RESONANCE by wuyunqing


									                    Issue 3 • Oct - Dec 2007

a mica newsletter
 Adding value
in Singapore’s                  Libraries in Singapore
                                                             Empower SMEs
                                    have changed
  knowledge                                                  with knowledge

                                   Engage students          Learn Mandarin to
                                      of tomorrow              enhance your
                                   - Future Schools          competitive edge

 When reflections
  become form –                                               Snapshots –
  imagining our                                              events roundup
National Art Gallery

                                                         Editorial Board
 Dear Readers
                                                         K Bhavani
                                                         Grace Chiang
 Singapore is moving towards the next phase
 of development, where knowledge is fast
 becoming a key driver of productivity,
                                                         Diana Ng
 innovation and economic growth.
                                                         Jennifer Yin
                                                         Joanna Wong
 From students to mature workers and from
                                                         Karen Au-Yong
 man-in-the-street to enterprises, Singapore
                                                         Kevin Chew
 has embarked on a route to deliver and
                                                         N Varaprasad
 facilitate the exchange of ideas and knowledge.
                                                         National Library Board
 In this issue of Resonance, we put the spotlight
                                                         Thomas Lim
 on our new focus in creating new value through
                                                         Wong Wai Quen
 technology, information sharing and learning.
                                                         Photo Credits
 We hope you will learn new ideas and
                                                         Chan Sau Yau Associates
 explore new opportunities in building a
                                                         Ho + Hou Studio Architects
 knowledgeable society.
                                                         National Library Board
                                                         Speak Mandarin Council
 K Bhavani (Ms)                                          Studio Milou Architecture
 Chairperson, Resonance Editorial Board
Adding value
in Singapore’s
knowledge equation
By Dr N Varaprasad,
Chief Executive, National Library Board (NLB)

In his Budget Speech 2006, Prime Minister Lee        must remain relevant at every life stage of
Hsien Loong explained that “for Singapore to         a Singaporean and serve the unserved by
become a knowledge hub, we must not only be          broadening programmes and improving
a place for creating knowledge, but also be a        access to knowledge and creating learning
centre for exchanging knowledge and ideas, and       communities. At the same time, libraries must
for people and businesses to network with one        provide information and knowledge that will
another”. This succinctly describes the role of      bring about positive returns for Singapore
libraries in the new era. It captures the essence    and Singaporeans.
of NLB’s Library 2010 (L2010) strategy.
                                                     Libraries have gone beyond the static
As a nation constantly facing challenges and         collections of books to exploring dynamic
winds of change, Singapore’s survival and            content across different media to real-time
competitiveness hinges on its ability to evolve      information resource gathering. By adding
into a knowledge- and innovation-based               collaborative spaces and environments,
economy. We believe that lively social and           libraries are now able to stimulate innovation
intellectual interaction facilitates the creation    to deliver knowledge dividends to Singapore
of new knowledge. It encourages innovative           society. In addition, we support research and
uses of existing knowledge. In the coming years,     development by facilitating access to the world’s
knowledge and how it is used will become             knowledge through a network of regional
more critical as a social differentiator between     research libraries and information centres.
communities and nations.
                                                     Another important role is the deep preservation
Libraries play an important role in the              of published materials so as to keep our
knowledge equation in a number of ways.              national memories for eons to come. Our
They are seen as a key instrument of social          digital infrastructure will in time provide a
capital building, enterprise innovation and          robust preservation and access platform for
adaptive government.                                 electronic and digital content of yesteryear,
                                                     so that researchers in future will not face a
In the area of social capital building, libraries    black hole or digital amnesia. Web harvesting
are essential to lifelong learning for the general   already underway will help future generations
population. They help in nurturing a society         understand and appreciate the Singapore of the
of lifelong learners who can accelerate the          early 21st century. Add new search capabilities,
formation of intellectual capital. Libraries also    and L2010 will deliver new experiences to new
act as a resource for innovation by opening up       generations of web-savvy users.
new possibilities and ideas. Access to “trusted”
knowledge and a collaborative exchange               In time to come, borderless and time-unbound
platform via libraries would enable individuals      libraries will continue to chart new ground and
and organisations to become competitive in           reap significant knowledge dividends, so as to
the global marketplace. Organisations and            create a vibrant, creative and engaged society
companies must have access to real-time              in Singapore.
information to make pre-emptive decisions.
Libraries could act as the information gateway
to the world’s knowledge to facilitate swift

