Having a conversation with Ana and Wan Wah is an absolute delight – their cosy chemistry manifests in their banters and jokes throughout our time together. They even chimed in answering each other’s questions! The duo are from the Electronic Resources Management (ERM) Team, which handles the library’s electronics resources, including databases, online journals, e-books and many other online subscriptions.
A major part of ERM is activating access to newly subscribed resources, which can be a very complicated process. A range of IP addresses has to be registered so that NUS staff and students can access these resources from anywhere in the world just by keying in their login details. (Try out the proxy bookmarklet that enables access to databases and papers if the Library has subscribed to them).
Wan Wah has been with NUS Libraries for 40 years. She first joined what was then known as the University of Singapore and has since been part of the whole evolution of the University through the union with Nanyang University, and its transformation into the world-class university it is today. She feels that the library is her second home, surrounded by people she has known for decades.
Ana, on the other hand, joined the library five years ago. She does not consider herself to be tech-savvy but with help and guidance from librarian colleagues, she quickly picked up the relevant skills required to navigate the many vendor interfaces and softwares. In addition to that Ana was encouraged to go for courses, including some IT classes, to develop herself and aid her in the course of her work.
Although Wan Wah has been with the library for four decades, she is the “baby” of the ERM squad, having joined the team only one and a half years ago. She enjoys the company of the other members who are all much younger. Sometimes she doesn’t get the “in” jokes of their generation, but this has not stopped her from bonding with them.
It heartens Ana when NUS faculty members acknowledges and recognises her elsewhere on campus, such as in the canteen, even long after she has helped set up e-reserves for their teaching modules. Wan Wah, too, has such anecdotes. She shared a heartwarming bit about a professor she used to serve frequently when she was with the Loans and Membership team. Despite having moved on to a more senior position in the faculty, the professor sent an email greeting during Chinese New Year after he bumped into Wan Wah several years later at the Central Library.
Ana and Wan Wah are part of a group of library staff who work tirelessly out of sight and in the background to ensure that library services and resources are seamlessly accessible to NUS staff and students. So each time you download a book chapter from IVLE or read an article from an e-journal, take a second to think about people in the library who made it possible.
The Hello, I’m From NUS Libraries series takes 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 from your Library and learn more about what goes on behind the scenes.