CNY 2017: Spring Couplets in NUS Central Library!

Chinese New Year is round the corner! Thinking of how to add some festive cheer to your home? Come get a set of free spring couplets to brighten your place with some touches of crimson!

The annual Chinese New Year couplets giveaway event will be held on 18 January 2017 (Wednesday) from 12 to 2 p.m. in front of Central Library Theatrette 1. You can get a set of spring couplets with auspicious characters of your choice! Also, watch how our student writers from the NUS Chinese Calligraphy Society produce great pieces of calligraphy with every wave of their brushes.

Click here to see more!

Blog Post By: Wu Guolian

50 Years of Nation Building

Singapore celebrated 50 years of nation building last year.  Through this exhibition by World Scientific, you will learn how Singapore has developed in all areas from food to education and healthcare.

Several NUS researchers and academics were involved in this commemorative series of publications, such as Prof Fwa Tien Fang, who edited “50 Years of Transportation in Singapore”; Prof Hang Chang Chieh, co-editor of “The Singapore Research Story”; Prof B V R Chowdari, co-editor of “50 Years of Material Science in Singapore”; and Profs Lily Kong and Vineeta Sinha, editors of “Food, Foodways and Foodscapes: Culture, Community and Consumption in Post-Colonial Singapore”. Some of these books are available at the exhibit, and can be borrowed.


Also, you can redeem a free e-book from World Scientific! Just scan the QR code from the poster near the shelf to find out how, or go to

The exhibition displays some interesting tidbits of information and memories. There are panels on some of Singapore’s prominent historical figures, such as the previous President Mr S R Nathan and the composer of our national anthem Mr Zubir Said. Read about reminiscences of real hawker food and “mama shops”, or how love of good food can play a part in international diplomacy. Learn about how Yeo Bock Cheng, a Singaporean Peranakan who worked for more than thirty years in the United Nations, was once held at gunpoint and nearly killed.

No matter how well you think you know Singapore, there is bound to be something new you can learn from this exhibition, or from the books highlighted. Do drop by the Arts Buzz at the Central Library, where the exhibition is available for viewing until the end of December.

Tell us what you think of the exhibition in the comments!


Celebrating Open Access Week 2016: Be “Open in Action”


#OpenAccessWeek is here again! Now in its ninth year and taking place from 24 – 30 October, this year’s theme is Open in Action — literally less talking, more doing.

We have these activities all lined up for you:

  • 26 October: Open Access Publishing Talk by Brill [Register for this now]
  • 24 – 30 October: Exhibition on Open Access and Scholarbank@NUS
  • 24 – 30 October: Online Quiz [take part now]

Why Open Access?

Whether you’re a graduate student or researcher, you may find yourself involved in open access one way or another. That’s why a team of eager-beaver librarians have come together to answer some of your most pressing questions on how open access benefits you.

Kash, Librarian and avid xbox gamer. Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library
Kash, Business Librarian and avid xbox gamer.

What is open access?
I get that question a lot. Well, open access is about making your research works available online, free of charge, allowing mostly unrestricted usage. Participating in open access can help to improve the discoverability and visibility of your scholarly works. Also, when you choose to make your works open access, you’re also helping those who may not have the necessary access to academic works.

Raven, Librarian and bling guru
Raven, ELL Librarian and beauty junkie

So, how do I take my first step in open access?
All journeys begin with a single step. There are two main routes of open access- green open access and gold open access. In green open access, you deposit a version of your work in an institutional repository such as ScholarBank@NUS. In gold open access, you pay a fee to publish your article in a journal and make it freely available to everyone.

Iftikhar, Engineering Librarian and cross-training athlete

Never heard of ScholarBank@NUS
Really? Well, it’s NUS’ institutional repository, developed and maintained by NUS Libraries to enable open access to impact lives and for use by future generations.

Umarani, Social Sciences Librarian and Arsenal fanatic
Umarani, Sociology Librarian and Arsenal  supporter

How can I learn more about open access?
Good. You’re hooked. Visit the NUS Libraries Research Support guide, or email with your questions about our institutional repository.

