Search This Blog

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Blood donation: can I donate?

Today, I have some new discovery and new learning on blood donation.

I fixed an appointment online two days ago for blood donation and going through the screening process this afternoon.

In the screening process, I discover something new like "Can I donate?" and know more details on "Who can donate."

Health Science Authority encouraged donor to come forward and make a blood donation, nevertheless, it is good to view the following links to understand who will qualify as donor:

In addition, before making a donation, it is important that you take some time to view the links that may be relevant to you below:

I was not aware of the following when I do the booking online, and only learn it in person today:

"Please inform the attending doctor or nurse if you have been to:

United Kingdom or France

*Visited or lived in the United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man or the Channel Island) between 1980 and 1996 for a cumulative period of 3 months or more; ..."

As a post-graduate student from College of Librarianship, University of Wales, I was in UK for one academic year in the 1980s, hence, I fall under this caterogy and can not make any blood donation.

I recalled that in 1993, I had made a donation, and the nurse told me that it was before the discovering of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (vCJD or nvCJD), Mad Cow Diseases, and the screening criteria was not imposed then!

I will not be eligible to donate blood indefinitely (vCJD risk precaution) and that is something new I have learnt about my blood and eligibilities of donating blood in Singapore!

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri

In Singapore and Malaysia, Eid is more commonly known as "Hari Raya Aidilfitri", "Hari Raya Idul Fitri" or "Hari Raya Puasa".

Puasa means “Fasting”, basically refer to the fasting month (Ramadhan) preceding the Idul Fitri.

It is common to greet Malay/Muslim colleages and friends with "Selamat Hari Raya" or on "Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri" on Hari Raya holiday, In Singapore this yeare, it is today, 30 Aug 2011.

The usual greeting during Aidilfitri is “Selamat Hari Raya”, which means “Wishing you a joyous Hari Raya”. The holiday celebrates the conclusion of the twenty nine or thirty days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan.

This year, "Hari Raya" gives me a chance to learn something new, and appreciate the spirit of Singaporean "as one united people" in our pledge!

It all starts with my friend's operation being postponed after Hari Raya and the reason given by the doctor in hospital is:

"Our National Blood Bank is depleted in the fasting month!"

August is "Puasa" and so Muslims are not donating blood. Hence, our blood bank is running low as our Muslim group are our main blood donors!

Selamat Hari Raya!

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri!

It is the first time I joys with Muslim group with this new understanding and cheers for this Holiday with appreciation of their kind practice. (Other years, I may visit and greet them with the main activities centred on tasting and eating Muslim food and cookies.)

This Hari Raya also reminds me to do something similar in my agenda!

I think it is a way of sharing "regardless of race, language or religion!" Anyone in needs of blood in any operation in hospital will have the blessing of many anonymous Singaporean!

By the way, if you are thinking of donationg blood after reading this post, here is the opening hours of the blood bank:

Selamat Hari Raya!

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri!

Holiday is "Holy Day" and it is a ture holy day today for me to understand the Holy Spirit of our Muslim Friends!


Dexterine Ho

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Vtec and Civica

As one of the trainers for "Support General Reference" course held on Aug 2-3, I received the following enquiry from one of the trainees this week, as I find it would be helpful to others who have the same concern, I just post the details of the enquiry and my reply here:

Dear Dexterine,

I have enjoyed the workshop and find it very useful.

Thanks to you and the other trainer as well as all the participants who are very kind and enthusiastic to share their knowledge and experience!
On the other hand, may I ask if you have any database/software to recommend for our library management of about 800 book collections?   

Basically we are just using MS Excel to record, access and view our library collections which I’m not able to share the access with our students.

We also do not have the loan service at the moment. Our books are for reading inside library only. However, we have two computer terminals which students can use for internet browsing. It would be helpful if there is a database they can check through and be able to make a search for titles or authors from our book collection list rather than physically browsing through the shelves.

Your expert advice would be very helpful and greatly appreciated.

Thank you and have a nice day!

With best regards,

Signed by the trainee
Here is my reply:

When I was in Temasek Polytechnic, we have the Vtec systems to help us.
I think it is good for a small library to look at systems that do not cost a lot and Vtec is one of them.

During TP time, Vtec provided us with free access and support and it helped us to do training without worrying about budgeting for systems.

Nevertheless, it was 10 over years since I left TP and TP had closed the teaching department and no TP academic can give your any feedback on the system.

You may look at their web pages and get more info:

VTEC Systems (Asia) Pte. Ltd.- the dynamic portal in Library Management System.

Write to them to get more info!

However, in most schools in Singapore,

"A group led by Civica has been chosen to develop innovative learning technology for one of the five ‘FutureSchools’ in Singapore, in a $S80 million ($A61.9 million) four-year project ."

you may also make enquiry on their service to small library.

Hope the above info is helpful!


Dexterine Ho
(All the personal information in the email is being removed. The contents of the sender's email and my reply is being edited to make the enquiry and reply informative!)

Beauty in pearl

A pearl is a beautiful thing that is produced by an injured life.

It is the tear [that results] from the injury of the oyster.

The treasure of our being in this world is also produced by an injured life.

If we had not been wounded, if we had not been injured, then we will not produce the pearl.

-- Stephan Hoeller

Monday, August 08, 2011

Pulau Ubin

This visit was sometime back and not sure of the actual date, I think it Aug 2011

Today I joint the group from Buddhist Fellowship for Pulau Ubin tour.