Armed with this understanding on the
imperative role of libraries in the knowledge
equation, NLB unveiled its strategic direction
in July 2005. The L2010 plan outlines the
transformation and future of libraries. Libraries
Libraries in
have changed

For many of us, our earliest memories of the           help Singapore remain competitive. Since NLB’s
National Library were that of scurrying for the        inception, the transformation of library services in
latest books, researching for new ideas and            Singapore has been extraordinary. Today, NLB’s
looking for a quiet spot to study in the former        network of libraries consists of the Lee Kong Chian
National Library building at Stamford Road. What       Reference Library, three regional libraries and 20
many do not know is that the history of libraries      community libraries.
goes as far back as the time when Singapore was
still a British colony.                                To reach out to all Singaporeans, NLB’s regional
                                                       and community libraries are strategically located
The Early Days                                         in housing estates across the island. Library
The journey of libraries in Singapore started          opening hours are extended to cater to user needs
in 1844 when a proprietary library called the          while a core collection is made available at each
Singapore Library was formed. In those days,           location and common to all libraries. A customer
the public had to pay $2.50 monthly to use the         can reserve a book and request the book to be
library. After a few years, the library committee      delivered to the branch of his choice at a nominal
was tasked to manage a museum together with            fee. Customers can also choose to return the
the library, thus expanding the library’s functions.   books at any branch.
The Singapore Library was officially renamed the
Raffles Library and Museum in 1874. The Raffles        Through the innovative use of technology and
Library separated from the museum and became           collaboration with strategic partners, NLB is able
an independent establishment in 1955.                  to offer customers a wide range of information
                                                       services and resources that are convenient,
Two years later, the Raffles National Library          accessible and useful. Since the 1990s, NLB has
Ordinance was enacted, making library services         implemented self-checkout machines, Borrower
free to the public. The Raffles Library was later      Enquiry Terminals and bookdrops to streamline
renamed the National Library of Singapore. The         the borrowing and returning process.
iconic building at Stamford Road was officially
opened in 1960. In 1970, Singapore’s first             New formats of libraries also came about with the
community library, the Queenstown Community            opening of the Jurong West Community Library
Library, was born.                                     located within a shopping mall and the Marine
                                                       Parade Community Library, which is co-located
Transforming Customers’ Experience                     within a community facility. Subsequently, NLB
The National Library Board (NLB) was set up on         became the first public library system in the world
1 September 1995 as a statutory board to lead the      to harness the technology of Radio Frequency
execution of the Library 2000 (L2000) blueprint.       Identification (RFID) for the circulation and
Its role was to expand the learning capacity of        management of library items.
Singaporeans and create economic advantages to
Moving Towards Library 2010
The new National Library at Victoria Street opened
its doors to the public in 2005. It was also at this
point that a new blueprint that spelt out NLB’s        Advisory counters found at the three regional
strategic directions for the next five years was put   libraries, through email or the NLB website.
in place. The Library 2010 (L2010) plan outlines
NLB’s goals in this next phase of development.         NLB also carries a rich collection of e-
                                                       resources available to the public via the NLB
This new knowledge framework will chart                website. One such resource is the recently
NLB’s path towards becoming the first stop for         launched Web Archive Singapore where close
Asian content and collection services. It will,        to 4,000 selected Singapore-related websites
establish a vibrant network of public libraries        are archived. These websites showcase
transformed into social learning spaces. This          various facets of the Singapore life and
rejuvenated direction also heads towards building      serve to document Singapore’s heritage and
self-sustaining learning communities, providing        online content that may no longer exist on
information and knowledge services that power a        the original sites. Subjects on these websites
competitive economy, and creating a supportive         range from arts and recreation to government
environment for library, information and               administration.
knowledge professionals.
                                                       To engage NLB’s customers on the digital
Moving ahead in the technological age, digital         front, NLB’s corporate website also boasts
services to the public have been further enhanced.     four customer-driven blogs, namely,
For instance, customers are now given the choice       Programmes@100 Victoria Street, ASK!, High
to email the reference librarians or to utilise        Browse Online and
the Short Messaging Service (SMS) Reference
Enquiry Service, to seek information on materials      As NLB progresses towards L2010, a network
available at the Lee Kong Chian Reference              of borderless libraries through information
Library. This SMS service is free of charge and        technology will link libraries in Singapore to
customers would only have to pay for the usual         overseas libraries and information services. A
SMS charges.                                           wealth of knowledge and information will then
                                                       be within easy reach of all Singaporeans.
Spoilt for choice or unsure of what are the books
available? The librarians at the public libraries      The libraries of tomorrow will continue to focus
can help to make relevant book recommendations         on reaching out to the community through
according to the customers’ reading interests, via     its wide spectrum of activities to encourage
the Fiction Advisory Service. Customers can also       interaction, learning and social bonding in a
submit their enquiries on any particular theme,        conducive environment.
author, character or genre at the Reference &

