All posts by Ruby Seng

Exhibition at ArtsBuzz: White Nights

Flowers bloom around the clock if the night never gets dark.

From 2-25 October,  Central Library will exhibit a collection of floral paintings called “White Nights”. Why floral paintings? Since I majored in Environmental Biology, I possess the utmost love for all living things and naturally something as beautiful as flowers would represent an theme for my solo exhibition.

“White Nights” is my first solo exhibition at the NUS Central Library and is a tribute to all my friends as an appreciation for their help and support through these years. This floral-themed exhibition lets me share the beauty of nature as seen through my eyes.

I also hope to bring the visual arts to NUS in my own little way and add a little spice to varsity life in the process. “White Nights” gives me an opportunity to express my concept of “visual arts as a universal  language”. The “White Nights” exhibition will be expressed in 4 languages: English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil.

About the artist

Born in 1990 in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, Ching Siong studied general art at Page One Academy, and received his B.S. in Life Sciences at NUS in 2012. While at NUS, he absorbed conventional concepts and skills in watercolour and oil media, subsequently forming his own style. He now concentrates on local contemporary art and children’s art. In 2009, he received a world first honor prize from Hong Kong Po Leung Kuk. He is currently a painter and art teacher in Malaysia.

Should you have any queries, please contact Ching Siong at teychingsiong {at} gmail {dot} com.

Tey Ching Siong

4 Things You Can Do With FindMore@NUSL But Not With LINC+

FindMore@NUSL is our new library search service, based on the latest library technology. What can it do? For starters, FindMore@NUSL searches every item in the library’s collection, including books, journals, multimedia, microform, and music scores. But it also goes down to a deeper level, allowing you to find other items such as journal and newspaper articles. It also has functions not available in the library catalogue LINC+ or LINC. Here are some of them.

1. Search theses and dissertations in ScholarBank@NUS

Since September 2003, most NUS masters and Phd theses are available online via Scholarbank@NUS, our institutional repository. However, none of these online theses can be found through LINC+ or LINC. So you have to search separately in ScholarBank@NUS to find them. FindMore@NUSL includes items from our institutional repository, so a single search will retrieve not just books but also NUS Masters and Phd theses!

2. Search for articles from  journals and newspapers
Students often ask whether they can search through every online journal subscribed by NUS Libraries in a single search. But due to the nature of scholarly communication, this is very difficult to achieve because articles are stored in hundreds of silos owned by different publishers or aggregators all over the world. While FindMore@NUSL does not quite achieve this lofty goal of 100% coverage, we have come closer to it than any other earlier solutions, such as InfoGate, (the “Articles tab”).

We are perpetually adding more journal articles, newspaper articles and other records into FindMore@NUSL. As of Aug 2012, we have over 160 million items that are searchable (mostly full-text). The new system also allows us to easily add open access or free journals. For example, medical staff and students may be interested to know that free articles from Pubmed Central are searchable in FindMore@NUSL. While specialized subject databases will always have their place, FindMore@NUSL is great for cross-disciplinary research and as a starting point if you are not sure which database to use.

3. Match full-text in books
FindMore@NUSL includes both print and ebooks. But, FindMore@NUSL allows you to match keywords searched in the full-text of books and that often includes print books as well! For instance, you may be looking for an obscure phrase and it occurs in page 40 of a book. In LINC+ or LINC, you will probably not find it unless it appears in the title, subject or summary. But FindMore@NUSL has the ability to search within selected books, allowing such matches to be found.

4. Easily filter results by content type
With books, journal articles, newspaper articles, theses and more in FindMore@NUSL and the ability to match on full-text, you tend to get many results. FindMore@NUSL allows you to narrow down your search in many ways. One of the more useful ways is by selecting the content type you are interested in. Need to find 3 peer reviewed articles to cite for your paper? Click on “articles from peer-reviewed publications”.

Thus, we believe that FindMore@NUSL–with its clean interface, quick response and massive content–is a big step ahead in making more of our materials accessible to you, in just a single search! For an overview of FindMore@NUSL refer to our guide or a list of frequently asked questions.

