Search This Blog

Friday, October 29, 2010

Marketing and Promoting Library Services

"In today's competitive environment, libraries face an increasing challenge in reaching out to both their existing and potential users. What used to be a relatively remote concept in the library profession, marketing and promotion is now one of the essential tools for libraries to their outreach efforts. Some possible questions then would be the relevance of marketing and promotion to library services and the most effective methods to employ."

Source of information: email from Professional & International Relations, National Library Board, dated 18 Oct 2010

With the assistance from Goethe-Institute, the Professional & International Relations, National Library Board invited Ms Barbara Lison for Professional Talks Series today.

Ms Lison is Director at the Public Library of Bremen in Germany, with her invaluable experience, her sharing and on the value and importance of marketing and promotion in public library is very stimulating.

Here is the details of the talk I attended today:

Topic : Marketing and Promoting Library Services
Speaker : Ms Barbara Lison
Director, Public Library of Bremen, Germany
Date : 29 Oct 10, Friday
Time : 4.00pm - 5.30pm
Venue : Possibility Room, Level 5, National Library Building

LAS Professional Development Scheme (PDS) Points: 46

Barbara Lison is the Director at Public Library of Bremen, a position she has held since 1992. She is responsible for a library system with nearly ten different units. During the last few years, her main professional issues were the modernisation of the Public Library of Bremen and the project for a new Central Library.

Having held several professional positions, she has been very active in library policy and development on the level of the European Union having taken part in different European Union projects. She has also been engaged in the activities of German national and European professional library organisations. Over the past couple of years Ms Lison has been working for the Bertelsmann Foundation and the Goethe-Institute as an expert for library affairs.

In this afternoon session, Ms Lison shared the process of marketing and relate it to library and information services in Bremen, Germany. "Libraries nowadays evolve in an everchanging environment with competition from various fronts, it is paramount that libraries and librarians are equipped with an understanding and appreciation for the value and importance of marketing and promotion in any type of library or information centre."

She also identified various considerations when selecting specific marketing or promotion methods for use within Bremen's Public Library context.

As I was curious about the Maccot cartoon (Brementown Musicians) used in the presentation, I was lead by Ms Lison to visit the following audio story in flash:

Brementown Musicians
As I never read the story of "Brementown Musicians" before, this interesting audio story allows me to patch the hole of my unknown world.  At least, now Bremen Town is linked to Brementown Musicians (Chanter: the Donkey, Anciano: the dog, Songe: the cat and Belement Chanticleer: the rooster).

After the talk, I just visit the websit of "Bremen Public Library" at

I like the quotation below the address: "We link our community to the world; past, present and future" and I find some interest and unique contents on the home page with the following links:

Community Heritage Online Databases

•Bremen Obituaries
•Bremen Cemetery

Bremen Obituaries at
"Obituaries from The Bremen Enquirer. 11,883 records entered as of 11/17/2008. We have completed all years prior to 1997..."

I think the library have a unique community database which is not common to me who are in Library and Information service for years. 

Well, I think it is not our way of "Marketing and Promoting Library Services" at the present moment, yet it may be a good reference point as our Nation is looking at the needs of the "Silver Ages". Maybe it is something we can consider as the service will be well appreciated by the Library users.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Visiting Health Information Centre (HIC)

Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.

-- Lord Byron (1788-1824) English Poet

The visit to the Health Information Centre (HIC), Health Promotion Board today starts with a talk on laughter and it is great to have the laughter exercise "Laughter Yoga" as an Ice Breaker.

All the visitors from different libraries feel so good and smile their way throughout the visit.

The visit today is organised by LAS Programmes and Social Committee.

Health Information Centre (HIC), Health Promotion Board is a library that specialises in health education, health promotion and disease prevention resources.

HIC offers a collection of health related books, journals and magazines, audio-visual resources and print resources and exhibition panels on a wide range of health topics. 

Our group was briefed by Ms Flora Bay, Manager of HIC.  I had my BMI and blood pressure checked at Health Zone and glad to note that all are within the normal range!

As I was very impressed with the visit and like the HIC collection very much, I enroll myself as a library member by paying $20 refundable deposit on the spot!