   SMEs with
To all the businessmen out there – do you know that        knowledge and info-literacy skills to these enterprises
there is a wide array of useful information available      to empower SMEs to be able to conduct business
that can help you in making smarter business               research on their own.
decisions or to analyse the market better? If you don’t,
do not fret because you are not alone.                     The National Library plays a major role in EBIS by
                                                           providing the info-consultancy services and Info-
In two separate surveys conducted by the National          consultants stationed at the three EBIS centres.
Library Board (NLB), SPRING Singapore and the              Knowledgeable and knowledge-enabled SMEs are
Singapore Business Federation (SBF) on Small               more competitive and confident in making informed
& Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore, they             decisions when they know how and where to find the
found a gap in SMEs’ awareness of available market         business information they need.
information and their desire to better understand the
business environment.                                      Dr N Varaprasad, Chief Executive of NLB said, “In
                                                           line with one of the strategies in NLB’s Library 2010
In response to this need, four key agencies (SBF,          vision to power a knowledge economy, I am confident
SPRING Singapore, NLB and IE Singapore) came               that the research capabilities and extensive print and
together to create EnterpriseOne Business                  electronic business-related resources offered through
Information Services (EBIS). It provides business          EBIS will enable SMEs to take on the world.”
information consulting service for Singapore-based
enterprises. EBIS aims to guide these enterprises on       EBIS centres are located at the National Library Building at
effectively accessing business information critical for    Victoria Street, SBF Office at Keppel Towers and IE Singapore
making informed strategic business decisions. The          Office at Bugis Junction. More information on EBIS is available
newly knowledge-enabled, innovative and information        at
savvy enterprises can then compete more effectively
in the global marketplace. EBIS was officially launched
by Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Minister of State for Trade and
Industry on 2 August 2007.

Through EBIS, SMEs that are members of SBF can
gain guided access to over 50 business related
databases. EBIS Info-consultants will be on site to
assist SMEs in locating the business information that
they need. The Info-consultants can also conduct
Information Needs Analysis that helps enterprises
to analytically and systematically evaluate and
understand their business information needs. The
report generated from this analysis is confidential
to the company and will form the basis for the
enterprise’s business information research. SMEs that
prefer to conduct research on their own can also do so
by using the 20 databases available for self-access.
                                                           Posing for the cameras at the opening of EBIS Centre at the National
                                                           Library Building are (from left to right) Mr Loh Khum Yuen, Chief
EBIS also runs workshops to train SMEs in business         Executive of SPRING Singapore; Mr Chong Lit Cheong, Chief Executive
information literacy and search skills. These              of IE Singapore; Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Minister of State for Trade &
workshops stimulate the development and transfer of        Industry; Dr N Varaprasad, Chief Executive of NLB and Mr Stephen
                                                           Lee, Chairman of SBF.
     Engage students of tomorrow –
                          Future Schools
Education reaches an inflexion
point where they now have
greater access to information.
They are able to process
multimedia information faster.
                                                           Minister Lee Boon Yang tries out an educational software in
                                                           Crescent Girls’ School’s Language Lab, with the assistance of a
                                                           student representative.

