The Hello, I’m From NUS Libraries series will take you on a reading cruise featuring eight of our staff members who have been awarded the NUS Quality Service Award. Get to know the people behind your Library and learn more about what goes on behind the scenes.
Meet Han Ming Guang.
Ming Guang is a History resource librarian with Central Library. As part of Loans and Membership, his day typically begins with a briefing with the Library’s Operations Assistants who are our front-liners and usually the first person you meet at the Loans Counter and Reception Desk. Ming Guang is also lead for the Reference Management team and is the go-to guy for Mendeley.
Approachable and easygoing, both library colleagues and users find it easy to engage with Ming Guang who is always open to helping others. Ming Guang likes interacting with people and relishes in the surprises that dealing with them entails. For the most part, his experiences have been nothing but pleasant. The unexpected tokens of appreciation, encouraging words and warm smiles from the users further motivates him to strive towards providing better service. What he used to find intimidating, especially handling face-to-face queries, are now taken in his stride. He is always more than happy to render assistance, and thoroughly enjoys his job – it beats staring at a computer screen all day, he says.
The real challenge, however, is when things go wrong and boy, they do! Ming Guang keeps his cool when these situations arise – the campus server network may go down, there may be disputes about loans or library fines and others of the ilk, but he does his best to empathise with the user even when he is berated at for something that is beyond his control.
His training in History equips him with the necessary subject knowledge to serve those in the field. Ming Guang completed both his BA and MA at NUS’ History department; his own journey as a student here helps him understand the needs of the users better. Most of the History professors know him well and those from the successive classes of History honours and graduate students have come to see him as a friend, inviting him to their social events and whatnots.
Based on his interactions with users and their feedback, Ming Guang wishes that there is more seamless access to e-resources; more automatic 24 hour library services (especially RBR access); and of course, more spaces for students and staff to study, collaborate and research. We may never completely fulfill every person’s need, but we are continually improving ourselves for students and staff. (Find out more about what staff and students of NUS expressed about the library in our survey results – Ed.)
Have you seen Ming Guang in the Central Library? Say hi to him when you see him. If you have questions for him, you know where to find him!