Japanese Graded Readers (Reberu betsu Nihongo tadoku raiburarī, レベル别日本語多読ライブラリー)

“Japanese Graded Readers” is a series of supplementary reading materials that is edited by the Japan Extensive Reading Association and is targeted specifically at Japanese language learners.

This series is one of the Japanese language readers recommended by the various teaching staff of the Japanese language course offered by the Centre for Language Studies, NUS. The Centre also uses some other volumes of this series as auxiliary teaching materials for their course.

To enable learners of the Japanese language to read Japanese works in various literary genres, the works of this series have been rewritten in simple Japanese. The literary genres include stories, creative works, classics, biographies and more. This series is divided into 5 levels, Level 0 to Level 4. Learners of different levels can select the books based on their levels of proficiency. Every level has a specific standard of vocabulary and grammar. The basic writing and editing rule of this series is to make its contents easily comprehensible to the reader. All the “kanji” (Chinese characters) in the books come with furigana which provide the pronunciations of the “kanji”. Moreover, this series is accompanied by a compact disc that records the reading of its contents. Therefore, even beginners can read the books without having to look up in the dictionary. As readers will be intrigued to read on because the contents are easy to understand, reading becomes a fun thing to do for them. This will motivate them to read even more, and as a result, their Japanese reading ability improves. This is exactly the principal objective of this series – to promote extensive reading.

NUS Chinese Library has “Japanese Graded Readers” (Level 0 – 4):
Reberu betsu Nihongo tadoku raiburarī. Reberu 0 – 4 / kanshū NPO Hōjin Nihongo Tadoku Kenkyūkai. — Tōkyō : Kabushiki Kaisha Asuku, 2012-2015. (PL537 Reb L0 – L4)


Book Reviews on Science Pioneers

In this golden year of jubilee celebration of Singapore’s 50th birthday, it is fitting that we take a look at the past history and contributions of the various science pioneers, and their discoveries which have impacted our modern society. Below are some samples of some fitting books you can find at the Science Library.


William Hodson Brock. 2011. The case of the poisonous socks: tales from chemistry. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry [call no. Q180.85 Dis.Br 2011]

poisonous socks


In this book, Brock has written a collection of essays and tales of 42 chemists from the 19th and 20th centuries, which describes their scientific discoveries as well as their beliefs in the advancement of science and education. Find out how, thanks to the expertise of the chemist, Sir William Crookes, you do not find yourself wearing poisonous socks on your feet today. Or how the multi-coloured billiard ball models of atoms in Chemistry teaching came to be, from August Wilhelm von Hofmann’s innovative education techniques. You can also learn about the eccentric donor legacies of Thomas George Hodgkins who may or may not have donated to the wrong institution!

This book shows a different perspective of Chemistry, chemists and the idiosyncrasies within this subject discipline. Written in a light-hearted tone that blends the delight of quirky tales and enlightenment of scientific innovations, it will surely make you more appreciative of chemistry in our daily lives.


Balazs Hargittai, Magdolna Hargittai, and Istvan Hargittai. 2014. Great minds: reflections of 111 top scientists. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. [call no. Q141 Har 2014]

great minds


This book is a compilation of conducted interviews of the 111 top scientists of the 20th and 21st centuries by the Hargittais. These notable scientists include 68 Nobel Laureates and they span globally from different nations like United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Japan and Taiwan.

Organised by their specialty (physicists, chemists and biomedical scientists), each interview is prefaced with an illuminating reflection of the scientist. For his interview section, Jean-Marie Lehn laments that “I tried to contradict Freud, but he always won.” Francis Crick, who co-discovered the double helix in 1953 with James Watson, states that “I would stress the right of a person who is incurably ill to terminate his own life.” With these interviews, influential scientists such as Linus Pauling and Roger Penrose have allowed us a peek into their thoughts on their scientific work and life reflections.


Juliana Chan, Grace Chua, Shuzhen Sim, Rebecca Tan. 2015. Singapore’s Scientific Pioneers. Asian Scientist Publishing Pte Ltd. E-book available at http://www.asianscientist.com/pioneers/

spore pioneers


Bringing the focus back to our local shores, Asian Scientist Publishing has profiled 25 Singaporean scientific pioneers aged 50 and above in this e-book. With grants from the SG50 Celebration Fund and the Nanyang Technological University, this commemorative book was made to celebrate the scientific, engineering, medical and educational achievements in Singapore from the past five decades.