There is an old Rabbinic saying that goes, “Don’t          and cascade the learning gained to other schools.
limit a child to your own learning, for he was born        FS@SG serves to raise the profile of Singapore as a
in another time”. Indeed the knowledge taught              ready laboratory for new emerging technologies. 15
in schools has changed. Teachers no longer just            Future Schools will be identified over the course of
impart knowledge. They also have to build character        the next few years. Currently, five Future Schools
and develop life skills. There are now a variety of        have been selected. They are: Beacon Primary School,
tools readily available – moving from chalkboards to       Canberra Primary School, Crescent Girls’ School, Hwa
interactive whiteboards; from dictionary to wikipedia.     Chung Institution and Jurong Secondary School.

According to last year’s Infocomm Development              On 13 August 2007, the Minister for Information,
Authority of Singapore (IDA) Infocomm Household            Communications and the Arts, Dr Lee Boon Yang
Usage Survey, 52% of children aged between 10 and          visited Crescent Girls School. He was accompanied by
14 years old have logged onto the Internet for             MICA GPC members and several senior management
education and learning activities. Today’s students        staff from MICA and IDA. The Principal of Crescent
are inherently “digital natives”. They work with           Girls School Ms Lee Bee Yann conducted the tour of
multiple windows open simultaneously on their PC,          the school’s premises, and explained how the school
and are constantly “connected”.                            is able to conduct their lessons both within and
                                                           outside the classroom by leveraging on its wireless
How can we better engage students of tomorrow?             network and Tablet PCs.
Education reaches an inflexion point where they now
have greater access to information. They are able to       Through the Backpack.NET programme, Crescent
process multimedia information faster. Under MOE’s         Girls’ school has been at the forefront of championing
Masterplan2 (mp2) and IDA’s intelligent Nation 2015        cohort-wide ICT integration in their curriculum. The
(iN2015) roadmap, a key thrust is to develop potential     school has received positive feedback from parents,
schools into “Schools of the Future”. The schools will     teachers and students. One aspect of FS@SG is the
foster an engaging learning experience through the         pervasive use of infocomm in all aspects of the
innovative use of Infocomm Technology (ICT).               school environment. For example, Crescent Girls’
                                                           school has devoted an area dubbed the outdoor
FutureSchools@SG (FS@SG) is an initiative by Ministry      learning spaces for Biology and Physics where
of Education, IDA, schools, the research community         students will share with visitors the experiential
and the infocomm industry. They will position              approach to the learning of science
Singapore as a centre of excellence in the use of ICT in
education, by nurturing leading schools which will be      During the tour, the school showed how an Ecology
exemplary in its integration of infocomm into learning.    lesson was conducted. The students took on the role
It seeks to catalyse the development of innovative and     of scientists and collected data on the aquatic factors
pedagogically sound solutions enabled by infocomm          in the school’s eco-garden. Some of the IT tools used
in this particular lesson include data loggers plugged to
the student’s tablet PC, and the “Mindbook”, useful for                  IDA calls a CFC to meet the vision
its ability to annotate their readings and findings in text,             of the Future Schools
supplemented by pictures and videos. This is a product
from a Singapore-based IT-education service provider.                    In June 2007, IDA called a Call-for-Collaboration
                                                                         (CFC) for industry players to form consortia to
The growing Education and Learning sector is becoming                    architect, develop and deploy sound solutions to
increasingly linked to a larger cluster of economic                      meet the individual requirements and vision of the
activities such as publishing and online education                       five Future Schools. FS@SG will enable the infocomm
services. FS@SG will increase the capability of Singapore                industry to forge strategic partnerships with these
industry players in producing new applications and                       future schools and the broader research community
solutions that can be adopted in learning environments.                  to test-bed innovative infocomm approaches to
In addition, the Future Schools will serve as reference                  Education and Learning.
sites for the integration of ICT into learning and attract
foreign investments and prototyping activities here.                     These innovations will open up the opportunity for
                                                                         our infocomm industry to export their solutions
Crescent Girls’ School has also been working with MCYS                   overseas. Emerging growth markets are looking
to develop a cyber wellness programme that seeks to                      at modelling themselves after the Singapore
alert students on the dangers of cyberspace. The alerts                  education system. The CFC is designed to cover the
will remind students to engage in responsible conduct                    school’s curriculum, and serve the learning and
while being connected and online.                                        developmental needs of students. It has garnered
                                                                         much attention. Many IT and educational-services
At the end of the tour, Minister Lee encouraged Crescent                 companies in Singapore have responded to the call.
Girls’ School to look into self-directed learning and                    IDA is currently evaluating the proposals received
deeper work in immersive education such as Game-                         from various consortia in consultation with MOE.

