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Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: my reflection

Rely on the ordinary virtues that intelligent, balanced human beings
have relied on for centuries: common sense, thrift, realistic
expectations, patience, and perseverance.

-- John C. Bogle (1929-) American Investor

Looking backward for the last 365 days, my reflection of 2011 from today is:

Learn and practise all the common sense you need. Common sense may look common and simple, yet it is not so simple to those who never thought of acquire them.

Learn and practise basic thrifty habit, like spend within your earning power, or, just buy things you need (not things that you want)!  You will never be poor as you know the way to save for raining days!  With that mind set, you will be able to travel a long way with very little!

Learn and be realistic in your expectations of others.

Learn and be realistic in your own expectations of yourself!

Do not expect other to return the same kindness you give, as you give it away without expecting a return, that is why it is called "Kindness!"

Do not expect yourself to do all the good things that you wish to do, as you have limitations and choose to be good all the time, may tear yourself into pieces!  So be realistic even if you want to be good and kind!

Learn to be patience with others!  Learn to be patience with yourself.

Creative things are easy to conceive, yet hard to construct!  Beautiful things are pleasing to the eyes, yet the process needs both time and patience!

Big things in life happen with a lot of input and and perseverance, being patience and continue with your hard work is the key to success!


Happy 2012!

Dexterine Ho Soo Miang

Friday, December 30, 2011


人和人相處, 久了就有些經驗和教訓。

Thursday, December 29, 2011

News from NUS Libraries : Medical Library and Science Library

Just received an email from LAS on News from NUS Libraries : Medical Library and Science Library:

Medical Library

The new Medical Library at MD6, Centre for Translational Medicine is now open.  The library’s collection includes Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy.  The library contacts are :

Acting Head : Ms Ong Hong Kiat
Address:  Centre for Translational Medicine, NUS Medical Library, Block MD6, 14 Medical Drive, #05-01, Singapore 117599 [map]
Info Desk / Loans : 65162046

Science Library

The Science Library has reverted back to its original name.  The library contacts are:

Head : Ms Kan Sok Cheng
Address:  Block S6, Level 4, 10 Science Drive 2, Singapore 117548 [map]
Info Desk : 6516-2454
Loans : 6516-2509

Look forward to visiting the library with LAS group if the programme committee could make it happen in 2012!

Registration Open: Support General Reference and Enquiry Work on 10 - 11 Jan 2012

LAS WSQ Level 2 course have 5 modules.  The first run in 2012 is Support General Reference and Enquiry Work and here are the details I received from LAS for those who are interested to register:

LAS is pleased to organize the sixth run of the WSQ/LAS Level 2 training for Support General Reference and Enquiry Work on 10 - 11 Jan 2012.
This 2 day course will be held at NTU@OneNorth (map).
This is one of the 5 competency based programmes at entry level which together form the WSQ Higher Certificate in Library and Information Services.

Important Note:
§  Upon successful registration for the training, you will receive a confirmation message & email.
§  The registration page will also display a message when the class is full. You will not be able to key in personal particulars when this happens.
§  The course fees are listed here.
§  On enrolment, you are deemed to have committed to both the training and proposed assessment dates.
§  Participants or institutions who wish to withdraw from an enrolled course must submit reason(s) in writing to Where notice of withdrawal is given before the start of the course, an administrative fee of $25 is payable to facilitate the withdrawal from the course.

For more information on the module, please refer to the training page.
Registration will close with maximum of 17 registrants.
Organized by:
LAS Training & Development Committee


Source of information:
Email from dated 13 Dec 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bukit Brown Cemetery vs 心中的坟

I think for those who follow the Bukit Brown Cemetery's walk this few months may like to read the following poem written in Chinese.

The poet is Ms Lim May Lang, an ex-higher Chinese teacher from National Junior College.  Though she did not follow the BBC's walk with the group, her poem captures the spirit of life after death, and reflects the same thought some of us have after the walk.

If we are not able to have Bukit Brown Cemetery kept in physical form, many suggested to use modern technology and create the same in virture reality. 

In whatever form it maybe, the most important is what one holds in one's heart!

心中的坟 by Ms Lim May Lang on 2011/12/09 at






Here is my translated version, embedded with some of my own thought:

Life is like a candle!
As long as the light once illuminated,
Lights the path of others,
Length is not important!

A grave need not be three-dimensional,
Even without shady old trees and prayer flowers,
Even intangible,
It will live in the heart of the beloved, forever!

Life may be long or short,
Journey twists and turns,
When we face the end
If with a gentle smile,
And satisfied with no lingering thought,
We can let go!

When the time comes,
Find a quiet place and have a good rest
Incense smoke in the temple
At the foot of a big tree
Or ocean that frees your soul!

Remembered or forgotten
It’s not important!
Memory is like ash to ash, dust to dust!
Perception and consciousness,
Like clouds, once free
Will have no attachment!

Notes: Translation revised on 9 Jan 2012, and I would like to thank my friend, Susan Chua from Heinemann Southeast Asia, for her advices on grammatical etc...  Good writing is always re-writing, and good translation, goes the same way! Thanks! Susan!