A total number of 18 scientific pioneers come from NUS and their backgrounds range from botany to biochemistry. Even our NUS President, Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, is included in this illustrious list! In addition, the prolific Professor Sydney Brenner is among the local scientists as well. He has worked as a trusted advisor to the Singapore government on scientific policy since 1983, and was conferred the inaugural Honorary Citizen Award in 2003. Currently, he is the Senior Fellow at A*Star and holds many senior positions at other established research and education institutes.

To read the individual stories of these scientific pioneers online, you can visit here.

Minuscule Pieces of the Science Library

I love miniatures. Making the bite-size replica of a real-life object unleashes my inner child and allows me to look at the surroundings at a different angle. This time round, I decide to place the spotlight on the prominent (or perhaps forgotten) corners in the library. To all self-proclaimed avid fans of the Science Library out there, how many of these spaces can you recognize here?


Book Drops


Book drops. With their appearances resembling the old English postboxes, these iconic book chutes stand strikingly beside the main entrance. You can “feed” these boxes with the library items that you wish to return (no letters please) but take note of the exceptions.

New Books Corner

“New Books” Corner. Keep a lookout for our newly-purchased titles in this cozy corner. You can also receive regular alerts on the new library titles via MyLINC.


LINC Terminals

LINC terminals. Conveniently located at levels 4 and 5, these LINC PCs come in handy if you are looking for a library item.


Current Journals

Current Journals. Besides the sizeable physical collection of journals in the library, you can locate e-journals in FindMore or LINC. Likewise, look out for the label “Electronic version of this journal available” on the magazine holder to find out if you can view your favourite journal online.


SC Books Room

SC Books Room. Don’t forget our e-book collection as well!


Be sure to drop by these lovely spots the next time you head down to the Science Library. If you’re eagle-eyed enough, you can spot the above miniatures in our library!

Mak Jie Ying

Science Library

Getting Started in the Digital Humanities

This year, NUS Libraries launches two digital humanities projects. These projects are collaborative projects initiated and led by NUS Chinese Library with support from the Digital Humanities Team:

Chinese Clan associations are important nodes in the network of relationships amongst Chinese communities in Singapore. Many Associations were formed to assist early Chinese immigrants since the early 19th century, playing significant roles in the nation’s development and the identities of the communities they serve. This project maps out the distribution of Chinese Clan Associations on a web Geographic Information Systems (GIS) platform. An interactive interface allows users to visualise geographic patterns of dialect clan associations, establishment of clan associations over time, membership sizes of clan associations as well as view indexes of clan associations sorted by kinship, locality, name (Hanyu Pinyin) or year established.

本网站提供关于新加坡华人会馆的信息,不仅包括地缘(乡亲)和血缘(宗亲)会馆的基本信息,如中英文名称、成立年代、会所地址、联络信息、会员人数等,也利用地理信息系统 (Geographic Information Systems, 简称 GIS),提供会馆在新加坡地图中的确实位置,并且有影像提供会馆位置及其周围环境的画面,让使用者能立体地了解会馆。此外,本网站也有多个供研究者参考和使用的索引 (Index), 包括以汉语拼音按所有会馆名称、方言群和地缘 (locality) 会馆名称、姓氏和血缘 (kinship) 会馆名称以及会馆成立年代而编制的索引,以期成为研究者便利的研究工具。




This project presents a collection of mixed media artwork of places of worship by a local artist, Dr Ho Chee Lick from the Department of Chinese Studies in NUS. Plotted on an interactive map with 3D street view, the drawings illustrate Singapore’s multi-religious landscape. For each drawing, we list the names, address, year established, date of sketch as well as relevant literature and websites. An index of drawings has also been compiled.

The first phase (2015) showcases 169 drawings of predominantly Chinese temples and shrines of Buddhism, Taoism, popular religion and sectarian religions from antiquity to contemporary times. In the second phase (2016), we will add 112 drawings which include Islamic mosques, Indian temples, Sikh temples and churches.