Quoting Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, it is apt to
conclude that “With IT, we make the most of our talents
and our brains. And with IT, we also become connected
as a more participative society”.

                                                 Crescent Girls’ School students delight the visitors with a thoughtfully
                                                 put-together musical performance.

                                                                                              Minister Lee Boon Yang (left) and GPC Member
                                                                                              Dr Ong Seh Hong join in the performance with
                                                                                              a Guiro (a percussion that is played by rubbing
                                                                                              a stick along the notches to produce a ratchet-
                                                                                              like sound) and rattle in hand respectively.
                    Learn Mandarin
                                         to enhance your
                                         competitive edge

Promotional collaterals for the Speak Mandarin Campaign

你觉得讲华语, 酷吗? (Do you think it’s cool to speak               Today, the Chinese language is no longer just a tool for
Mandarin?) Well, for many English-educated Chinese         nation building. Instead, it has become a skill that has
Singaporeans, it was neither cool nor an easy task for     created new opportunities for Singaporeans in what is
them. Many of these Singaporeans thought: “Since I won’t   termed the Asian Century. Learning to speak Mandarin
be using the language often, why should I even bother?”    is no longer the prerogative of Chinese Singaporeans,
                                                           as our non-Chinese counterparts too, have learnt
To allow Mandarin to regain some grounds among these       to appreciate and speak Mandarin. For example, in
Singaporeans, the Speak Mandarin Campaign (SMC)            Superband, a Channel U-organised local talent show,
embarked on a mission in the mid-1990s to encourage        one of the popular bands Juz-B is a group made up of
English-educated business professionals and working        Malay acapella singers. Although Mandarin was not
adults to learn and speak Mandarin. The Campaign           their mother-tongue language, they managed to pull off
received enormous success in getting this group of         several earnest and soulful renditions of popular Chinese
Chinese Singaporeans to speak Mandarin.                    songs during the competition.

SMC did not only begin in the 1990s, its history dates     In order to build a knowledgeable society, Singaporeans
back to 1979, when it was first launched by then Prime     must move beyond seeing Chinese as a second language
Minister Lee Kuan Yew. In the 1980s, the main focus of     and should instead view it as a form of knowledge, which
the SMC was to build an internal language environment      will enhance Singapore’s ability to function in the new
that would improve communication and understanding         China-driven economy.
amongst Chinese in Singapore. The target audience
then was Chinese Singaporeans in general, and they
included anyone from hawkers, public transport workers
to white-collar workers and senior executives. The
primary message to Chinese Singaporeans was to speak
Mandarin to help them better understand and appreciate
their culture and heritage.
                          When Reflections Become Form –

                                               our National Art Gallery

                                                                                                            Artists’ impression of the
                                                                                                            new National Art Gallery
                                                                                                            by (top) Studio Milou
                                                                                                            Architecture, (left) Ho +
                                                                                                            Hou Studio Architects,
                                                                                                            and (right) Chan Sau
                                                                                                            Yan Associates

