Researcher Unbound- A Research Journey Enabled by your Library

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Like most Library initiatives, Researcher Unbound started from conversations. In this case, the conversations were with the PhD students of NUS School of Business. We realised that though the journey that every PhD student embarks on is an arduous one, we could help make the road ahead a little less bumpy.

The eager beaver librarians of Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library thus designed a series of workshops which cover a range of diverse topics:

  • Inspiration for a good research topic for paper
  • Management of citation and documentation
  • Writing analytically and clearly
  • Identifying the right databases and using them effectively
  • Finding statistics in an infinite pool of data
  • Enhancing career planning and soft skills with a broad range of library resources

Because the PhD journey is understandably hectic, we are offering workshops once a month, starting this semester 2016/2017, so that you can better organise your schedule.

The First Workshop- Orientation

Researcher Unbound kicked off on 3rd August, when we conducted the first workshop (Orientation) for the new intake of Biz PhDs. Besides having loads of fun exploring the library and its collection, students quickly picked up on how to #discoverbetter using FindMore and databases like Business Source Premier. It was also a great opportunity for us to build an enduring friendship with you, one that will likely outlast your stay with us.

Here’s a what you can expect in the Researcher Unbound series:

All PhD students are welcome to these workshops! Note: the topics and case-studies discussed during the workshops will be more business-focused.

If you are interested to register, please contact:

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b’Cause — Preview II

With the book fund raising sale coming up soon, let’s take a look at some of the interesting titles you can purchase for reasonably low prices. Do remember that all proceeds are going for a worthy cause to assist students with financial need in NUS!

This week let’s take a look at one of the most popular categories in the Book Sale, fiction!

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Here are some selections from the fiction that we’ve collected for sale. The one thing they all have in common is that they all deal with historical characters and the enigmas they represent. Books like those pictured here, often bring you on an incredible journey with their protagonists and are so descriptive you feel the thrill of being on this journey with them.

  • The latest instalment in the Robert Langdon series, Inferno is based off the infamous epic by Dante and real picturesque locations that are associated with it. As with the earlier books, it’s a race against time to figure out the truth and solve the puzzles before it’s too late but this time Dr. Langdon is more personally involved in the plot than ever before.
  • Bring Up the Bodies is a fictional re-telling of the tale of the much-written about Anne Boleyn, introducing a new character to serve on the side of King Henry. Mantel has also been praised for providing an interesting cognitive perspective to the known history of Anne Boleyn.
  • The Guardians of the Covenant is a translated work from Norway dealing with an archaeologist’s dicovery of a viking conspiracy and it’s coverup leading the reader through the sights and sounds of Norway.
  • The Third Secret looks at the church and religion and introduces a conspiracy of a hidden truth/message. It has been compared to Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons and is a piece of fiction that is reputed to be quite balanced in terms of characterisation and pace of the novel.
  • Finally, the Testament is a novel that brings us on a rather familiar journey of discovering an ancient order that was charged with protecting a dangerous secret. The difference would most likely be in that the protagonist now has to follow his father’s footsteps in the Order but he has to discover the truth first. Also, this was written by the author who created the Bourne series.

We hope the titles here have piqued your interest and we hope to see you at the Fundraising Sale (in conjunction with ERDD 2016)  at Central Library!

P.S. If you’re interested in winning some attractive prizes, you might want to check out the ERDD Online Quiz , happening now!

New Library Portal – Faster, Simpler, Liberating

If you haven’t already noticed, our Library Portal has gone through an almost total overhaul, with:

  • intuitive quick links
  • faster access to electronic services
  • consolidated space for library happenings
  • powerful personalisation

And that’s not all. Your indispensable discovery service FindMore, as well as the online library catalogue have been given fresh, modern faces that deliver information in entirely responsive pages. That means you’ll now get your information anytime, anywhere, from any device.

If you want more information on the new Library Portal, we’ve even prepared a Frequently-Asked-Questions page.

Let us know what you think, okay?

b’Cause – Preview

Our annual fundraising sale is coming up soon and this year and every year this Librarian gets very excited to ‘help’ with the pricing and sorting of books that are donated. Partially because I love books and the sheer variety of books we get every year is absolutely amazing. So, in this post, and a few more over the next few weeks, we will be sharing some interesting finds with you.