Here is the detail programme of the day:

Date: 28 October 2010 (Thursday)

Time: 2:00 pm – 5.00 pm

Meeting Point:  Lobby of Health Promotion Board, 3 Second Hospital Avenue, Singapore 168937

MRT: Outram Park (SGH exit)

Registration is on a first-come-first served basis. Maximum group size: 50


2.00 – 2.15 pm Meet @ Lobby of Health Promotion Board

2.15 – 3.15 pm Health Talk on Laughter and Laughter Yoga with Demonstrations

3.15 - 4.30 pm Tour of HealthZone/Viewing of HIC resources

(Divide in 2 groups)

4.30 – 5.00 pm Tea/Networking

5pm End of Visit

For those who miss this visit, you may visit the links available at

HPB Online and click the link under "Health Information Centre'

Professional Development Scheme (PDS) Points

Eligible for PDS Points:

This activity attracts 46 points under the Industry Knowledge Development (ID) category. " Study visit to other libraries (local and overseas)"

Monday, October 18, 2010

Web of life

Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.

-- Chief Seattle (1780-1866)

Understand it from the perspective of Internet, we can understand all things are bould together and all things connect. 

Yet, Internet and humankind have not woven the real web of life.  Internet and we as humankind are just one thread within it.  We just being a small part of the web of life.

Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves, yet it also bound us with the bigger web we live our life with!

Hence, when we blog, we connect, we weave the thread, we do to the web, we do to ourselves!

Dexterine Ho

Monday, October 11, 2010

When Nations Remember: an International Conference on Memory

11-12 Oct 2010, Carlton Hotel, Singapore

When Nations Remember: an International Conference on Memory, is organised by National Library Singapore and supported by International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) and Institutions & Library Association of Singapore (LAS).

The programme I attended today are as follows:

Monday 11 October 2010
Conference Day One

8.30am – 9.00am Registration for Conference Delegates @ Carlton Hotel Singapore

9.00am – 9.15am Opening Address by Mrs Phoon Chew Ping, Chief Executive, National Library Board

9.15am – 10.00am Keynote Address "American Memory and the Evolution of the World Digital Library" by John van Oudenaren, Director, World Digital Library

10.00am – 10.30am "When Nations Remember – Delivering a New Generation National Library of New Zealand: A Practical Perspective" by Ms Penny Carnaby, Chief Executive / National Librarian from National Library of New Zealand

10.30am – 11.00am "The Memory of the Netherlands: Towards a National Infrastructure" by Dr J.S.M (Bas) Savenije, Director General from Koninklijke Bibliotheek (National Library of Netherlands)

11.00am – 11.15am Tea Break

11.15am – 11.45am "UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme: Global Approach to preserving and accessing documentary heritage" by Ms Joie Springer, Senior Programme Specialist, Memory of the World Programme from UNESCO

11.45am – 12.15pm "Presentation on Singapore Memory Project" by Mr Gene Tan, Programme Director, Singapore Memory Project

Personally, I am very impressed with Gene's light-hearted way of presenting "The Singapore Memory Project (SMP)".

A national project to tell the "Singapore Story" and to collect, preserve and access Singapore’s knowledge assets can be very "Heavy" to listen, yet his choice of words and his humourous ways of translating what is in his and our minds have turn the session to be the most memorable one for many participants.

"The Singapore Memory Project (SMP)" is a national knowledge initiative to collect, organise, preserve our cultural and intellectual memory for research and discovery.

After I listen to his presentation, I think "Singapore Memory Project" are now linked in my heart with two keywords: "Love" and "Soul", I think with the love one has for our family, our neighbourhood, our community our country, Singaporean will be able to answer the question: What is the Soul of Singapore?

I think "Singapore Memory Project" will create a truly proliferative movement and move the nation to build the project in that direction.

With that in my mind, I think

"Singapore Memory Project: a whole-of-nation collaborative initiative facilitated by the National Library Singapore and in strong partnership with heritage, academic and research institutions, government institutions, people agencies, companies, NGOs and a host of enthusiastic Singaporeans all eager to share their Singapore Memory"

is not just an official statement in print.

12.35pm – 1.15pm Q & A
1.15pm – 2.30pm Lunch

Session B – Experiences

■Mad About Singapore Buses

If you missed the tour, just follow the youtube programme and all the links to have some ideas of the groups' work and their intest in Singapore Buses:

We were lead by James Lee and the group for the tour of Bus Depot, Interchange and many interesting sites related to buses in the 1970's, 1980's. 1990's and the current decades. I took some videorecordings for the tour and download them to conference organiser's computer for their selection. Hopefully, some clips maybe selected for future use!