Dexterine Ho Soo Miang

Thursday, December 22, 2011













小时候在大家庭过冬至是件大事,全家大小都动员搓汤圆! 耳濡母染搓汤圆过冬至! 年复一年的追随着。






Source of information: email from friend dated 21 Dec 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Readership of this blog

Since I added FlagCounter in May 201o, blog visitor from US is always leading and on top of other country visitors.

FlagCounter was introduced to me by Prof David Deterding

I was impressed by the large readership his blog attracted and with the example I see on his blog in Brunie, I was inspired to add the same to my blog when I return to Singapore (A big thanks to David!)

After installing the FlagCounter, I was puzzled that US readership is on top and Singapore is always second.

I do hope to see more Singapore visitors browsing my blog, and tonight, I was surprised to note that US reader number is the same as Singapore reader., i.e., 1426 or 29.2%!

The total number of visitors at the moment shown 8245 and the unique visitors are 4882. I think it is interesting to see the changes of readership periodically!

Thank you! Readers, for all your support!

Dexterine Ho Soo Miang

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Respecting one another as individuals

As a society, we have come to a point where people too often treat one another as objects and opportunities, rather than as fellow human beings.

Respecting one another as individuals, or not doing so, seriously impacts the future for all of us.

-- Gail Pursell Elliott

In life, we keep relationship and make friends who respect us.

In any relationship or friendship, no one like to be treated as objects or opportunities.

If you are able to treat others like the way you like to be treated, you will be a good friend to many and have your friendship grow throughout your life time!

If you treat friends like objects and opportunities, and discarded them along your way when they are not your handy tools, you will have friends who makes you feel hurt as you are just tools, objects and opportunities to them.

What you have in your mind mirror outward. Birds of a feather flock together, and you will attract only like-minded.

You exercise your choice of friends and your friends will do the same!


Dexterine Ho Soo Miang

Monday, December 19, 2011

We are what we do now and then!

The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.

-- Mike Murdock


I remembered my ex-NIE colleague, Ms Ivy Soh said "We are what we eat!" in the coach during our China Educational Tour in the mid 1980's.

I see her wisdom in the words she shared with the tourmates. Hence since then, I am observing this phrase daily!

In general, we are what we do now and then! Everything goes in a cycle and some cycle are within your own control.

If you what to find the cause of what you have now, look at your daily routine now and then, the answer is there!

If you do not want the same outcome, just change your daily routine from now on.

It is just as simple!

Yet, habit takes time to change and if you embark on making the change, you know how difficult or easy to you!


Dexterine Ho Soo Miang

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Do it extraordinarily well

Success is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.

-- Jim Rohn

Librarianship is an ordinary job to most of the common folk. Just be able to read and enjoy reading, you will be a librarian.

Nevertheless, most of the librarians who are outstanding among the peers, have walk the ordinary path with extraordinarily commitment!

In fact, in any career, you can be a successful person by doing the ordinary daily routine extraordinary well!

Try your best and be successful, at least, you feel that you are!

Try it everyday, you will be!


Dexterine Ho Soo Miang

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Rules of work: simplicity, harmony and opportunity.

Three Rules of Work:

Out of clutter find simplicity;

from discord find harmony;

in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

- Albert Einstein

Friday, December 16, 2011

Organization and Creativity

Sometime, I have to hack my way through lots of clutter and disarray, and I know it's time to clean things up.

If the mess gets into my way and prohibits my work flow, that mess is not what I usually claimed: "organized" or "creative" mess.

At this point, I will make organization my own system priority. That can be a major or minor project depending on the needs and time available.

Since I cannot get much done on that day without finding a path to access what I needed, that is the time I have to focus on things that are unwanted "mess" and change it to "organized mess" or "creative mess".

When I get my "organized" or "creative" mess settled on that day, I will be very pleased and contented to navigate through the "organized or creative path" even though other may find the area remains in chaos.

I think it is hard for other to understand the concept of focus with "organized" or "creative" mess around one surrounding/environment, unless whose people are like-minded.

I like to live in the clear environment, yet have high tolerance for seeing and working with "mess" on my desk.

In my life as Librarian and Lecturer, most of the professionals I work with can be classified into two big groups:

One with an organized table/desktop

One with "organized or creative" mess on the table/desktop

To me, working with both groups are equally pleasant, so long as they can get things done and find things they want and need at the critical moment!

If you cannot tolerate mess, you just have to work with one group and not the other. In the long run, you will find something missing in your life and work.

I am glad that I have the open concept on "organization" and "creativity", I look into their mind and soul, and not just what is on their desk top!


Dexterine Ho

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2012 LAS WSQ course schedule

LAS WSQ Level 2 Courses Schedule is shown above, click on the image and enlarge it to a full screen size.

Alternatively, you may view the LAS Training Page on the web:

Announcement for registration is about one month before the scheduled date, you may visit the Training page and follow the instructions to register for the course.

These courses will be useful for:

*Individuals who have been working as support staff in library and information organisations but have yet to acquire formal library and information qualifications

*Individuals who are seeking qualification to enter library and information organisations as support staff

The above courses are trained by experienced professional Librarians from various library institutions in Singapore who have also completed the WDA approved Advanced Certificate in Training and Assessment (ACTA), which is a pre-requisite for those who wish to develop, train and assess the programmes in the WSQ framework.

Candidates who are assessed as competent will receive a Statement of Attainment issued by WDA and LAS.

For candidates that have successfully completed all 5 programmes will be eligible to receive a WDA Higher Certificate in Library and Information Services (HCLIS).