 

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I think this picture illustrates the variety we’ve received. In this picture alone, we feature:

  • A scientific take on the preparation of food and studying how and why different ingredients come together
  • Compilation of commentary from historians, sociologists and more on the rapid expansion of urban spaces in Asia
  • A book that teaches the importance and value of being able to have and understand different perspectives even that of our canine friends
  • An adult colouring book illustrating the majestic beasts we share our planet with
  • A psychology text book looking more at practical applications of the topic to our real life

We also have books on business, medicine, science and of course, fiction! You can come check them out yourself when the sale happens on 25-26 August 2016, at Central Library. See you then!

 

NUS Libraries Cares for the Environment Week 2016

NUSLibraries-Cares-For-the-Environment-2016-2059The library’s green action team, known as GreenSprouts and more affectionately as the Taugeh team, kicked off the inaugural NUS Libraries Cares for the Environment Week on 6 June, through a series of activities:

  • inviting colleagues to undertake an online pledge to perform concrete green actions.  These include measures like reducing aircon usage at home, to using less water during mundane tasks as teeth brushing
  • soliciting old spectacles from colleagues in a rare but well-received spectacles donation drive
  • developing a simple Green Policy that will become the basis of NUS Libraries continued commitment to environmentally-responsible activities
  • hosting a mini exhibition that displayed posters on environmental sustainability.  A grateful shout-out to NUS Office of Environmental Sustainability for providing most of the artwork
  • bringing in Mr Tan Yi Han, co-founder of PM.Haze, to deliver the illuminating “Stop the Haze” talk

A lot of people, I think, went away from Yi Han’s passionate talk armed with a deeper understanding on why haze seems to return to our shores every year without fail, and what we can do on an individual basis to literally #StopTheHaze!  For example, because some ordinary household stuff contain raw materials derived from crops that are grown on haze-producing property, consumers can help stop the haze by only buying products that bear the RSPO label.  These labels bear testimony that the companies making these products do not engage in destructive slash-and-burn tactics.

Do you have any practical ideas on how we can keep the haze at bay?  Share them by leaving a comment on this space.  The Taugeh team loves all your feedback!

Meanwhile, click on the photo below to get to our official gallery. Stay tuned.  Stay green.

NUS Libraries Cares for the Environment Week 2016

NUS Libraries Cares for the Environment Talk: Will the facemask become part of our wardrobe

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Besides triggering the worst incidence of air pollution in recent memory, last year’s haze cost Singapore about S$700 million. Though the problem has been with us since the seventies, little has been done to stop the soot and smoke blowing in from neighbouring regions. Why?

Just two commodities, palm oil and paper, play huge roles. Tan Yi-Han, co-founder of the People’s Movement to Stop Haze, unearths the trail of money that begins right from our very shores. Learn how ordinary consumers like us can take action to stop the haze in its tracks.

Talk details:

  • 6 June 2016, 9:00 am to 10:30 am (Central Library’s Theatrette 1)

All NUS staff and students are welcome. Register here

That’s not all. Keep your university ID cards and Library PIN in hand, and you’ll be able to borrow the latest and brightest works on environmental sustainability from our #powerpicks.

University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos visits NUS Libraries

In collaboration with the International Relations Office (IRO) of NUS, NUS Libraries hosted a group of 12 faculty and library staff from the University of Negros Occidental-Recoleto (UNOR) on 27 April 2016, who were keen to learn best practices from top universities like NUS. Founded in Bacolod, Negros Occidental (Philippines) in 1941, the UNOR is a Roman Catholic university administered by the Order of Augustinian Recollects. The highlight of the visit was a tour of both the Central Library and Chinese Library, where our guests had the opportunity to interact with NUS librarians, as well as observe the innovative ways we engage and deliver service to students and faculty.

