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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Letting go and holding on

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.

-- Henry Ellis (1721-1806)

I am in library field and practicing librarianship for some decades.  Since I was a reference librarian and an adjunct lecturer in National Institute of Education, librarianship and digital literacy skills gave me an opportunity to engage in education and training.

I understand learning can only take place if one is willing to learn.  Acquisitions of knowledge can only happen at the time when you allow what is outside you to be inside you.

If the door of the learner is not opened, it is hard for the teachers or educators to teach them.  As intruders are not welcome!

I enjoy teaching self motivated learners.  I am glad that most of the course participants in many of my classes are eager to learn and enjoy the process of translating learning into practice. 

Nevertheless, there are some learners who are not self-motivated. They are against learning and do not see the needs at the first place.  They are always in defensive mode and build mental wall to block all the new input. 

If one is unwilling to learn, it is easy for one to find all the means and ways to avoid it.  I may try and hold on and do my part, yet, time wait for no man.  If they are unable to use their learning time within my coaching period, I feel sad for them and hope things may change or get better in the future. 

I learn to let go, as I can only be with them for so long.  I just hope that when they miss learning now, they will catch up some other time in the future when they realise and make a change in their mind set.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A friend is a gift

A friend is a gift which I treasured!

Hi Soo Miang,

This is Beng Kin from Malaysia.

Do you still remember me?

I found your blog through the internet that's how I got your email. How are you? You still look as young as ever. I'll be going to Singapore on the 26th of November. Hope to meet up with you.

Do you still keep in touch with Yeow Leong and Tony Ng? I can't find them through Facebook. Looking foward to hearing from you.

Beng Kin


It was a read surprise to me when I received the email from Beng Kin, my housemate, roommate and cooking group member back in 1989 - 1990 in Milwaukee,Wisconsin.

I was doing my Masters degree in Library and Information Science at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee campus.  Beng Kin was doing her Degree in English Studies.  I joined her and her housemates for cooking during the weekdays.  We cook one meal each and have lunch and dinner for 5-6 days.  Together with us are Wei Wei and Juan Cheng from Taiwan, Zah Jing, Fong and her from Malaysia, Yeow Leong, Tong Ng and me From Singapore.

On Sunday, we sometime travelled in car to Chicago and have our shopping at China town and harvest back a lot of Chinese foods which were hard to find in Milwaukee.

Our store room for foods in our duplex house, upper level, is like a mini grocery shop.  Beng Kin and many of our houesemates are good cook and I alway enjoyed eating dinner prepared by them!

I remembered I was not with them for the first semaster as all the rooms were occupied with at least two persons. I finally joined them when someone graduated and moved out.  I then have a chance to stay there till I finish my degree course.

In Aug 1990, on my way home to Singapore, I travelled with them (plus Beng Nee, Beng Kin's sister) and visited Hollywood, Universal Studio and many other interesting places in Los Angeles.  We saved a lot on accommondation as we were able to have lodging at Beng Kin's sister's place.

Ofter the LA's tour, I then headed east and stop at Hawaii for 3 days and visited Wei Wei in Taipai before I came back to Singapore.

After returning to Singapore, I think I only managed to visit Beng Kin and Beng Nee in 1998 when I went to KL for a library conference.

Time really fly and we now meet for a second time! It is about 20 years from our Milwaukee's time and she is now a mother of two teenages who are studying in Secondary School in KL!

We have a great time today having Shanghai Tim Sam lunch at City Square Mall and recalling our good time back in 1989 - 1990!

A friend is a gift which I treasured very much!

Dexterine Ho

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Library of Congress Vs WWW.SG

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress (LC), with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collections, is the oldest federal cultural institution of the United States, and it serves as the research arm of the Congress of US.

The mission of Library of Congress is to make its resources available and useful to the Congress and the American people and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations.
The Library of Congress web site contains selective links providing authoritative, in-depth information about the nations and other areas of the world. They are arranged by country or area with the links for each sorted into a wide range of broad categories.