Housed in two iconic heritage buildings – City Hall and          Public feedback is sought on the top three winning schemes.
                                                                 Views on the features and amenities they would like to see in
the former Supreme Court building – the new National Art
                                                                 the new space, as well as the type of activities, exhibitions and
Gallery of Singapore will contribute to building Singapore
                                                                 programmes they would want the National Art Gallery to offer
as a regional and international hub for visual arts. With
                                                                 are strongly welcomed.
a strong focus on the display, promotion and study of
Southeast Asian art including Singapore art, the National Art
                                                                 A public exhibition on the competition was launched in
Gallery will be a civic and creative space. It will be for the
                                                                 October 2007, to showcase all 111 entries from 29 countries
enrichment, enjoyment, and engagement of Singaporeans
                                                                 worldwide. Seminars on the personal design visions and
and international visitors alike.
                                                                 concepts of the architects from the top three winning firms
                                                                 were also conducted.
In February 2007, local and international architects were
invited to submit their best design concept for the new
                                                                 What do you wish to see in Singapore’s very own National
National Art Gallery. In August 2007, three companies
                                                                 Art Gallery? View the winning designs and share your
emerged as winners from a list of five shortlisted firms. The
                                                                 views with us by logging on to
winning firms are: Studio Milou Architecture from France,
                                                                 The commissioned architect for the National Art Gallery is
Taiwan-based Ho + Hou Studio Architects, and Chan Sau Yan
                                                                 expected to be announced in early 2008.
Associates, a Singapore-based architectural firm.
Utterubbish                                       NDP Assembly® Bags Design                   Singapore Library Week
28 November – 16 December,                        Competition Exhibition                      1 – 8 November
Old City Hall                                     1 – 31 December, Vivocity                   The inaugural Singapore Library
Utterubbish is a unique design                    The DesignSingapore Council invites all     Week (SLW) invites you to celebrate
experience that presents ideas, works             who received an NDP FunPack to design       the library as a place of knowledge,
and exhibits by designers and creators            the additional Assembly® Bag panel and      imagination and possibility. DreamBig@
from all over the world. These designers          to submit their creations for the NDP       yourLibrary conference at the National
are unified in their exploration of how           Assembly Bags Design Competition.           Library will kick-start SLW’s series of
design can create value for individuals,          Participants might get the chance to        events including library tours, launch of
societies and the world. Based on the             see their designs joined up as a 50m-       commemorative stamps and the NLB
premise that ‘less is more’, Utterubbish          long Assembly® Bag at an exhibition in      Pictorial Book.
is a witty review of recycling, redemption        VivoCity, from 1 to 31 December 2007.
and recourse through design.

Creative 2007                                                                                 Singapore Season in Shanghai
• Singapore Design Festival                                                                   • Drift: 1 – 4 & 7 – 10 November,
28 November – 8 December,                                                                     Drama Box and Shanghai Dramatic
Multiple Venues                                                                               Arts Center
The biennial Singapore Design Festival is                                                     A special commission under Singapore
a multi-faceted event that champions a                                                        Season China, Drift makes its world
broad range of design discipline and acts                                                     premiere in Shanghai and is played
as the key umbrella event for the whole                                                       by a stellar cast from both China and
sector. The Singapore Design Festival                                                         Singapore. Drift is a poignant tale of two
is open, inclusive and international in                                                       cities that spans three generations.
its outlook. Events staged as part of the
Festival range from major international                                                       • Little Toys by Mark Chan
presentations to Singaporean showcases                          EVENTS ROUNDUP                and Musicians: 2 November,
and trade events.                                                                             Shanghai Concert Hall
                                                                                              Singapore’s composer-musician Mark
• Asia Media Festival                                                                         Chan reinvigorates the Chinese classic
14 November – 4 December,                                                                     silent film Little Toys starring screen icon
Multiple Venues                                                                               Ruan Lingyu. Together with an ensemble
The world’s media industry will                                                               of superb musicians from Singapore
converge in Singapore, at Asia’s most                                                         and China, he delivers a magnificent live
prestigious trade event – the Asia Media                                                      scoring of the film using a soundscape
Festival (AMF). As a marketplace, AMF                                                         with Eastern and Western influences.
showcases a wide tableau of Asia’s
richest and most exciting media content,                                                      • Singapore Film Festival:
its creative talents; and provides a               As 2007 comes to a closure, MICA is        27 October – 1 November,
business exchange for networking. More              set to welcome the new year with a        UME International Cineplex
information on AMF 2007 can be found               bang. Here’s a sneak peek at some of       The first-ever Singapore Film Festival
at                        the upcoming international events.        in China will showcase prominent
                                                                                              Singapore films such as The Home
                                                                                              Song Stories, I Not Stupid Too and 4:30.
Singapore Writers Festival                                                                    Students at the Beijing Film Academy
1 - 9 December, The Arts House                                                                and Shanghai University will also enjoy
The Singapore Writers Festival returns again this year with a multitude of exciting           a screening of over 20 award-winning
programs which showcase literature in various languages and explores the interaction          Singapore short films.
that literature can have with other genres of art like music, film and theatre. It will not
only be a good opportunity to find out more about emerging local and regional writers,
but will also give you the chance to listen to book readings by well-established authors.
More details on the Festival is available at

140 Hill Street, 6th Storey,
MICA Building
Singapore 179369
T: 65 6270 7988
F: 65 6837 9480

To top