Tay Chee Hsien Aaron
Central Library

The Art of Neighbouring: Exhibition at ArtsBuzz

What does China’s rise mean for those who live along its borders? Reflecting on the PRC’s strategies to foster trade, secure access to natural resources, and prevent unrest in its own borderlands, this exhibition shows the ways in which people’s lives and futures are affected by living along the borders. As rising China (the nation, the notion, the buzzword) channels aspirations, triggers fears and creates opportunities, “neighbouring” becomes a crucial skill in the borderlands – a skill that includes evading, openly opposing, making use of, or renegotiating the border situation.

In the first half of the 20th century, the fuzziness of erstwhile frontier zones was replaced with the sharp contours of nation-states. Political and military conflicts between the PRC and its neighbouring states brought many long-established trans-border relations to a halt. More recently, new stimuli of economic growth and material prosperity readily impelled a momentum of “opening up”. As ancient crossroads emerge as zones of contact and translation again, borderland communities actively engage with new possibilities; they also become targets of new regulatory regimes to “manage” the flows of people and goods across the borders.

This exhibition aims to show how the closure and re-opening of the PRC’s borders condition the myriad realities of making as well as being China’s neighbours through peace and turmoil. Three photographers present a selection of images that portray the diversity, the transformations, the vulnerability and the resilience of these border zones.

The exhibition is now being held at Central Library’s ArtsBuzz and is made up of two series. Series one will run from 1 to 15 September while series two will run from 16 to 30 September.

About the Photographers

DRU C. GLADNEY is Professor of Anthropology at Pomona College in Claremont, California. He began his field research in western China over 30 years ago, and has carried out more recent projects in Kazakhstan, Kyr­gyzstan, Turkey and Malaysia.

TOM CLIFF is a final-year PhD candidate at the Con­temporary China Centre of the Australian National University (ANU). He was a professional photographer before coming to academia. More of his work can be found at

MARTIN SAXER is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Asia Research Institute (ARI). He car­ried out field research in Siberia, Tibet and Nepal since 2003. He is the director of two feature length documen­tary films, including “Journeys with Tibetan Medicine” (

6 Things You Should Do When Starting On Your Thesis

Starting on your Honours year thesis or Masters/Phd dissertation but not sure where to search? Here are 6 things you should do:


1. Do a broad literature review for your area of interest

Everyone knows what a literature review is, right? If you only have a vague idea, watch this video by NCSU. Back? Good. The video talks about review articles, which are articles that summarise past papers in a given area. Sounds mighty useful, doesn’t it? But how does one find them? Refer to this guide on finding review articles.

Can’t find enough relevant articles? Some options:

  • Use a subject specific database. No idea which ones to use? Check out the subject guides for recommended databases.
  • Use Google Scholar. This does a very broad search of what Google calls “scholarly literature”, including journal articles. Don’t forget to use the proxy bookmarklet to access paid articles via our subscriptions.
  • Use FindMore@NUSL. This is a new search service that locates books, journal articles, newspaper articles, dissertations and theses in one search. While no single search can be 100% comprehensive, FindMore@NUSL searches over 160 million items at a time.


2. Manage your references and citations with EndNote

Citing and proper referencing can be a chore. Take some of the pain out of it by learning how to use EndNote, a reference manager that allows you to pull in references from databases such as Scopus, ScienceDirect, and JSTOR, then cite them in your preferred citation style with a single click.

Attend one of our upcoming training sessions or check out the materials from our past sessions at your own convenience.


3. Check that you have the required software and data

If you are working in a field that requires statistical data or specialised software such as statistics software, do ensure that you have access to such items. Having problems finding statistical data? Refer to some of our library guides or the following tips.


4. Set up search alerts

So the review article you found gave you a good idea of the state of art in the research area. You’ve followed up leads with tons of reading, scoped out the area and produced a top class literature review linking and summarizing the work done while showing off your knowledge of the issues. Still, your work is not yet done. To avoid missing out on the latest published material after you finish your search, set up search alerts to keep up with the latest developments.