Here is some links I found which maybe of interest to Singaporean:
COUNTRY PROFILE: SINGAPORE (updated on July 2006)
  • Formal Name: Republic of Singapore (English-language name). Also, in other official languages: Republik Singapura (Malay), Xinjiapo Gongheguo― 新加坡共和国 (Chinese), and Cingkappãr ...
  • Short Form: Singapore.
  • Term for Citizen(s): Singaporean(s).
  • Date of Independence: August 31, 1963, from Britain; August 9, 1965, from the Federation of Malaysia.
Other facts and figures may need some update, for details of our country profile created by LC Federal Research Division, visit the page at
A Country Study: Singapore
  • Main Title: Singapore : a country study / Federal Research Division, Libarary of Congress ; edited by Barbara Leitch LePoer. Washington, D.C.: The Division: For sale by the Supt. of Docs., U.S. G.P.O., 1991
  • Library of Congress Call Number DS609 .S55 1991
  • As the data is as of December 1989, the information is good for historical background and general understanding, yet some key statistics, facts and figures need some update. 
For those who are interested to have up-todate information about Singapore, the following created by Singapore Government will be a good starting point: 
"Your Offical Gateway to Singapore"
The site is created and maintained by MICA (The Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts').  Look up under the tag "Who we are" you will see the following:
"Singapore at a Glance" at

"Singapore Yearbook"
  • The Singapore Yearbook is an annual update of the major events that have taken place in Singapore and the key achievements of Singapore in the previous calendar year.
  • It provides an overview of what each government ministry and their agencies have achieved in the previous calendar year, as well as the projects and initiatives that Singapore is working on to further the progress of Singapore.   
Many other links will guide visitors to needed information, researcher may find it too general, yet tourists will find it informative and easy to navigate.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Advanced Certificate in Training & Assessment (ACTA)

Today, I received my ACTA Certificate with the help of my ACTA classmate, Ms Seow Hwee Ling.

My Advanced Certificate in Training & Assessment (ACTA) consists of six modules and with the full certification, I am now a certified ACTA trainer, course developer and assessor.

The following quotation come in timely and I would like to share with all who have a passion in teaching and training:

The mediocre teacher tells.
The good teacher explains.
The superior teacher demonstrates.
The great teacher inspires.
-- William Arthur Ward

In teaching or training, telling, explaining, demonstrating and inspiring is our tasks and goals at different level!

I hope I can be an inspiring trainer who is capable of sharing my experience in library and information work through demonstration with explaination. 

Dexterine Ho

While you are in trouble

I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection.

-- Thomas Paine (1737-1809) British-American Writer

I would like to be a person who can gather strength from distress and smile in trouble.  With that, I may grow brave by reflection!

Only when we have experience distress, we know we need strength to battle with life and stand against all odds!

When we are able to gather strength from distress, we can then smile in trouble and grow brave by reflection.

In life, without distress, we may not gather strength, and we can not grow brave as nothing is there for our reflection.

Hence, in retrospect, your distress in life is helping you to gather strength and allow you to be braver than you usually are!

Dexterine Ho

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Successful vs unsuccessful

Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, 'What's in it for me?

-- Brian Tracy

I like this quotation!

Always looking for opportunities to help others!

A successful person is making the world better when he or she is around!


Dexterine Ho

Friday, November 19, 2010

To profit from knowledge which we do not possess

It is largely because civilization enables us constantly to profit from knowledge which we individually do not possess


because each individual's use of his particular knowledge may serve to assist others unknown to him

in achieving their ends that men as members of civilized society can pursue their individual ends

so much more successfully than they could alone.

*** F. A. Hayek ***

How "to profit from knowledge which we do not possess"?

My simple answer: Read books and visit library or book store from time to time!

Dexterine Ho

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Think creatively

"To think creatively, we must be able to look afresh at what we normally take for granted."

- George Kneller

For those who are very forgetful like me, to look afresh at what we had seen maybe a natural inclination as our memory bank is not able to store things in the random access index file for too long.

Hence, being forgetful, I sometime took photos of whatever I had seen over and over again, yet the angle I used is somehow different each time.  It then allows me to look at the same thing from different angle and in new perspective!