Shu Wen, Pharmacy Librarian and serial cat lover

I want more information!
We hear you! That’s why we frequently partner publishers to organise academic publishing talks. In conjunction with #OpenAccessWeek, we’ve invited Mrs. Liesbeth Kanis from Brill to present on 26 October, 10 a.m. at the Central Library Theatrette 1 about open access in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

That’s not all, check out the Fact vs Fiction section below!

Fact vs Fiction

Open access journals are low quality and are not peer-reviewed. False. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) provides access to more than 9,000 high quality and peer-reviewed open access journals. The Journal Citation Reports (JCR) database also lists OA journals with impact factors.


Copyright does not exist since open access articles are freely accessible. False. Open access publications are still bound by Creative Commons Licenses which allow you to choose how you can share your works and allow others to use it fairly.


Open access exposes my publication to predatory publishers. True and False. The open access movement has led to some predatory publishers, who exploit authors by charging them publication fees without providing the services that legitimate journals do.

However, not all open access journals are predatory. The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) hosts a list of genuine publishers that you should refer to.

As with all journals, we recommend that you use the ThinkCheckSubmit website to verify the open access publisher you are submitting your papers to.

I can’t choose open access without research funds or grants. False. You can submit to subscription based journals and participate in green open access by depositing a copy of your research output in ScholarBank@NUS based on the publisher’s self-archiving policy.

Note: For gold open access, authors have to pay an article processing fee (APC).

Click here to find out how other universities in Singapore are celebrating International Open Access Week.

Collaboration Space @ Central Library!

Have you visited Central Library since the start of this semester? If you had, you must have noticed something going on at the old quiet reading room on level 4. Gone are the diamond-shaped wooden study clusters where you have to keep your volume down as you go about your self study.


The room has been renovated and re-purposed into an all new Collaboration Space. In this new space, you are encouraged to come in groups to collaborate and let your creative sparks fly! The Collaboration Space is freely accessible to all library users and we are offering several new facilities to help enhance your research and learning.

Research Workstations

There are two research workstations equipped with large high-resolution screens and a variety of specialised software for your academic research and visualization needs. Do note that you will need to make a booking on the NUS Facility Booking System to use these workstations.

Looking for something that can help facilitate your group work and collaboration? You can try booking the research workstation with 65-inch ultra-HD 4K TV. Equipped with multi-touchscreen functionalities, you can now view more of your data entities, get up close and ‘interact’ directly with your research. Might be handy for GIS, social networks, or data-rich topics. The large screens can also be used to organise multiple windows with different content to support sensemaking.

rs_65touchResearch Workstation (65-inch touchscreen)






Alternatively, you may also work independently by booking the workstation with dual 31-inch HD monitors.


rs_dual31Research Workstation (Dual 31-inch screen)






Here are some of the software you can find on the research workstations:

  1. ArcGIS 10.4 for Desktop Advanced
  2. Adobe CS6
  3. QGIS 2.14
  4. SketchUp Make 2016
  5. Tableau 10.0

And many more!

We will also be adding more relevant software to help you in your research in the near future. Just let us know what you need 🙂

NUS students and staff may use the NUS Facility Booking System to book the research workstations. The process is similar that of booking a discussion room in Central Library. The rest of the Collaboration Space and the Collab8 station (for wireless screen-sharing) can be accessed freely without booking.

To learn more about the research workstations and the booking system, feel free to visit our LibGuides or LibFAQ to find out more!

We look forward to seeing you at the Collaboration Space!

Exhibition and Talk on Lim Nee Soon @ Central Library on 30 September 2016

A traveling exhibition titled “Pioneering Rural Settlements: The Legacy of Lim Nee Soon” will be held at NUS Central Library on Level 4 from 26 September to 25 October 2016. Curated by Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall and River Valley High School, this English-Chinese bilingual exhibition explores Lim Nee Soon’s early life and education, family, career and business enterprises, and his numerous contributions which left a lasting impact on Singapore.

Known as the “Pineapple King” for his success in the pineapple industry, Lim Nee Soon (1879-1936) played a pivotal role in opening up northern Singapore for settlement. He saw the potential of uncultivated land in areas such as Sembawang and persuaded the colonial government to lease him the land for the building of settlements. Present-day Yishun estate is named after him, with “Yishun” being the Hanyu Pinyin pronunciation of “Nee Soon”.