Source of information:

Support General Reference and Enquiry Work: Registration Opens

This afternoon, I just shared the email verbally with course participants of LAS WSQ Provide Loans and Membership during their afternoon tea break.

Here is the full details I promised them, and hope you, as reader of the blog, get the same inforamtion:

Subject: REGISTRATION OPENS- LAS WSQ Support General Reference and Enquiry Work (Jan 2012)
To: Date: Tuesday, 13 December, 2011, 12:04 PM

Dear Members

LAS is pleased to organize the sixth run of the WSQ/LAS Level 2 training for Support General Reference and Enquiry Work on 10 - 11 Jan 2012.
This 2 day course will be held at NTU@OneNorth (map).


This is one of the 5 competency based programmes at entry level which together form the WSQ Higher Certificate in Library and Information Services.

Important Note:
§ Upon successful registration for the training, you will receive a confirmation message & email.
§ The registration page will also display a message when the class is full. You will not be able to key in personal particulars when this happens.
§ The course fees are listed here.
§ On enrolment, you are deemed to have committed to both the training and proposed assessment dates.
§ Participants or institutions who wish to withdraw from an enrolled course must submit reason(s) in writing to Where notice of withdrawal is given before the start of the course, an administrative fee of $25 is payable to facilitate the withdrawal from the course.
§ Please view full Terms & Conditions for LAS WSQ Level 2 courses.

For more information on the module, please refer to the training page.
Registration will close with maximum of 17 registrants.

Organized by:
LAS Training & Development Committee


Monday, December 12, 2011

Visit to NUS Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library & NUS Business School

Today I joined the LAS Programmes and Social Committee to visit the Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library and Mochtar Riady Building, a flagship building of the NUS Business School.

About Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library

The Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library (HSSML) is a Special Library within the National University of Singapore Libraries.

It started its operation in 1987 and was named in memory of the late Mr Hon Sui Sen (1916-1983), former Minister for Finance of Singapore (1970-1983).

The Library collects and maintains a rich collection of management, business and finance books, journals, audiovisual materials and digital resources. It serves primarily students and faculty members from School of Business. It completed a face lift renovation last semester, i.e., March 2011.

Highlights of the day:

Date: 12 Dec 2011 (Monday)
Time: 3.00pm to 5.20pm
Meeting point: Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library (HSSML) Information Desk

3.00 – 3.30pm: Registration and Networking Tea
3:30 – 4.30pm: Overview of Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library and Library Tour
4:30 – 5.00pm: Tour of the NUS Business School (Mochtar Riady Building)

Registration is on a first-come-first served basis and limited to LAS members only.
The group size is limited to 20. I am glad to be one of them and met many friends and counterparts from various libraries.

Location map of NUS HSSML

With the briefing from the NUS Librarians and the staff from Business School who guided us for this tour, I gained more insight into the changes Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library has since 1987. As I used to visit the library when my UK classmate was working there in the 90s. This visit refreshed my memory. Nevertheless, the new impression I now have of HSSML is very different from what I hold in my "databank of 1990s".

Some major changes are:

* Increase of reading and learning space: the seating capacity is now up to over 200, additional discussion rooms and student activities areas are created from staff office from basement to level 3. This is to meet the needs of students for project works/group discussion.

* Multiple "power points"are available on all reading tables to meed the computing needs of the students.

* Periodical and book shelves from Level 1 and 2 were removed and housed at the top level.

* Integrating "Info Common" room/area with commercial computer printing/photocopying service.

* Increase total floor space by converting the roof top garden and cooling plants area to "Quiet Rooms" etc.

* Use of "QR codes" for coding 20 tier-one current journals and allow the use of smart mobile phone to do scanning and auto login/searching via NUS Library OPAC LINC (Library INtegrated Catalogue). As the journal "title" is embedded in the QR codes, no typing is necessary and that makes searching easy. Users just take a photo of the QR code and with some finger tapping, they get to browse the OPAC records. If the OPAC records are linked to EBSCOhost, users may also browse the issues and get the articles directly in future.

Notes: one can create QR code at

NUS Business School (Mochtar Riady Building)

The Business School in NUS, built in 2009, is a fairly new building in NUS. It is just at the turn of a corner when we step out of the library. With the help of the staff from the business school who guided us from floor to floor, we have a chance to enter many seminar rooms, staff lounges and enjoy the views of the surrounding building in NUS through the glass wall of this new building.

The open and over 120 degree horizontal view the various lounges provide made many LAS member recalled their impression of the

The view is different, of course, yet the feel is rather similar. I think all the architects within the same decade may have the same approach in creating experience to the users of the building.

Some of the LAS members being "Green" and environmental friendly, do feel that the glass partitions in the building and the glass wall around it, can be rather costly for long term maintenance.

Most of the LAS members like the look and feel. Yet, most of us feel luck that we do not need to think about paying for the utilities.

I think the students in the Business School are the fortunate one as the building have areas that are accessible 24 hours and that will make them feel very much at home any time all year long.

Most of the LAS member was impressed to see the building and its spacial rooms for different uses. Yet having to cool the entire glass building over 12 hours is costly. If there is a energy saving way to bring down the cost, this type of design, which look attractive to the eyes, would become very popular in the future.