I think creative approach to problem solving is just allowing yourself to try various way of approaching the problem and resolve it in a way you never expect it at first!

Dexterine Ho

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Quotations about Libraries

If you like to read and search for quotes with Library or Libraries and Librarian or Librarians as a keyword, you may be glad to read:

Quotations about Libraries

Here are some quotations that I like very much:

Libraries: The medicine chest of the soul. ~Library at Thebes, inscription over the door

A library is thought in cold storage. ~Herbert Samuel

The best of my education has come from the public library... my tuition fee is a bus fare and once in a while, five cents a day for an overdue book. You don't need to know very much to start with, if you know the way to the public library. ~Lesley Conger

As a child, my number one best friend was the librarian in my grade school. I actually believed all those books belonged to her. ~Erma Bombeck

To those with ears to hear, libraries are really very noisy places. On their shelves we hear the captured voices of the centuries-old conversation that makes up our civilization. ~Timothy Healy

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. ~Cicero

Here is where people,
One frequently finds,
Lower their voices
And raise their minds.  ~Richard Armour, "Library"

A great library contains the diary of the human race. ~George Mercer Dawson

I love the place; the magnificent books; I require books as I require air. ~Sholem Asch

The richest person in the world - in fact all the riches in the world - couldn't provide you with anything like the endless, incredible loot available at your local library. ~Malcolm Forbes

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library. ~Jorge Luis Borges

A good library will never be too neat, or too dusty, because somebody will always be in it, taking books off the shelves and staying up late reading them. ~Lemony Snicket

The library is not a shrine for the worship of books. It is not a temple where literary incense must be burned or where one's devotion to the bound book is expressed in ritual. A library, to modify the famous metaphor of Socrates, should be the delivery room for the birth of ideas - a place where history comes to life. ~Norman Cousins

Consider what you have in the smallest chosen library. A company of the wisest and wittiest men that could be picked out of all civil countries, in a thousand years, have set in best order the results of their learning and wisdom. The men themselves were hid and inaccessible, solitary, impatient of interruption, fenced by etiquette; but the thought which they did not uncover to their bosom friend is here written out in transparent words to us, the strangers of another age. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Books," Society and Solitude
Librarians are almost always very helpful and often almost absurdly knowledgeable. Their skills are probably very underestimated and largely underemployed. ~Charles Medawar

A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Libraries are reservoirs of strength, grace and wit, reminders of order, calm and continuity, lakes of mental energy, neither warm nor cold, light nor dark.... In any library in the world, I am at home, unselfconscious, still and absorbed. ~Germaine Greer

Librarian is a service occupation. Gas station attendant of the mind. ~Richard Powers

The student has his Rome, his Florence, his whole glowing Italy, within the four walls of his library. He has in his books the ruins of an antique world and the glories of a modern one. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The library connects us with the insight and knowledge, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, with the best teachers, drawn from the entire planet and from all our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contribution to the collective knowledge of the human species. I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries. ~Carl Sagan, Cosmos

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Love and approval

"We all have the power to define our own worth and bring love into ourselves.

While you might think that the only love that feels really great is love from another person, this is a huge false belief.

If you have ever experienced a moment where you feel full and joyous for no external reason, you know that it is possible to feel incredibly wonderful without another's love and approval."

Email message from "The Values We Live By Are Worth More When We Pass Them On : INNERWORKS SEMINARS" from

Saturday, November 06, 2010

You can't change the whole world

Maybe you can't change the whole world, but if you have love in your heart you can make small differences every day, which really does change the world, one life at a time.

-- Kristina Koncz

Friday, November 05, 2010

Not to live backwards

Often people attempt to live their lives backwards:

they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so they will be happier.

The way it actually works is the reverse.

You must first be who you really are, then do what you love to do, in order to have what you want.

-- Margaret Young

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Look at what you have in life

If you look at what you have in life, you'll always have more.

If you look at what you don't have in life, you'll never have enough.

-- Oprah Winfrey