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Monday, March 26, 2012

So much information all day long

Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.
-- Gertrude Stein (February 3, 1874 – July 27, 1946)

For some one who was born in 19th century, Gertrude Stein's insight on the interruption of information in daily life is even more valid in 21st century.

Today we live in a world with Internet that connected lot of information for our access and with social media that demand our personal time.

Social medias turn our life to fragmented pieces.  Time unit in our work is smaller and our work is like a  fabric for small patch work.

You need focus to piece information together to create meaning which is long lasting and valuable. A life patch work needs a focus theme, unique design and perseverance in the stitching process.

If you are just doing lot of connection without focus, all the e-stitching will be similar to the building of sand castle.  The beautiful things you build and all the unique features you painfully designed will be nice for the eyes, yet it is not long lasting.  New trends, will come and it will be like tide that wipes the sand castle away and leave no trace of of it.

Do you like to have to take more time, do more thought processing and create a meaningful patch work to warm your heart and soul, and make it a heirloom piece for the next generation!

Dexterine Ho Soo Miang

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March 15-17 PPM-LAS Conference

Attending the PPM-LAS Conference last week was a good social and academic holiday for me.

31 of us from Singapore made our way to Malacca for the PPM-LAS Joint Conference and the travel details were as follows:

Singapore to Malacca, Thurs 15 March 2012.
Time to meet: 1:45pm
Pick-up point: Kranji MRT, outside the Money Changer.
Exit the gates and turn left and you will see the money changer.
Drop-off in Malacca: Seri Costa Hotel and Hotel Mahkota only.

Malacca to Singapore, Sat 17 March 2012.
Time to meet: 5:00pm (Tentative)
Pick-up point: Seri Costa Hotel and Hotel Mahkota only. (Tentative)
Drop-off  in Singapore: Jurong East MRT/Bus interchange only at around 10pm.

The package I had was the "all inclusive twin-sharing package" which cost only S$210 as LAS sponsored coach transportation costs for all LAS Members.

Ms Janice Chia is the Chief Co-ordinator for our conference's trip, and with "her calm" and organised work, we all "felt very much at ease", quoting Mr Gene Tan's words!

Thanks Janice for her great job and LAS for sponsoring coach transportation!

I think my ex-colleague, Ms Yvonne Yin from NIE has brought back fond memories of the Malacca trip:
"I went bowling for the first time in my life! Soo Miang kindly told me to look for a no. 7 ball, which is the lightest, and showed me which fingers to insert into the holes. The 1st 2 balls were gutterballs (i.e., went into the drain/longkang), but I manage to down a skittle at the 3rd attempt! I was very touched to see Ms Sylvia Yap (NUS Chief Librarian) clapping enthusiastically!"

"On the way back, Mr Gene Tan (President, LAS) asked if we had enjoyed ourselves. I shouted "Yes", and Soo Miang said, "Especially Yvonne! She went bowling!" I added, "For the first time in my life!" Gene Tan apparently didn't catch what Soo Miang had said because he asked, "You went shopping for the first time in your life?" I started laughing, and it was Ms Sylvia Yap who said, "Bowling! She had a few strikes!"


Cheers to Yvonne for making the attempt!

I am sure there are more stories from other LAS members and I look forward to their sharing!
Notes: The official LAS blog has the full write-up:

LAS-PPM Conference Melaka 16 to 17 March 2012
Reported by Hilary Ho from NIE Library is posted on

Dexterine Ho Soo Miang
Updated LAS links on 27 March 2012

A book holds a house of Gold


The Arts House celebrates its 8th Anniversary, transforming into a House of Proverbs.
They named the theme 'A book holds a House of gold', and it encourages visitor to delve into the treasures of knowledge a book has to offer.
The information on the 2 days of exciting programmes is available at and visitors will stand a chance to win iPads and Kinokuniya vouchers when you participate in the crossword puzzle competition!
Here are some interesting programmes I like:
The Arts House \ 26 - 28 Mar
Artist: Yenn Ang

Yenn Ang’s paper sculptures and installations address the absence and presence of our memories; the fragility of things and a loss of wholeness in our physical and mental space. Proverbs, commonly a form of one’s language, culture and identity tend to get lost through the generations. Through her sculptures, Yenn attempts to forge and awaken these strong memories within us.

Yenn was an artist-in-residence at Sculpture Square last October.
Blue Room \ 28 Mar \ 9.30pm
Comics: Fakkah Fuzz, Jinx

Come let your funny bone be tickled by two local up-and-coming comedians! Fakkah Fuzz is possibly the last Malay comic to ever come out of Singapore and contrary to his name, Jinx’s deadpan comedy is anything but bad luck.

Fuzz was featured last July as part of New Word Order discussing his comedy writing.
Chamber \ 26 - 28 Mar \ 8pm
Poet: Jay Bernard
Musician: Bani Hakyal

... In an improvised music and poetry performance based on the Mandarin proverb, “I hear, I forget. I see, I remember. I do, I understand”, poet Jay Bernard and musician Bani Hakyal will explore the fluid relationship between teacher and student.

Jay is the first international recipient of the Creative Writing Residency jointly organised by the NUS University Scholars Programme and The Arts House.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fitting Facilities for Today’s Library Users

Today, I attended the seminar "Fitting Facilities for Today’s Library Users" at Li Ka Shing Library, Singapore Management University.

The speaker is Janine Schmidt, former Director of Libraries, McGill University and University Librarian at the University of Queensland.

I like her way of creating humours in her speech.  The bank of wisdom she shared on the factors to consider when planning library spaces for today’s users make my mind feel full and contended.  It is a fulfiling afternoon for me and I am sure those who have a chance to hear her will feel the same. 

Details of the seminar extracted from LAS Email notice are as follows:


Today’s users are plugging in, powering up and prowling the Internet. They communicate constantly, tapping and swiping.
Information and communication technologies and user behaviour and expectations are developing in a mobile, wireless, cloudy world. E-books are outselling real books and print journals have been displaced by e-journals.
Library design, once focused on the construction of monuments to knowledge, containers for vast print collections, places for products and processes rather than people, and hallowed halls for serious contemplation, has shifted to the creation of interactive spaces that interpret people’s way finding and information behaviour preferences.
What is the role of the space and the place? How do we ensure that today’s library meets the needs of today’s learners?
Speaker’s Biography

Janine Schmidt is Director, Mukurta Consulting, Brisbane, Australia and advises and consults on library facilities design and strategic planning, assisting libraries in change management and reviewing service delivery.

Janine was formerly Trenholme Director of Libraries, McGill University, and Montreal, Canada, where she led the re-shaping of library and information service delivery, including the revitalization of physical spaces. 

Other appointments include University Librarian at the University of Queensland and Director, Collection Services, State Library of New South Wales. Her qualifications include a B.A. (Q’land), M.Lib (UNSW) and completion of management training at the Australian Graduate School of Management. She has published widely and spoken extensively at conferences and is a Fellow of the Australian Library and Information Association.

Date:Wednesday, 14 March 2012
Time:3:30 to 5:30pm
Venue:Li Ka Shing Library, Singapore Management University, 70 Stamford Rd, Level 5

“Fitting facilities for today’s library users” by Janine Schmidt is available on Slideshare.

Source of information: Email from LAS and SMU Li Ka Shing Library

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Spirit vs circumstances

I find that it is not the circumstances in which we are placed, but the spirit in which we face them, that constitutes our comfort.

-- Elizabeth T. King