In conjunction with the exhibition, an academic talk titled “The Ravages of War: The Decline of Lim Nee Soon’s Family from the Eve of World War II and the Change in the Power-Structure within the Singapore Teochew Community” will be held at NUS Central Library Theatrette 2 (Level 4) on 30 September 2016 (Friday) from 2.00pm to 4.00pm. Chaired by Dr Tan Teng Phee (Curator of Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall), the speaker is Associate Professor Lee Chee Hiang (NUS Department of Chinese Studies). The organisers are NUS Chinese Library, Southeast Asian Chinese and Modern China Research Group, NUS Department of Chinese Studies and Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall. This talk will be held in Mandarin. We welcome NUS staff and students to attend the talk.

If interested, please register for the talk at by 29 September 2016. Please see the poster below for more details.



林义顺在黄梨种植业的成功, 让他享有“黄梨大王” 的美誉。林义顺在新加坡北部的开发中扮演举足轻重的角色。他看到了三巴旺等荒地的巨大潜力并说服殖民地政府将土地租赁给他,允许他在该区建立新的村落。今日的顺义市镇(Yishun Town) 便是以他的名字来命名。




NUS World Food Week @ NUS Libraries

We are proud to support World Food Day by holding a series of activities from 3 to 7 Oct. First up! Come join special screenings of the documentary film- Hungry for Change: Your Health is in Your Hands– which will be held at NUS Central Library.

Screening details:

  • 5 Oct, 9am to 10:30am (Central Library’s Theatrette 2).
  • 7 Oct, 12noon to 1:30pm (Central Library’s Theatrette 1)

All NUS staff and students are welcome, and will receive a healthy gift pack at the entrance to the Theatrette. Register here.

About the Documentary

Hungry for Change exposes shocking secrets the diet, weightloss and food industry don’t want you to know about; deceptive strategies designed to keep you coming back for more. Find out what’s keeping you from having the body and health you deserve and how to escape the diet trap forever.

Featuring interviews with best selling health authors and leading medical experts plus real life transformational stories with those who know what it’s like to be sick and overweight. Learn from those who have been there before and continue your health journey today. | Source


Cosy Green Nook @ NUS Central Library

On 3 October, come visit the cosy Green Nook we’ve set up just for you. Pick up a book from our #powerpicks collection, lay back and start reading. When you’re done, don’t forget to leave a pledge to NOT waste food.

#WeWalkWith: An Expedition to Lions Befrienders


Being part of the NUS Libraries family means that every day, we meet customers with widely differing and often complex needs. Empathy is thus an important trait to have when we engage with our community. It makes us understand issues from the customers’ point of view, and gives us the opportunity to resolve a customer’s pains, rather than fulfil some cold KPI. Empathy begins with a genuine interest in the people around us. We learn from and are always inspired by the people we walk with. This inspired us to develop the #WeWalkWith initiative.

NUS Day of Service became the perfect chance to hold our first #WeWalkWith event. On a sunny Saturday morning (3 September 2016), more than 20 of us paid visit to the Lions Befrienders Senior Activity Centre at Ghim Moh, which serves as an activity centre for senior residents who live in 2-room apartments. Besides organising refreshing exercises, nostalgic sing-a-alongs and fun games, NUS Libraries colleagues also forged warm friendships with the enthusiastic uncles and aunties.

NUS Day of Service 2016
Click here to see full gallery

At the end of the day, we were sad to say goodbye to the more than 40 residents who had turned up to join us in our first #WeWalkWith expedition. I daresay that we went away with a better appreciation of issues that the silver generation face daily. It taught us to dig deeper into the root causes of difficulties, rather than settle on surface, unimportant problems. Our empathy has been widened simply because step by step, #WeWalkWith our community, both within and without NUS Libraries.

Selected Thoughts from NUS Libraries Volunteers

It was a joyful experience to volunteer for this event. The event felt more like a party below the block than a volunteering event. Everyone, whether a volunteer or silver friend, was sporting and eager to make the morning a fun and happy affair. Even though there were some obstacles such as language barriers or unexpected little errors, with the help of one another, we managed to make everyone smile at the end of the morning. Interacting with the silver friends at the centre also made me realise how smiling and spending a little of our time with them warmed their hearts. How simple it is to make another person’s day, yet how arduous it may seem when we have a few hundred other priorities to see to. Perhaps we only need to change just one little thing at a time. I definitely gave more and received more than what I could on a typically Saturday morning.

