Remarks by Mr Lee Seow Hiang, Chairman, National Library Board, at the 2022 Volunteers’ Appreciation Evening on 24 June 2022, 6.10pm, at Jewel Changi (Changi Experience Studio)

Good evening everyone.


2          Thank you for joining us at NLB’s Volunteer Appreciation Evening. We are very happy to see many of you again, and also welcome the new partners and volunteers among us. Today is a much overdue reunion of friends of the NLB community, and I am very happy that we can be here together.  


3          Foremost, I want to thank you, our volunteers, for passionately staying the course with us over the years, especially in the last two very challenging years. COVID-19 has kept us apart, but it has not kept us down.  You pushed on, and continued to help our libraries and archives be accessible in various ways, including digitally, so that our patrons could keep up with their reading and learning needs.


4          Nearly 2,000 of you have returned to volunteer your time and expertise at NLB’s Public Libraries, the National Library, the National Archives of Singapore and the Former Ford Factory. I am also heartened by our partners from various institutions and private organisations, teachers and job coaches, and parents and caregivers who have returned to strongly support us. Even during the Circuit Breaker period in 2020, when the libraries and archives were closed, many of you continued to volunteer your time such as by helping out with online storytelling, getting involved in the COVID-19 (Oral History) project, and the Citizen Archivist Project.  


5          We greatly appreciate the time, energy and passion that all of you give so strongly to the NLB community. We hope that more will step forward to do so. This is especially as we expect to have more volunteer opportunities in the coming years. Already, we are seeing more patrons and programmes returning across NLB’s network of libraries and archives, including at the upcoming Punggol Regional Library. And with NLB’s LAB25 (Libraries and Archives Blueprint 2025) plan to reimagine libraries and archives in Singapore, the continued partnership of volunteers like you, as you share your time, ideas and know-how, will enhance the reading and learning experience for all.  As such, by 2026, we hope to triple our pool of active volunteers to 6,500.  I hope you can help share about the work you do with us, and encourage your friends, families, and colleagues to join in this community to help the community. We look forward to welcoming everyone to join us to build a vibrant Learning Marketplace for all.


6          Once again, thank you, NLB volunteers, for your strong, unwavering support over the past two decades, and for playing such a huge and important role in helping us shape the road ahead in building our libraries and archives for tomorrow. This evening is specially for you – please enjoy yourselves, catch up with your friends, and we look forward to seeing you again.


7          Thank you.