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University Librarian, Mrs Lee Cheng Ean, with the delegation from University of Negros Occidental-Recoleto

 

100 Years Ago….

Many students, especially students from the Business School, frequent the Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library; but how many know who the library was named after, and why the word “Memorial” is in the name? There are several departments in NUS named after donors who have generously given to the university, such as the C J Koh Law Library, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music and the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health. However, the Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library was not built from funds donated by Mr Hon, but rather from members of the public after his death, to commemorate a man who played a pivotal role in the rise of Singapore’s modern economy.

Mr Hon Sui Sen (韩瑞生) was born in Penang on April 16, 1916. After obtaining a scholarship, he came to Singapore in 1935 to study in Raffles College.   Among his hostel mates in Raffles College were Mr Goh Keng Swee and Mr Lim Kim San.

During the Japanese Occupation, Mr Hon’s wife went back to Penang when she was pregnant; Mr Hon, earning a meagre salary as a clerk under the Japanese occupation government, had to stay in the homes of friends’ families, including Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s. He shared a room with Mr Lee, and a long and so a close friendship developed.

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Left to right: Mr Maurice Baker, Joan Hon, Mr Hon Sui Sen and Mr Lee Kuan Yew, c1948

 

Amongst Mr Hon’s many contributions to Singapore, he served as Chairman of:

Mr Hon also established and became Chairman of the Economic Development Board (EDB) in 1961. Mr Hon served for 13 years as Minister Finance, from 1970 until his death in 1983. He was succeeded in that role by our current President, Mr Tony Tan Keng Yam.

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Mr Hon Sui Sen, c1970s

 

Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library

The Havelock Community Centre leaders and senior civil servants mooted the idea to start a fund to build a library as a fitting memorial to the late Mr Hon’s selfless dedication to society and the country. Mr Hon had served as MP for the (now-defunct) Havelock Constituency from April 1970 until his death, retaining his seat through three general elections.

In December 1984, the Planning Committee for the Library was set up and Mrs Lee-Wang Cheng Yeng was appointed Head-Designate of the Library and Chairperson of the Committee.

The Library started operations on 15 June 1987 and was declared officially opened by Mr Goh Chok Tong, the then First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence on 15 January 1988.

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Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library c1988

 

If you’d like to learn more about Mr Hon Sui Sen and why he was central to the development of Singapore as we know it today, the library collection does contains books written about him, and also by him. You can start with these, where most of the information in this post was obtained from:

A tribute to Hon Sui Sen  / Havelock Citizens’ Consultative Committee : Havelock Community Centre Management Committee (Call No: DS599.51 Hon.T in CL, HSSML)

Strategies of Singapore’s economic success  / Hon Sui Sen (DS599.51 Hon 2004 in CL, HSSML)

Relatively speaking / Joan Hon (DS599.51 Hon.H in CL, HSSML, SC)

Channel News Asia’s documentary series Men with a Mission also featured an episode on Mr Hon. You can view it online here: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/tv/tvshows/men-with-a-mission/hon-sui-sen/2536540.html

Innova Junior College visits NUS Libraries

On 8 April 2016, NUS Libraries welcomed a group of energetic students and teachers from Innova Junior College. These students are members of the Library Council, an upcoming Co-Curricular Activity (CCA) in their junior college. Our librarians took the students on a tour in Central Library and Chinese Library, taking the opportunity to share with them the range of resources and services that are available in NUS Libraries.

 

After the tour, everyone gathered at a cosy corner on level 4 of Central Library and exchanged some good pointers on managing library materials and facilities. One of the teachers shared that their library, named Libraria (don’t you just find this name elegant?), is about to undergo a revamp and they hoped to transform their library into one as conducive for their needs as NUS Central Library. Some students also raised their upcoming plans to hold activities in their library and wanted to learn from how NUS Libraries reaches out to faculty staff and students to participate in the various activities at the Libraries. In turn, our librarians shared their experiences and brought up suggestions, which seemed to inspire the young potential ‘librarians’ as they were fervently jotting down notes in their notebooks. Such passion!

 

It was certainly an enriching experience, not just for the teachers and students of Innova Junior College, but also for our librarians! We wish Innova Junior College all the best and look forward to hearing about their upcoming newly furnished library!

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For more images of their visit, check out: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nuslibraries/albums/72157667012023061/with/26417128205/

The latest happenings at NUS Libraries

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