Pulau Ubin, the island between mainland Singapore and Johor Malaysia provides a much-needed escapade from the hustle and bustle of city life in Singapore.

Being a lazy Singaporean, I only visit Pulau Ubin with groups.

My first visit was during my NJC's time. We were students who are being organised to do some treasure hunts and learnt how to read map and find places in the process. At the end of the day, we learnt to set up our camps for an overnight stay.

Being ladies, we had to struggle a lot before we could set up our camps in the wild. I think that was the first time for me to be away from home.

I remembered that we have to drink well water. Before we drink it, we were told to put some pills into the muddy and milky water so that it is better for our weak stomach.

That was the first time I treasured tap water and missed home food. The taste of the water was a bit funny, yet we were too thirsty to mind about it.

I recalled we cooked instant noodle using fire from the dry woods we collected. We collected brick and built our stove. That was easy as bricks were easy to find at that time.

Setting up camp fire was fun too! I like to watch the sudden sparkle flying as the dry wood is being lit. Dry woods were every where and easy to find. We had a warm night watch the camp fire, singing song and chatting till midnight fall.

In the middle of our sleep, the heavy rain flooded our camps and we are all wet. We have no choice but to wake up and chat through our night sleepily.

The second time I visited Pulau Ubin was with my library colleagues (Yun Chin and her Church friends). It was over 10 years from now.

We just have a day tour and exhausted ourselves with lot of leg work. It was a sunny day and we had packed our lunch and spend more than a morning there.

In between the walk, we had a short nap in the middle of the field. When I look at the photos we took, it look quite comfortable then.

Now it is my third visit. Today is Sunday, and it is very crowned at the jetty. I think the natural and rustic charm of Pulau Ubin draws large visitors on week ends and holidays as the idyllic setting is ideal for outdoor activities.

Our group organised by Buddhist Fellowship is blessed to have Ms Evelyn Ong to conduct the guided walk for us

The program for the guided walk is as follows:

0700 to 0730 am : Meet at the jetty at Changi Point

Yes, we start early in the morning. The meeting place is at Changi Point Ferry Terminal.

As I had not drove there for years, I stopped at two other jetty along Changi Coast Road before I found the right one. Parking at the open carpark in front of the Ferry Terminal on Sunday is free and that is the incentive for most of us who choose to drive there!

Notes from the organiser:

* If you are taking bus, the numbers are 2, 29, 59 and 109. The Bus Interchange is next to the Food Centre.

* If you plan to take your breakfast at the nearby Food Centre, do have a light one before taking the bumboat.

After conducting the headcount and briefing, we took the bumboat to Pulau Ubin. The ride was around ten minutes.

8.00 am
All the participants arrived at Pulau Ubin Jetty. Evelyn, volunteer guide at the NParks Information Counter give us an introduction of the island tour.

0745 hours
We commence our walk through the Sensory Trail which includes the Herbs Garden, through the rubber plantation and a visit to a domesticated wild boar, and finally to Chek Jawa on boardwalk.

1130 hours
Around this time, we break for lunch at the old kampong coffee shop.

1400 hours
The afternoon is free and easy...we'll explore The Lost World of P Ubin. This is reminiscent of the good old kampong days. Families and children will love this.

1600 hours
Return to the P Ubin jetty to take the bumboat back to Singapore shore.

1645 hours
A final brief before going home.

Here are some do's and don'ts to observe and details/things to do/bring:

1. Wear a comfortable pair of walking shoes/trainers and clothes.
2. Bring a bottle of water.
3. Extra pair of T-shirt.
4. Raincoat/poncho, just in case.
5. Mosquito repellent.
6. Sun block.
7. Snacks/fruits/energy bar/wet tissues, etc...
8. Mobile phone (on silent mode, pls).

We get close to nature and discover the Ubin's amazing diversity of plants and animals and it made today a beautiful day!

Saturday, August 06, 2011

WSQ/LAS Level 2 training for Support Collection Maintenance on 6 – 7 September 20

Here is what I received from LAS Secretary:

Dear members

LAS is pleased to organize the third run of the WSQ/LAS Level 2 training for Support Collectio Maintenance on 6 – 7 September 2011. This 2 day course will be held at Agatha Room, Toa Payoh Public Library.


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

For more information on the module, please refer to the training page at

The course fees are listed at

Registration will close with maximum of 17 registrants.


Upon successful registration for the training, you will receive a confirmation message and 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.


A note to all the course participants of LAS WSQ Level 2 Modules:

As LAS only email to members for all the course information and do not keep a mailing list for non members, participants of the LAS WSQ course may check LAS website or "like" LAS on facebook to get latest news and updates regarding the LAS WSQ course.

All the course schedule is on LAS website.

LAS run a course per month.

Registration also opens approximately 1 month in advance. So this will be a good guide for our participants.

From time to time, I will post the email I received from LAS and share it through my Blog.


Dexterine Ho

Believe in doing good!

People are often unreasonable and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.

If you are honest, people may cheat you.
Be honest anyway.

If you find happiness, people may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough.
Give your best anyway.

For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.

-- Dr. Kent M. Keith

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Support General Refence and Information Enquiry Work

Useful links for Day 2 -- Part 1

Union Catalogues:


Vitual Union Catalogue

Learning Activity 10

NTU Library

SMU Library

Learning Activity 11

After lunch "Aerobics for Upper Body and Arms"