You can set up alerts:

For more advice on tracking relevant research see the following article.


5. Know the library services you can access as an honours or graduate student

For honors and graduate students, we provide you with additional services to aid your research, which include the following:

  • Document Delivery Service. Sometimes an article you need may not be available via our subscriptions. You can request that the library obtain the article for you, but do take note of the conditions that apply. For more details, see this.
  • Interlibrary loan (graduate students only). Sometimes you may want a book that none of the seven libraries have. We may purchase the book if it is still in print, or borrow it from other libraries. Check out the interlibrary loan service.


6. Consult a resource librarian

Confused by any of the above steps or need further help? You can consult a resource librarian in charge of your subject area for more specialized help.


Tay Chee Hsien Aaron
Central Library

5 News You Might Have Missed While You Were Away

Welcome back seniors!  Here are some of the things about NUS Libraries you might have missed while you were away.

1. Chrome now works with e-resources

Love your Chrome? So do we! That’s why we fixed the issue and you can now use Chrome to access the library’s e-resources. For more information see this blog post




2. FindMore@NUSL: Powerful search service in testing

We recently launched a new Search Service called FindMore@NUSL.  It has a clean, elegant search interface designed to bring back results quickly. Unlike our catalogue, the results include not just books, journal titles, and DVDs but also journal articles, newspaper articles, dissertations and theses (including those from ScholarBank) and more.

We are still testing this new service and adding more material, but it currently has over 160 million items already (compared to about 40+ million in Scopus, which is one of the biggest databases), most of which are available in full-text. Try FindMore@NUSL and give us your feedback so that we can improve it further! 

3. New interactive library guide

In our bid to save trees, we are going digital with most of our guides. Have a look at our new interactive library guide. In particular, check out our dynamic social media page that pulls in feeds from our various social media Accounts.

4. Water dispenser in Medical Library

Another one under the “because you asked for it” department, we now have water dispensers in the Medical Library. 

5. Winners of Moments @ NUS Libraries Photography Contest announced

The inaugural NUS Libraries’ Photography Contest which took place during the vacation drew 70 people and eventually the entry above by Ng Si Han (A00695XXX) was judged the winner by our panel of judges. For more details see this page.  

These are just some of the recent interesting developments we have made. Stay tuned for more!

Tay Chee Hsien Aaron
Central Library

Wiley Online Quiz: We Have a Winner!

Thank you for participating in the Wiley Online Library quiz in April! Over 3200 of you from NUS took part in the quiz and from a total of 16,000 contestants, the lucky winner of an iPad nano is:

Vaishnavi R. (A0024XXXX) from Duke-NUS Grad Medical School


For those who did not win this time, don’t give up, try our E-Resource Discovery Day Online Quiz! It runs from now till Sept 11!

6 Things Freshmen Should Know But Usually Don’t

1. Your library pin is your smartcard pin

You probably know your NUSNET ID, since without it, you can’t access your NUS email as well as the all-important IVLE. But a surprising number of students don’t know their library PINs, which is the smartcard PIN issued during matriculation. The library PIN is needed for checking your loan record, renewing books and borrowing books using the self-service machines, among other things. You can retrieve it here.


2. RBR books can be borrowed overnight

Reserve Books/Readings (RBR) are highly sought after because they are recommended readings for various modules and can be borrowed only for 2 hours. However, few students know that they can borrow the an RBR book overnight just before the library closes and return it within one hour of the library’s opening the next day. For details look here.


3. Most books have a grace period

You probably know that the loan period for books is 14 days for undergraduates and 28 days for honours & graduate students. But did you know there is a grace period and that fines don’t start until the 4th day after the due date? Be careful to read the fine print (6. Rate of fines), as the grace period doesn’t apply to RBR books, 7-day loan books, bound journals and other materials. 


4. You cannot renew an item if there is already a hold

Sure, you may know that you can renew books three times online, and you may even know how much extension a renewal gives. But what you may not know is that you cannot renew an item once there is a hold on it. That’s why it is a bad idea to bring books overseas for a long vacation as you cannot count on being able to renew the loan.


