

9. Thank you.