I do wish I can be student again to enjoy the excellent facilities and services provided by the Library and School management.

Visiting two sites and tour different floors in the building create opportunity to exercise our legs this afternoon. Our physical body are rather tire at the end of the visit at 5.20pm, yet, we are ontented and feel thankful!

Thanks to the Librarians in Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library and LAS Programmes and Social Committee who takes times to organize this visit. Thanks too for the library staff who prepare a a nice tea reception, with nice home-made mee siam, cookies and cakes etc before we start the tour!

A big "Cheers" to all!

Dexterine Ho Soo Miang

Source of information: email from, dated 22 Nov 2011.

Eligibility for Professional Development Scheme (PDS) Points:
This activity attracts 46 points under the Industry Knowledge Development (ID) category - "Study visit to other libraries (local and overseas)"

Saturday, December 10, 2011

YWCA Christmas Bazaar: A Giving Day for All

YWCA Christmas Bazaar today at Fort Canning Lodge is from 10am to 6pm.

As one of the vendor, Norliza and I came in at 9am t0 9.30am to set up our "Stall 30" on level 2.

We are among the 40+ non-food stalls in the ballroom on the 2nd level of Fort Canning Lodge (FCL). Food stalls are on the ground level in the courtyard with some on the 2nd level outside the ballroom.

Bazaar coupons was used as the method of payment. Coupons can be purchased at the head office at Outram Road before 10 Dec or at the reception areas of Level 1 and 2 today.

Proceeds from each stall were counted and a cheque will be sent to the respective vendors approximately a week after the Bazaar.

Counting of the coupons were staggering at 3 different time slots, namely at 1pm, 4pm and at 6pm at the end of the Bazaar. Counting was done and verified by YWCA staff and the stall vendor.

As coupons are in denominations of $1, we were advised to have our items sold and priced in dollars as no change in cents is possible.

The Christmas Bazaar today, according to the organizer, is bigger and better than last year. Many games stalls run by YWCA were there to attack pre-schoolers and young children. Singing performances, carolling and photo-taking with Santa and the Star Wars Troopers were some of the highlights that make the day filled with Christmas joys!

I share the joys of the Bazaar, and it is a day of giving and sharing for all of us!

I see this Christmas Bazaar a way to promote and create awareness of the courses on "Innovative Displays for Library and Classroom" at and share my paper cutting and pop-up card ideas with the kids at the nominal fee of $1 for one A4 paper crafting experience.

For most of the stall owner, if they are thinking of earning from this one day event "YWCA Christmas Bazaar" would make them feel disappointed, on the contrary, if they see it as an event and opportunity to give away their time, skills, goods or clear some of their home storage space, it is a GOOD day! That will make the day memorable!

My surprise for the day was to meet my Nephews' families and have a fee-based Art and Craft session with two grand-nieces and the only grand-nephew.

As the joys of doing paper art and pop-up card were so contagious, their classmates joined in and do the art and craft on the stage. My friend, Fion's daughter's interest is also being aroused and join in the fun after the kids' session were over.

With Norliza who prepared fruit cake for our lunch and my oranges for our in between break, we have a "Full" and enjoyable day.

I like the "Chinese New Year" scarf Norliza gave me as a present, and I hope she will like the pop-up card with heart shapes "in and out" and star all over to shine her day in and out!

When I was home in the evening, I was happy to continue with my grand nieces and grand nephew on their art and craft session.

And guess what? They still ask me why I was there as it hard to believe that I was there to create fun craft for them.

It was a great surprise to them in the afternoon and equally surprising for other siblings who learn about the event at dinner time.

I think today is a "Giving Day" for all as both my Nephews' families spent a total of $100 at the Bazaar. The pre-school teachers have a great way of promoting the Christmas Spirit by selling coupon through influencing Kids in YWCA branches!

Friday, December 09, 2011

Europe's Digital Library, Europeana and The Germam National Library

This afternoon, I attended the talks by Dr Elisabeth Niggemann, Director General of the German National Library (Deutsche Nationalbibliothek).

This event is jointly organised by Goethe-Institut, the Digital Libraries Group of the Library Association of Singapore and Professional & International Relations, NLB.

With the insight of the speaker, first, I learned more about Europeana, Europe’s digital library, archive and museum and initiatives. In the second half of the talk, I have the opportunity of hearing the approaches the German National Library are adopting against the backdrop of digital revolution as the library celebrates its 100th anniversary next year.

Here are some details of the two talks:


Date: 9 Dec 2011, Friday
Venue: Possibility Room, Level 5, National Library Building

Programme Outline

3.00pm Registration

4.15pm Light Refreshments


Europeana is the name the portal that integrates the digitized holdings of Europe’s libraries, archives, museums and audiovisual collections. Currently it gives access to 20 million items held by 1.500 content providers.

Apart from being an aggregator, Europeana is also playing an important role as a facilitator and a distributor and it is engaged in many topics like standards, open linked data, public domain, copyright etc.

4.15pm Registration

5.30pm End of Programme


The German National Library will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2012. The tasks today are not very different from the tasks 100 years ago. What has changed dramatically are the publications and the processes (technical and organizationally) in the workflow. Constant change is necessary to cope with the digital revolution.

Speaker’s Profile

Dr Elisabeth Niggemann is the Director General of the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (German National Library) in Leipzig and Frankfurt am Main.