 5. The proxy bookmarklet is your other friend

Google or Google Scholar may be your friend, but what happens if it shows a journal article that requires you to pay? Instead of replicating your search in the catalogue, save time by using the proxy bookmarklet to access the article directly! Do note that the proxy bookmarklet only works on journals that the library subscribes to.


6. Librarians are here to help you

While librarians can’t do your homework, we can help you find books and papers relevant to our research and assignments. Contact your resource librarian today, or come for our orientations sessions to learn about using the library effectively for your assignments!


Tay Chee Hsien Aaron
Central Library

Winners of Moments @ NUS Libraries Photography Contest

We invited you to capture moments that make NUS Libraries special to you. The sheer quality and volume of entries that were submitted to the 2012 NUS Libraries’ Photography Competition impressed us all. From candid shots of friends posed against bookshelves, to artistically rendered photos of rain droplets against the library building, we received amazing photos of all sorts, taken in all 7 of our libraries. 70 people took part in the contest, held from May 8-July 6 2012, submitting a total of 177 photos.

Presenting to you, the 3 grand winners:

1st prize: Ng Si Han (A00695XXX) 

2nd prize: Ho Wei Wei Stephanie (028XXX)  
3rd prize: Lim Kim Kiat (A00922XXX)

Below are the students and staff who have won merit prizes for their images:

Birgit Ruth Buergi (A00925XXX)
Chen Yi-Hsueh (040XXX)
Chow Tyan Yih (028XXX)
Chua Jia Yao (A00746XXX)
Ho Wei Wei Stephanie (028XXX)
Khaw Yee Jek (A00872XXX)
Kwek Wen Shu (A00734XXX)
Lee Ming Hui Kelvin (A0086XXX)
Lim Chun Jie Eric (A0072XXX)
Lim Kim Kiat (A00922XXX)
Muhammad Yusuf Bin Yacob (041XXX)
Ng Si Han (A00695XXX)
Nimantha Thushan Baranasuriya (A00822XXX)
Teo Ge Wei (A00858XXX)
Vinay Swaroop Balla (042XXX)
Wong Kian Hoe Charles (042XXX)
Wong Weng Fai (068XXX)
Zhang Hao (A00656XXX)

Well done, and thank you for your active participation! Click here to view the entire set of winning entries. Or, view all contest submissions here.

(Updated to add) We will be holding exhibitions for all the winning entries at the following locations:

Music Library: 6 – 12 Aug

Central Library: 13 – 24 Aug

Science Library: 27 Aug – 2 Sept

U Town: 3 – 16 Sept


Georgiana Glass
Central Library

Make Good Art

Neil Gaiman gave the commencement speech at Philadelphia’s the University of the Arts on 17 May.

The video has gone viral, with more than 97,00 views. Neil gave good advice seasoned by humour and years of experience as an award-winning author of fiction, short stories, graphic novels and films.

He talks about the value of ignorance, failures, and making good art. Whatever your academic discipline may be, you’re bound to find Neil’s speech inspiring.

If you have trouble viewing the embedded video, please view it here.

Chrome is Back

Good news! We have finally implemented a solution to the Google Chrome massive downloading problem. This means that users can now use Google Chrome to access our e-resources.

A quick recap of the problem: since last year (as we announced), we had to impose a temporary block on Google Chrome’s access to our electronic resources. The latest version of Google Chrome comes with a built-in PDF plug-in API which reportedly improves the browser’s support for PDF. However, we discovered that this results in Chrome downloading the same PDF file multiple times. This interfered with the current method used by e-resources publishers and our library proxy violation prevention system to detect massive downloading, causing both the publishers and the library proxy to consider this as a violation. NUS was blocked by a publisher on this account. Users also received warning messages and temporary suspension of  access to e-resources.

We have removed the block since 1 Jun 2012, after the successful implementation of a solution which required significant effort and financial commitment to address the issue.

We would like to thank all NUS staff and students who use Chrome for their patience!

Yow Wei Chui
Library Information Technology Unit