— Lyndia Chen

I was taken by surprise by the absolute “Joie de Vivre” of our silver friends. Their determination to live life fully and deeply, whatever the circumstances, is very inspiring!

— Sukanya Naidu

My pink crane finally has a partner, thanks to the multi-talented karaoke-champ uncle. To me, the event epitomised their varying talents, and their sheer joy in gifting us their camaraderie, knowledge, including, tips, and yes, some tricks as well.

— Jamila Osman

Usually I would volunteer to be with the kiddies (kindy kids) whether it is to teach or to play games. Interacting with our elderly friends on Sat was a new experience for me. Surprisingly, they are as joyful as the kiddies. They were the ones who asked me to sit and talk to them as I walked around. They were the ones who told their stories without me prompting much. They were the ones who showed me that if you want to, you can really have a good time. The best part is when they were folding their origami lanterns. A Cantonese song was playing in the background and two of the ladies sang along as their fingers were busy folding. Occasionally, they looked up at each other and sang in unison. One elderly did not say anything. He sat quietly folding quickly but messily. I left him on his own as I think he could not see very well. But he remembered every step and used all the paper we gave him. I was taken aback. When I praised him, he smiled and started to speak in Cantonese.

— Kah Wei

It is a positive and enriching experience for me. The elderly enjoyed themselves with our activities and engagement. We too, enjoyed entertaining them.

— Andy Quek

The seniors really enjoyed themselves to the old-time favourites during the sing- along session. Some humming, some singing and some were waving their hands in the air. One stout looking elderly man stood out. A very cheerful and chatty man belted out a Hokkien song swaying along as he sang with gusto. The audience responded to the beautifully-sung rendition with thunderous applause all round. He smiled and nodded glowing with adulation. It was such great positive and uplifting energy, and it was wonderful to see the seniors and our colleagues having a whale of a time.

— Yan Chuin

It was an enjoyable and meaningful morning for me on last Saturday. The Silver friends made me felt much younger and energetic during the happy hours with them that morning. While we care for and #WeWalkWith the Silver friends, I think we benefited much more – bonding with our own colleagues outside office and inspired by the positive attitude of the senior generations.

— Ah Too

Connect with Canada Lucky Draw

NUS Libraries is currently hosting an exhibition from the Canadian High Commission. Enjoy the exhibits, connect with the Canadian High Commission, and you could win a Canada-themed prize basket!

The lucky draw will include a basket of Canada-themed prizes, and will be drawn on September 24, 2016. A notification will be sent to the winner’s Facebook message box.

How? Two simple steps:

  1. Like the High Commission of Canada’s Facebook page:
  2.  Post a selfie with your favourite Canada mascot – the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer or the polar bear cubs in the “comment” section of the exhibition’s post – “Come and meet Canada at the National University of Singapore’s Central Library!”. Better yet, tell us what impressed you the most about the exhibit.

Note: All photos must be submitted by midnight of Thursday, September 22, 2016.


Age of Discovery, Chris Kutarna Author Event

The present is a contest between the bright and dark sides of discovery. To avoid being torn apart by its stresses, we need to recognise the fact―and gain courage and wisdom from the past. Through the lens of his new book, Age of Discovery, Chris Kutarna shows how to make sense of the many shocks that define the age we live in: from Brexit (which he publicly predicted in the British media) to the 2016 US presidential race to climate change and international terrorism.

Now is the best moment in history to be alive, but humanity has never felt more anxious or divided. Human health, wealth and education are flourishing. Scientific discovery is racing forward. But the same global flows of trade, capital, people and ideas that make gains possible for some people deliver big losses to others―and make us all more vulnerable to one another.

To make sense of present shocks, we need to step back and recognise: we’ve been here before. The first Renaissance, the time of Columbus, Copernicus, Gutenberg and others, likewise redrew all maps of the world, multiplied knowledge and sparked a flourishing of creative achievement. But their world also grappled with the same dark side of rapid change: social division, political extremism, insecurity, pandemics and other unintended consequences of discovery.