In 1987 she started her career as a librarian at the German Central Library for Medicine in Cologne as head of the acquisitions department.

In 1989 she became head of the cataloguing and subject indexing department at the University and State Library at the Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf.

In 1994, she became the director of the Düsseldorf University and State Library. She came into her present position in 1999.

She has been involved in many national and international working groups and committees. Until recently she was Chair of the Board of Directors of CENL (Conference of European National Librarians), and Chair of the Europeana Foundation.

She is a member of the Board of Trustees of OCLC and a member of several Advisory Councils, a Board member of the “Stiftung Buchkunst” and one of the editors of the “Zeitschrift für Bibliothekswesen und Bibliographie”.

Source of information:
Email from dated 29 November 2011.

LAS Professional Development Scheme (PDS) Points: 46
(Applicable only to librarians who are participants of PDS)

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The Services of the National Library of China

Today, I attended the following professional talk organized by Professional & International Relations (PIR), NLB.

Topic : The Services of the National Library of China (delivered in Mandarin)
Speaker : Mr Sun Yigang, Assistant Director-General, National Library of China
Date : 7 Dec 2011, Wednesday
Time : 3.30pm – 5.00pm (Please be seated by 3.15pm.)
Venue : Possibility Room, Level 5, National Library Building

Mr Sun Yigang is the Assistant Director-General of the National Library of China (NLC). He leads a delegation of five senior NLC staff for a visit to NLB and I felt very privileged to have a chance to listen to his speech today.

This is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to learn about the services offered in NLC, one of the many fast-developing libraries in Asia.

Synopsis of Talk
This presentation mainly introduces the services of the National Library of China, which include the service structure and modes to the general public, libraries and government bodies. The services of the NLC refer to public services, reference services, digital library services, etc.


Speaker’s Profile
Mr Sun Yigang was born in March 1961 in Qingdao, Shandong Province. He is a research librarian. He graduated from Department of Optics, Shandong University with bachelor degree in July 1983, and graduated from Computer Science and Engineering Department, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics with master degree in March 1996. He joined People's Liberation Army in July 1983 after he graduated from university, and had successively worked in Institute of Artillery Equipment and Technology, General Staff Department, and Weapon System Integrated Demonstration Research Institute, General Armament Department.

He was transferred to the National Library of China in July 2000, and then had successively acted as director of NLC Information & Network Department, vice-general manager of China Digital Library Corp., Ltd, director of NLC Scientific Research Division, Centennial Events Office, Computer & Network System Department, and General Office. He was appointed NLC Assistant Director-General in November 2010.



Source of information: email from dated 24 Nov 2011

LAS Professional Development Scheme (PDS) Points: 46 (Applicable only to librarians who are participants of PDS)

Telling the Library Story

When I visit the facebook page of LAS (Library Association of Singapore) today , I read with interest "Telling the Library Story - Another way to rebrand the image of Library Professional in ASEAN" with the following details:

Check out on the resources shares ...
WebJunction - Public Relations

Libraries and story go together like bread and butter. The library is full of stories in all formats and storytelling for all ages, but how well does the library tell its own story? The first step is to understand the intrinsic power of stories and what can be achieved through telling them. The next...

Many a time, the story of the library is told from the readers' perspective, and it is the only way, non librarian, can relate to library as a user/reader.

To promote and create awareness of library services, it is common for librarians to do the same. After all, librarians are user-friendly and very service-orientated.

To me, the story of Library and Library Professionals from the inner circle, is equally interesting and important!

Telling the story of Library Association of Singapore can start with the focus of LAS at each AGM. To trace the discussion of LAS AGM, we have good official sources that documented the proceedings and annual activities: Minutes of the LAS Annual General Meeting and Annual Reports.

Here are some current years' minutes and annual reports on LAS official web page:

For examples:

Minutes of the LAS Annual General Meetingheld on 14 May 2011 (Saturday) at 10.00am at Hotel Furama City Centre.

MINUTES OF THE LAS ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING Held on 29 Mar 2008 (Saturday) at 2.00pm at Singapore Polytechnic.

The oldest records of minutes and annual reports on the web is 2007, the most current one is 2011.

With that, we can trace some LAS and local library development, not just with our poor memory, but with printed source to counter-check and cross-reference!

Dexterine Ho

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

It takes courage to break the rules!

In life, breaking rules required courage!

When you have ideas that challenges the conventional way of doing things, critics will come out to discredit you!

They will ridicule and belittle your ideas and make your ideas not creditable.

Yet, if you see what others don't see, you will have self-confidence and inner strength to ignore critics and pursue your vision.

Critics are people who are comfortable with the status quo and afraid of the changes.

Changes that your ideas bring about make them feel threaten.

Hence, expect to be criticized when you break the rules.

Don't take it personally, as they are attacking ideas that make them feel uneasy and not you!

Being the carriage for the ideas, you will feel hurt in person. That is also your own view, as they will attack anyone who bring the ideas to their knowledge, you are just treated as a carriage, not a person!

Dexterine Ho

Monday, November 28, 2011

When Nations Remember 2' Conference

Photo: courtesy of Singapore Memory Project, Nation Library of Singapore

I was excited to attend ‘When Nations Remember 2’ Conference" today at at the River Room, level 2, Asian Civilisations’ Museum today.