本项计划于第一阶段(2015年)主要展示169幅新加坡华人庙宇作品。作品各具特色,涵盖本地佛教、道教及古代至当代的民间宗教信仰的庙宇。2016年,本计划将进入第二阶段,在本网站中加入华人庙宇以外的其他112幅画作,其中包括回教堂、印度庙宇、锡克庙宇以及基督教与天主教教堂 。


Please view the websites with Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

Singapore celebrates Open Access Week 2015


Open Access Week is upon us in Singapore again and we are gearing up to celebrate this event at NUS together with other local institutions like NTU, SMU and NIE. It has been announced that this year’s theme for the 8th International Open Access Week is “Open for Collaboration”.
For a friendly reminder on what open access is all about, you can watch this cute animated video that explains open access in publishing research work and how it benefits researchers and knowledge dissemination.



So are you ready for what we have in store for you at NUS Libraries and to start collaborating with your peers on open access?

NUS Libraries has organised a simple quiz which will test your knowledge about open access and how NUS Libraries supports this movement. It will be held until 30 Oct 2015 and is open to NUS students and staff, excluding NUS Library staff. So hurry on to the quiz and you may be lucky enough to win an iPod Shuffle or Starbucks vouchers! To enter the quiz, please visit here.

We will also be organising a couple of academic talks conducted by the publishers, Taylor & Francis and SAGE, which will be held on 21 and 22 Oct 2015 respectively. Taylor & Francis will be sending its speaker, Ms Wendy Wong, Managing Editor for Science and Technology journals, for an informative talk at Central Library, Theatrette 1 on 21 October at 10AM. If you want to join this talk, please register at this link.

Next on 22 October, we will have Ms Rosalia Da Garcia from SAGE who will present the talk titled “Simple Guide to Writing a Journal Article”, which covers publishers’ guidelines on journal articles, selecting the right journal to publish in and the various open access options for authors. Ms Garcia is currently the Executive Director, Consortia/Library Sales & Marketing, SAGE Publications Asia-Pacific Pte Ltd, and she is responsible for the strategic direction of the overall SAGE Asia Pacific sales and marketing initiatives. To register for this talk, please visit here.

But that is not all to celebrating Open Access Week – do remember to check out the other related open access events happening in Singapore and around the world! Below are some listed talks and webinars that NUS students and staff may be interested to participate in:

So join us in this annual celebration of open knowledge at NUS Libraries and we hope you will have gained a better understanding of how research work is being distributed and shared with open access, as well as the benefits of open access to researchers.

A random selection of Singapore-focused books in the Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library collection

Koh W. 2015. The Top Toast: Ya Kun and the Singapore Breakfast Tradition (2nd ed.). Singapore: Cengage Learning. [call no. HD2346.12 Koh 2010]


Written by one of our very own Business School professors, the book looks at Ya Kun, a renowned Singapore brand. In addition to tracing the roots and development of Ya Kun from a small coffee shop in Telok Ayer to an Asia-spanning franchise, the book also delves into the organizational structure and culture of the company, provides a SWOT analysis, and looks into the leadership and human resource management of the company.


Chuan A. 2008. Towkay Ho Seh Boh: How to Become a Successful Towkay. Singapore: Rank Books. [call no. HF5349.12 Ah 2008]

This is a whimsical book on how to be successful in business, written in a down-to-earth fashion. Pithy advice is given out in Hokkien, which makes it rather quaint but very shiok (Singlish for feel- good). Some examples, kang lang ma si lang (Workers are humans too), lao sit si pun ji (Honesty is your Capital), and my personal favourite,  liu lian tua liap boh bao chiat (A big durian is not guaranteed to be ripe).



Hon J. 1984. Relatively Speaking. Singapore: Times Books International. [call no. DS599.51 Hon.H]


The book is a biography of Hon Sui Sen, the former Minister of Finance and one of the founding fathers of modern Singapore. Written by the eldest daughter of Mr Hon Sui Sen, the story begins in Balik Pulau, a rural village in Penang where Hon Sui Sen’s grandfather settled after leaving China. It ends with a newspaper article reprint of the building of the Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library to commemorate Hon Sui Sen’s contribution to Singapore after his death. In between, Joan Hon wrote not only about her father, but also about their many relatives and friends.