Now is the second Renaissance. We can flourish again―if we learn from the first.


Register here to find out more about the new Age of Discovery directly from Chris himself! 

Date: 9 September, 2016, Friday.

Time: 2-4pm

Venue: Central Library Theatrette 2

Age of Discovery


About Chris Kutarna

Kutarna cover photo - 1200ppi - edited brighter

Chris Kutarna is a two-time Governor General’s Medalist, a Sauvé Fellow and Commonwealth Scholar, and a Fellow of the Oxford Martin School with a doctorate in politics from the University of Oxford. A former consultant with the Boston Consulting Group, then entrepreneur, Chris lived in China for several years and remains a regular op-ed contributor to one of China’s top-ranked news magazines. (He lived in Australia and New Zealand for several years, and still cannot surf.)

Chris is the author of Age of Discovery: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance, published globally in 2016. His prior works include the best-selling Globality: Competing with Everyone from Everywhere for Everything (2008), for which Chris was the lead China researcher.

Born on the Canadian Prairies, Chris is, rather incongruously, an avid and accomplished rower and rowing coach. He divides his time between Oxford, Beijing and Regina.

E-Resource Discovery Day 2016

Up to 19 publishers set up open booths to demonstrate and showcase their tools and services.

The E-Resource Discovery Day (#ERDD) and Books for a Cause (b’Cause) Fundraising Sale were a resounding success! If you had visited Level 4 of the Central Library between 25 to 26 August, you might have been treated to a rare sight: a milling crowd of people made up of students, faculty and administrative staff. Not only did our friends have the opportunity to engage directly with e-resource publishers to discover exciting tools and platforms, but also take part in awesome games, an informative quiz and a nail-biting Lucky Draw. 20 lucky students won attractive prizes that ranged from an Apple Watch to a remote-controlled drone.

We know you enjoyed the game Nerf Nerds. It lasted a short 2-hour but we saw nearly 90 participants.
We know you enjoyed the game Nerf Nerds. It lasted a short 2-hours but we saw nearly 90 participants.
Contestants furiously accomplishing search games on our touch-friendly LCD interactive screens.
Contestants furiously accomplishing search challenges on our touch-friendly LCD interactive screens.

Every year, NUS Libraries organises the flagship #ERDD to get the NUS community to recognise one amazing advantage of the NUSNET account- its ability to unlock a huge store of knowledge and resources provided by NUS Libraries.

We subscribe to renowned journals, databases, e-newspapers and e-book collections that are not only useful for students, faculty and researchers, but also administrators who need to supplement workplace programmes with data, benchmarks or case studies.

 …one amazing advantage of the NUSNET account- its ability to unlock a huge store of knowledge and resources…

Of course, the e-resources featured at #ERDD are just a glimpse of our rich and varied electronic collection. Lots more are available at our library portal, through the Learning & Research tab.

The NUS community came down in droves to engage the e-resource publishers on their latest tools and offerings.
Up to 19 publishers set up open booths to demonstrate and showcase their tools and services. The NUS community arrived in droves to engage the e-resource publishers.

The two-day event also fulfilled a cause that NUS Libraries cares passionately for. Through the b’Cause Fundraising Sale, we wanted to demonstrate that there is no greater expression of belief in our students than the act of giving.

This year, we received about 13,000 pre-loved books from the NUS community and sold almost 9,500 of them, thus raising a whopping S$13,000. This will be passed on to support the worthy Annual Giving Bursaries driven by our friends at Development Office. Since 2009, NUS Libraries has raised more than S$83,000.


All this would not have been possible without your strong support: the students, faculty and staff who have supported us with such unstinting generosity. Thank you.

Enthusiastic students and staff browsing for pre-loved books to buy
Enthusiastic students and staff browsing for pre-loved books to buy

Though the next #ERDD will be held next year, we would really love for you to visit us any time you need information resources, or even one-to-one advisory on how to accelerate your work with the most authoritative data. We remain your partners in information!

For more photos of #ERDD, visit our official gallery.

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