Being forgetful and have to return home to get my hand phone, I was there late (at 9.40am) and miss the opening countdown of ‘3,2,1’.

I was delighted to catch up with some library counterparts, ex-students of TP and many good friends who volunteer in the project, i.e., Belinda Tan, Daisy Yeo, James Seah, Joyce Shum, Lily Wong, Patricia Lee, Peter Chan, Rosie Wee and Zahra Aljunied.

I miss some part of Gene Tan's Speech, and here is the main points of the speech by Dr Yaacob Ibrahim:



* When Prime Minister Lee announced the Singapore Memory Project (SMP) during his National Day Rally earlier this year, we had only about 30,000 stories and memories. In slightly over three months, this has grown to more than 220,000 contributions. I hope we are on track to become a nation of storytellers. This tremendous increase in contributions is testimony to how this project has touched Singaporeans and all who feel a part of Singapore.

* ... like to applaud the enthusiastic efforts of all our partners – more than 90 academic, research and library institutions, heritage agencies, public agencies, private entities and community organisations; almost 100 volunteers, our Memory Corps, who come from all walks of life; as well as members of the public who contributed directly to the website who made this possible. The range and diversity of partnerships reflect wide community participation and ownership.

* ... grateful for the strong support and assistance extended to us by our Memory Corps who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes. By selflessly giving your time, playing roles from curator to connector, you have made the wider collection of memories possible.

* Everyone Can Contribute

* ... the SMP team collaborated with RediscoverSG, who are four young Singaporeans passionate about chronicling life in Singapore, to gather stories on the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station. The public responded positively to the iremember KTM initiative with their contributions of personal stories and photographs.

* Partners, like the Ministry of Education Heritage Centre and the Academy of School Teachers, also extended their support through the “iremembermySchoolDays” initiative, which gathered many school-day memories.

* Besides contributions from organisations and groups, the SMP team told me that we also have entries from abroad, all the way from the United Kingdom as well as Japan, with stories stretching from the 1930s to present day. For instance, Ms Fiona Hodgkins, who first came to Singapore from England in 1975 as a nine year old, shared her memories on growing up in Singapore during her early years, of learning to eat curry and visiting the Dutch club (as the British Club did not exist then) until her family left when she was 17 years old. There is also the story of Ms Wang Hui Ling, who is now residing in Japan, who shared her memories on the Hello Kitty craze in 2000, something that will be familiar to those of us who are young at heart.

* Sharing our memories with the generations to come

* The SMP is not just about building a database of memories or stories. Each memory helps to add to the collective that enriches our understanding and experience of our past.

* I remember when I was a kid, we were issued with the POSB “Save At School” stamp card with empty boxes for pasting postage stamps, and we would use our savings to buy 5-cent or 10-cent stamps to paste onto the card. When we complete the card with 20 stamps, we will give it to the school which will send it in to the bank, and it adds to our savings account. Till today, I still have a POSB account.

* The SMP aims to do the same – for every Singaporean to start the habit of saving. But, in this case, we are saving our memories and depositing them into a shared memory bank for ourselves, our children, grandchildren, and for others to enjoy, and more importantly, to enrich their lives.

* ... look forward to everyone’s support to achieve the target of collecting 5 million memories by 2015.

* Launch of PictureSG -- an online collection of images, whether artworks or photographs, showcasing the socio-cultural and historical development of Singapore. I think this is a wonderful initiative by NLB, because pictures say a thousand words. With this, the public can now share his image, include a description or even add a tag to it, so that people can understand and appreciate the image. Like the website, the SMP will insure this for posterity so that future generations can draw from these memory accounts and continue to be inspired by the stories of Singapore and her past.

* Today’s event shows that we care about everything that affirms our identity in Singapore, that we want to do our part to recollect for posterity what we remember. These efforts will draw us closer together as a nation and leave a legacy for future generations.


The programmes that make an imprint in my mind are:

Memory Corps Lai Tuck Chong and Low Jiaxin's sharing on their experience in documenting the memories of a group of water heritage pioneers. The "Documenting memories of PUB Ex-Water Treatment Plant in Johor" have a group of Six PUB staff from the former Water Treatment Plants in Johor interviewed, captured in a seven minute video. I like the way "CEO" is being used to name "Chief Entertaining Officer", that shows the PUB staff have light-hearted and life-warming way of making heavy project a joyful process!.

Youth Project: RediscoverSG by A group of NTU students: Derek Foo, Elizabeth (Lizzy) Lee, Lim Song Lip and Jeremy Tan. I was touched by the introduction of the "The Unseen/Unsaid" 10-part mini series. The two mini espisodes Lizzy shown to the audience narrate everyday Singaporeans' life through forgotten trades and places. "Unseen/Unsaid allow viewers a glimpse into the personal struggles of individual Singaporeans whose stories draw a parallel with the surrounding places and landscapes".

As Lizzy put it "The 10-part series is born out of a desire to preserve the fragments of Singapore’s past that is rapidly being replaced by new developments." I like Episode 9 on Satay Boy in Tiong Bahru, and it was not shown at the conference. Being a resident in Tiong Bahru Estate for over 30 years, This video on ‘Ah Pui Kia’ at "wanders the neighbourhood with his pushcart; a cart that had seen much of the excitement and vigour of the past" is very closed to my heart. Satay boy had grown from a young boy 3o years back to a middle age man now, and he still visit our block everyday to sell satay in the late afternoon.