The many photographs in the book also provide a glimpse into Hon’s public and private life. A bonus is a 1948 photo of a very young Lee Kuan Yew with Hon Sui Sen and Maurice Baker.



NB: All three books are available at the Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library and Central Library.

Kho Su Yian
Business Resource Librarian
110C team

Exhibition and Talk on Chinese Education in Singapore @ Central Library

A traveling exhibition titled “Passion & Knowledge: Singapore Chinese Pioneers in Education” is being held at the NUS Central Library on Level 4 from 21 September to 31 October 2015. This English-Chinese bilingual exhibition is co-curated by Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall and Chung Cheng High School (Main), and features the contributions of four local Chinese business and education pioneers, namely Aw Boon Haw, Liew Yuen Sien, Tan Boo Liat and Tan Yeok Seong, who contributed much to the development of education in Singapore. The exhibition narrates a brief biography of the four pioneers, and highlights their contributions towards the Chinese society, in particular the educational and cultural sphere.

In conjunction with the exhibition, a Mandarin talk on Chinese Education in Singapore by Mr. Kua Bak Lim will be held at NUS Central Library Theatrette 1 (Level 4) on 30 September 2015 (Wednesday) from 4.00pm to 5.30pm. The co-organisers are NUS Chinese Library, The Chinese in Southeast Asia Research Group, NUS Department of Chinese Studies and Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall. We welcome NUS staff and students to attend the talk.

If interested, please register for the talk via this link: http://bit.ly/1LYE0Nr by 29 September 2015. Please see the poster below for details.




配合此次展览,“国大中文图书馆”、“国大中文系东南亚华人研究群” 和“晚晴园—孙中山南洋纪念馆”将于9月30日联办一场专题讲座:〈春风化雨一百年〉–从碑刻看新加坡华文教育。主讲人是柯木林先生(Mr. Kua Bak Lim)。有意出席讲座者请通过此链接提前报名: http://bit.ly/1LYE0Nr。详情请参考海报信息.


Introducing BrowZine — One App. NUS-Subscribed E-Journals. Everywhere You Go

What device do you prefer using when reading e-journal articles? A desktop or laptop for the comfort of a bigger screen but with the issue of bulk, or your mobile device for convenience, but with the hassle of zooming in and out for reading comfort?

Meet BrowZine, a new free app that lets you browse and search e-journals in one place, at your fingertips, and wherever you are. It allows you to keep up-to-date with the current articles from your favorite journals.



What can BrowZine do?

BrowZine creates an easy way to read and monitor scholarly e-journals across all disciplines. With BrowZine, you can:


  • Search and read thousands of NUS-subscribed e-journals on your mobile device anywhere, and anytime.


  • Create a personal bookshelf of your favorite e-journals, and get notified when new issues of these e-journals are available on the app.

IMG_3212 bz4

  • Save articles for offline reading, and export journal citations on EndNote, Zotero, Mendeley, and Dropbox.



  • Access NUS Libraries’ subscribed e-journals if you are an NUS staff or student, but public users could also use the app to read Open Access titles.

How do we sign up?

There is no need to create a BrowZine account; just download the app and select ‘National University of Singapore’ as your institution. Then log in with your NUSNET ID and password and you’re good to go!

Which platforms does BrowZine support?

BrowZine is supported on Apple’s iOS, Google Android and Amazon’s Kindle HD Fire tablets, which means you can download the app from the Apple App Store, the Google Play Store, and the Amazon Kindle App Store on your smartphone and/or tablet.

What else do we need to know?

Curious about BrowZine? Find out more at our BrowZine libguide!


Raven Sim

NUS BrowZine Team

The Innovators and the Imitation Game

The innovators: how a group of hackers, geniuses, and geeks created the digital revolution

In October 2011, Walter Isaacson published Steve Jobs, an authorized biography based on over forty interviews with Jobs over two-year period right up until shortly before his death. The book became an international best-seller, thus it was added into the NUS Libraries collection and became a short term loan book (popular book) in 2011.

Once again, Walter Isaacson published another best seller book in October 2014 “The innovators: how a group of hackers, geniuses, and geeks created the digital revolution”. Instead of biographies, he explores the history of the key technological innovations that are prominent in the 21st century.