Uncovering the legacy of a Nation through Memory Documentation by Pauline Loh ( let us have some insight of Robinson Fire in 1972. Her interview with Mr Robert Tan (My friend, Ms Rosalind Tan's brother) on stage makes history told in an interactive mode. I could hear the event being told from someone who were working there. Pauline also documented his father in-law's life journey before he passed away. From the second stage interview with her daughter, we see how younger generation translate and understand "match making" in the real sense. I think Pauline have the best gift for her daughter and it is something many family in Singapore may miss unintentionally.

There are other sharing on Geylang and MOE Heritage Centre etc in the afternoon, and I know I will have more to re-discover Singapore in the coming year!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The WSQ Experience for Library Support Staff

After doing the assessment on 27 Jun 2011 for LAS WSQ Level 2 M3 Support Bibliographic Control for a group of NIE staff, I was invited to take a group photo with some of the support staff who were on duty that day:

Back row, from Left to right: Sean Lee Wee Leong, Pauline Ang Noi Joo, Tazila Bte SUFA'AT, Karen Tan Siew Kheng, Eunice Lee Yong Cho

Front row, from Left to right: Dexterine Ho Soo Miang, Khairun-Nisa Bte Samsun, Lucy Ng Moey Soon, Soh Seow Leng, Selina Chan Ying Loy, Clarice Thu Jan Phin

Photographer: Mr Wong Shao Mun


Today, it is encouraging for me to click on the link below and view the comments and feedback from NIE support staff who attended the LAS WSQ Level 2 course:

The WSQ Experience for Library Support Staff 05 Aug 2011

"Over the years, library paraprofessional staff have expressed the wish for some form of certification programme. To this end, the Library Association of Singapore (LAS) and the Workforce Development Agency (WDA) have collaborated to produce the first-ever Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) for library support staff.

This new initiative has received a very good response from the NIE Library support staff - more than 60% have already received at least 3 WDA/LAS Statements of Attainment."


"Participants of the programme found the training useful. The course content either acted as a refresher for what they already knew, or provided exposure to other areas of library work they were not familiar with. Participants also enjoyed interacting with library officers from other institutions and sharing their work experiences.

According to our survey, a majority of staff would recommend the five WDA/LAS Level 2 programmes to any current library support staff or those keen to take up library work. Some agreed that getting a certificate would be ideal for people without a diploma, if they had the assurance that the certification would be recognised by the industry."

To read the fulltext of this blog, visit:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Journey of the Book

Follow one book in high-speed from arrival at the library through processing and onto the shelf.

Journey of the Book
University of Illinois Libraries

If I had found this video before my Bib Control training last week, I could had saved a lot of time detailing the process to candidates who had no or little cataloguing experience.

Nevertheless, I think using the analogy of "I am a book" to share the journey of a book, and describe how it is being "accession", "bar coded", "classified", "label with call number" and put on the shelf is an interesting role play that I enjoy acting.

The humour of a talking and walking book which lead the tour of the journey also created a different impact on the audience!

Dexterine Ho

LibraryThing: Future of Cataloging

I was looking for some references for Bib Control and found the followings:

Future of Cataloging (1/2) by Tim Spalding at LibraryThing
Part one of his 18-minute screencast on the "future of cataloging" for a panel at the American Library Association's 2008 conference.

Future of Cataloging (2/2) by Tim Spalding at LibraryThing
Part two of his 18-minute screencast on the "future of cataloging" for a panel at the American Library Association's 2008 conference.

What is LibraryThing?

"LibraryThing is a cataloging and social networking site for book lovers."

"LibraryThing helps you create a library-quality catalog of books: books you own, books you've read, books you'd like to read, books you've lent out ... whatever grouping you'd like."

"Since everyone catalogs online, they also catalog together. You can contribute tags, ratings and reviews for a book, and Common Knowledge (facts about a book or author, like character names and awards), as well as participate in member forums or join the Early Reviewers program. Everyone gets the benefit of everyone else's work. LibraryThing connects people based on the books they share."

"LibraryThing is a cataloging and social networking site for book lovers."

Vital Statistics

Members 1,438,185
Books cataloged 67,994,471
Tags added 81,646,419
Unique works 6,455,425

Reviews 1,562,100
Works reviewed 532,191
Ratings 10,952,825
User-contributed covers 2,725,722
Author photos 42,548

Groups 7,830
Talk topics 117,252
Talk messages 2,994,270
Talk touchstones 2,036,262

Free books given out
Early Reviewer books given out 94,952
Member Giveaway books given out 94,414
Total free books given out 189,366

Source of above information:

I think it is a new trend in cataloguing personal library collection, and from the statistics, it is gaining popularity!

"Enter 200 books for free, as many as you like for $10 (year) or $25 (life)." It is easy to start free and affordable even if you want to join "Life" membership!

I run a search on "Singapore" and it returns with "About 1,976 results". The hit list included a lot of travelling guides and some good reference titles and good local imprints.

It is interesting to browse the library owners' profile and get to know people who collect books that you like. The library owner are book lover and willing to catalogue them and share their reading interest!

Dexterine Ho

Thursday, November 10, 2011

OCLC record: Ho Soo Miang: part 4

Source of information:,%20soo%20miang

General public who has no access to OCLC Cataloguing Account, can do a google search and may also get WorldCat records. If they know how to access WorldCat direct via, they can find the records with much ease.

The search at is like OPAC search. Viewers can read the full records, but cannot have access to MARC format.

The search at that we use in LAS WSQ Level 2 Support Bibliographic Control allows trainees to view MARC records and get links on MARC tags and fields/subfields.

I did a few google searches tonight and noted that under "何舒敏", "Soo-Miang Ho" or "Ho Soo Miang", and "新加坡最早的華文日報 : 叻報 (1881-1932)" I was led to the above WorldCat summary for all my works in various editions, held by 9 +3 libraries worldwide.

Here are the first records I found with OCLC record number:

1 edition published in 1979 in Chinese and held by 3 libraries worldwide

In summary, my work on the history of Lat Pau has a total of 6 records in OCLC WorldCat and they are:

新加坡最早的華文日報 : 叻報 (1881-1932) by 何舒敏( Book )1 edition published in 1979 in Chinese and held by 3 libraries worldwide
OCLC record number: 51791659

新加坡最早的華文日報 : 叻報 (1881-1932) by 何舒敏( Book )1 edition published in 1979 in Chinese and held by 0 libraries worldwide

OCLC Number: 31786713

Hsin-chia-pʻo tsui tsao ti Hua wen jih pao, Le pao, 1881-1932 = The earliest Chinese newspaper of Singapore, the Lat pau, 1881-1932

published in 1979 in Chinese and held by 1 libraries worldwide

OCLC Number: 663453095

Xin jia bo zui zhao di Hua wen ri bao : Le bao.

Book : Document : Chinese

Additional Physical Format: Print version (OCoLC)68323652

OCLC Number: 551706987

Master and use copy. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002.
Other Titles: Earliest Chinese newspapers.
Contributing Library: University of Michigan

新加坡最早的華文日報, 叻報, 1881-1932 /Xinjiapo zui zao de Hua wen ri bao, Le bao, 1881-1932

= The earliest Chinese newspaper of Singapore, the Lat Pau, 1881-1932 / Ho Soo Miang
OCLC Number: 10133172

It is an interesting experience for me to explore OCLC WorldCat and OCLC Connexion. With this experience, I am able to understand and appreciate detailed cataloguing works done by cataloguers in various countries.

Cheers for the day! Even though I am rather exhausted now!

Dexterine Ho

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

OCLC record: Ho Soo Miang: part 3

While searching for cataloguing example for MARC tag 041 "Language Code" to clear the doubt of one candidate for Module 3 Support Bibliographic Control this evening, I found with joy the following OCLC record number "654390268" of my previous work:

The earliest Chinese newspaper of Singapore, the Lat Pau, 1881-1932
新加坡最早的華文日報: 叻報 (1881-1932)

041 is being used:

041 0_ $a chi $b eng

in this case:

First Indicator
Translation indication
0 - Item not a translation/does not include a translation

Subfield Codes
$a - Language code of text
$b - Language code of summary or abstract

Source of information:

To enlarge the image, just click on it:

In addition, I noted that the item is now available from Google Book.

Even though it is not available for sale, its content is available for searching using the search box "From inside the book" or browsing via the following keyword index:

The earliest Chinese newspaper of Singapore, the Lat Pau, 1881-1932

新加坡最早的華文日報: 叻報 (1881-1932)

Common terms and phrases:
上海 中國 中華 今後 分類目 文藝欄 日報 日期 主筆 以爲 出版 出現 本館 因爲 成爲 收費 早期 形式 來源 周年 東南亞 附錄 南洋大學 南洋商報 南洋第一報 南洋新聞 紀念 革新 馬六甲 馬華 停刊 副刊 專電 現存叻報 逝世 陳育崧 創刊 創辦 報導 報頭 報館 發展 華人社會 華文報業 華文報紙 華文敎 新加坡報業 新加坡華文 新報 經濟 葉季允 實業 影响 篇幅 編輯 諸君 論說 銷售數 薛有禮 啓事 爲了

When I click on "葉季允", the editor of the earliest Chinese newspaper of Singapore, the Lat Pau Press, I get the following texts:

1906 未见,因此笔者认为,在叶季允辞去编务〔 1904 〕之前,何渔古为叻报主笔之一, ... 同注 173 ,叶季允于二十一岁任叻报主笔,以其任期四十一年推算,逝世时实^应为六十 ...

Although the OCR (Optical character recognition) is not able to read and transcribe all the Chinese Characters in the text correctly, knowing that it is done and available in "Electronic Resource" is still a great discovery for me.

Hence, I think those who are interested in researching the earliest Chinese newspaper of Singapore will be able to source for my writing with ease via Google Books (!

Some trainees wanted to know if the same e-copy was available from NLB. So I did a search and found it in BOOKSG which had the entry with a different cover page show at

The first 12 pages are available for free preview:

The full-text of this title is available for viewing in digital format at the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library:

Singapore and Southeast Asian Collections
Lee Kong Chian Reference Library, Level 11
National Library Singapore
National Library Building
100 Victoria Street
Singapore 188064

Please approach the staff on duty at the Information Counter for assistance to view the item.

Source of information:

Cheers for the day!

Dexterine Ho