The book started with the story of Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s daughter. She was often referred to as “the first programmer” as she published a set of extensive notes, simply called Notes which describe on a stepwise sequence of operations for solving certain mathematical problems. Also, she explicitly articulated her vision in having a machine that could go beyond mere calculation or number-crunching. Therefore, she was referred to as “prophet of the computer age” as well. The notion of using mathematical codes to instruct the machine to perform tasks beyond calculation derived from her “poetical science” mind-set. It was inherited from both her parents the mathematician Annabella Milbanke and the poet Lord Byron.



The innovators: how a group of hackers, geniuses, and geeks created the digital revolution by Walter Isaacson is available at the Central Library (QA76.2 Isa 2014).

The Imitation Game

During the interview with Walter Isaacson in Episode 131 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast, Isaacson mentioned that making people like Alan Turing to be famous was one of the reasons he wrote “The Innovator” book. However, the movie, “The imitation game”, starring Benedict Cumberbatch has done a better job than he ever could.

The movie was based on the real life story of Alan Turing who was a computer technology pioneer and breaker of the Nazi Enigma code during World War II (the first hacker as well?). In the movie, Alan Turing was interrogated by a detective and being questioned on a recent paper describing the “imitation game” which was known as the “Turing Test”.  The “Turing Test”, defined by Alan Turing in 1950 as the foundation of the philosophy of artificial intelligence which makes us think of the question, ‘Can machines think?’

Turing predicted that in 50 years there would be machines that could fool a human questioner 30% of the time for five minutes. Indeed, after more than 60 years, iPhone Siri could fool a human questioner most of the time longer than five minutes. iPhone Siri works as an intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator as it understands our natural speech and asks questions if it needs more information to complete a task. If you want to know how Turing has demonstrated to the power of linking human creativity to computer processing power, come to the NUS library!

imitation game

The imitation game [videorecording] directed by Teddy Schwarzman; Benedict Cumberbatch is available at the Central Library CL Multimedia (Loans Desk 2 Stack# CMR5734).


Highlights from NUS Libraries’ collection – The Fabric of the Human Body

One of the prized possessions of the NUS Medical library is the, The Fabric of the Human Body, an annotated translation the 16th century book, De humani corporis fabrica by Andreas Vesalius.

The original was published in Latin 500 years ago when Vesalius, considered the father of modern anatomy, was just 28 years old. It was the most detailed and accurately illustrated atlas of the human body of its time because very few physicians dissected human bodies before the late 15th century.

It is extolled as “probably the most influential of all medical works” by The Oxford Medical Companion and “the greatest medical work ever printed by Sir William Osler.

In today’s era of highly precise medical illustrations and digital cadavers, this book still resonates with readers in the 21st century for many reasons.

It is now available in English for the very first time so knowledge of Latin is no longer required. The translation of the book is hailed as a scholarly achievement in itself and is largely a result of twenty years of painstaking work by Northwestern University Professors Emeritus Daniel H. Garrison and Malcolm H. Hast.

Vesalius was a courageous and unconventional man who obtained bodies of executed criminals and robbed graves for dissection. He questioned the authority on anatomy then, Galen, whose text was largely based on the dissection of animals. The dialogue and footnotes in the translation preserves Vesalius’ account and captures the tensions inherent in describing science in 16th century Renaissance when scientific advances were made in many fields.

The illustrations provided by the more than 200 woodcuts in the original are now available in the new book as high-resolution digital scans which have unprecedented clarity.

The book looks like a modern textbook with easy referencing to previous chapters and editions and has explanation for all its diagrams. Weighing a massive 16 kg, this two-volume tome is the heaviest book in the Medical Library collection.


The frontispiece On the Fabric of the Human Body: Dissection by Vesalius as his students observed.


The 2014 edition in English with annotation is in two volumes and weighs 16kg.

The fabric of the human body: an annotated translation of the 1543 and 1555 editions / by Daniel H. Garrison, Malcolm H. Hast is available at Medical Reference 7 Call No: QM25 Ves 2014

R Sukanya Naidu

Medical Resource Librarian

NUS Libraries 110C team

NUS Libraries Blog