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.

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.


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.


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.


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:

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!


For more images of their visit, check out:

NUS Libraries wishes you good luck for your exams!

NUS Libraries would like to wish you the best of luck in your upcoming exams! Do note the special arrangements made so you can study longer at NUS Libraries below.


Music Library (16 April – 4 May): 

Mon-Fri: 8am – 8pm
Sat & Sun: 10am – 5pm
1 & 2 May (Labour Day holidays): 10am-5pm

You may also want to leave your well-wishes to your fellow muggers in our comments section(s)! :)

A Moment in History: Singapore and the 1911 Revolution


The travelling exhibition titled “A Moment in History: Singapore and the 1911 Revolution” is stationed at the NUS Central Library on Level 4 until 31 March 2016. This English-Chinese bilingual exhibition is co-curated by Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall and Hwa Chong Institution, and brings to life the historical links between Singapore, China and Dr. Sun Yat Sen prior to the success of the 1911 Revolution. More importantly, the exhibition highlights the Prominent Trio, namely Teo Eng Hock, Tan Chor Lam and Lim Nee Soon. The Trio were not only keen supporters of Dr Sun Yat Sen and the revolutionary cause, but also hugely contributed to the welfare of the local Chinese community, especially in education.

In conjunction with the exhibition, a Mandarin talk titled “The Prominent Trio: Singapore and the 1911 Chinese Revolution” will be held at NUS Central Library Theatrette 1 (Level 4) on 31 March 2016 (Thursday) from 12.00pm to 1.30pm. The speaker is Dr. Tan Teng Phee, Curator of Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall. This talk is jointly organised by NUS Chinese Library, The Chinese in Southeast Asia Research Group, NUS Department of Chinese Studies and Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall.

Do register for this interesting talk here.



《百年回眸:新加坡与辛亥革命》巡回特展,现于国大中央图书馆四楼展出至2016年3月31日。此巡回展是晚晴园-孙中山南洋纪念馆首次与华侨中学(高中部)的学生共同呈献的展览。学生在馆内研究员的协助下,展开资料收集与文字撰写的工作。展览的内容除了凸出南洋与新加坡对辛亥革命的贡献,也介绍“星洲三杰”张永福、陈楚 楠以及林义顺,在孙中山的革命事业里所扮演的重要角色。

配合此次巡回展,“国大中文图书馆”、“国大中文系东南亚华人研究群” 和“晚晴园—孙中山南洋纪念馆”将于3月31日(星期四)中午12时至下午1时30分联办一场有关新加坡与辛亥革命的专题讲座:“星洲三杰:史料研究与展览叙事”。主讲人是陈丁辉博士(晚晴园-孙中山南洋纪念馆研究员)。



Rounding Up — NUS Libraries’ Scholarly Communication Events (Semester 1, Academic Year 2015/2016)

NUS Libraries supports Green Open Access, one of the two common open access options through which researchers can freely share their scholarly work.

As part of the Library’s continuous efforts to encourage knowledge sharing and open access, our Scholarly Communication team regularly organizes academic publishing talks to support the University in its research initiatives. Here is a summary of the events that have taken place in Semester 1.


1. The changing landscape of the publishing world (26 August 2015) Martijn Roelandse, Manager, Publishing Innovation, Springer

Focusing on the dynamic world of publishing and technology, Martijn first gave an overview of the different stages that the publishing world has evolved into since the 21st century began, such as the increasing pressure on peer reviewers with the ever-increasing submissions for academic publications, and what new forms of peer review have arisen from this. He also explained the role of open access and its impact on the publishing world. Martijn also introduced two new elements that would affect the publishing world ─  the Bookmetrix platform that Springer has developed with Altmetric to provide book and chapter level metrics for book authors, as well as the future of publishing in data sharing or Big Data.


Martijn Roelandse explaining the different types of article metrics


2. How to get your research published internationally: tips and tricks from an academic publisher (17 September 2015) Mrs. Liesbeth Kanis, Business Development Manager Asia, Brill

In this talk, Liesbeth shared some tips and tricks from a publisher’s perspective in turning your PhD into a publication, such as what publishers look for in good publication, and how the publication process, selection, as well as peer review are conducted. She also talked about the differences between publishing your research in a journal and in a book, when each medium would be suitable for your research, and how to do so. Liesbeth also discussed open access options available at the Brill publisher, and even included an ‘A-Z’ list of tips for academic publishing.


3. How to write a publish a paper with Cell Press (19 October 2015) Dr. Bruce Koppelman, Scientific Editor for the Immunity journal, Cell Press

Focusing on the biological and medical sciences, Dr. Koppelman’s presentation was about publishing papers in the scientific fields, including doing so with Cell Press, which publishes biomedical journals. Speaking from the publisher’s perspective, his talk included tips about getting published in these journals, such as writing using the appropriate language in your manuscripts, building your article and what responsibilities and rights you would have as an author.


Dr. Bruce Koppelman explaining to the audience what editors are looking for in good manuscripts


4. Open Access Week 2015— Introduction to open publishing at Taylor & Francis  (21 October 2015) Ms. Wendy Wong, Managing Editor for Science and Technology journals, Taylor & Francis

In conjunction with Open Access Week 2015, Taylor & Francis was one of the two publishers which the Library invited to discuss open access publishing. Wendy presented a detailed overview of open access, including its current global situation and where publishers stand, including the open access publishing options available at Taylor & Francis. She also discussed the opportunities and challenges that open access has presented for both publishers and researchers, and provided some recommendations to help further the open access movement.


Ms. Wendy Wong from Taylor & Francis presenting about open publishing with T&F during OA Week 2015


5. Open Access Week 2015 — Simple guide to writing an article (22 October 2015) Miss Rosalia da Garcia, Executive Director, Consortia/Library Sales and Marketing, SAGE Publications Asia-Pacific

As the other publisher to present on the movement for Open Access Week, Rosalia’s talk first begin with an interesting perspective on the role of social media in open access and how it can help forward the movement. She even shared some interesting developments about the open access movement, such as crowdfunding for academic research, and some trivia about peer review. In the second part, she gave a recommended step-by-step account of the process from writing the article to submitting it to the publisher.



NUS Libraries organizes such talks to help the NUS community in its research endeavors, so do keep a lookout in your emails, our library portal or our social media channels for more of such events!

Raven Sim

NUSL Scholarly Communication Promotion & Publishing Advisory

Japanese Graded Readers (Reberu betsu Nihongo tadoku raiburarī, レベル别日本語多読ライブラリー)

“Japanese Graded Readers” is a series of supplementary reading materials that is edited by the Japan Extensive Reading Association and is targeted specifically at Japanese language learners.

This series is one of the Japanese language readers recommended by the various teaching staff of the Japanese language course offered by the Centre for Language Studies, NUS. The Centre also uses some other volumes of this series as auxiliary teaching materials for their course.

To enable learners of the Japanese language to read Japanese works in various literary genres, the works of this series have been rewritten in simple Japanese. The literary genres include stories, creative works, classics, biographies and more. This series is divided into 5 levels, Level 0 to Level 4. Learners of different levels can select the books based on their levels of proficiency. Every level has a specific standard of vocabulary and grammar. The basic writing and editing rule of this series is to make its contents easily comprehensible to the reader. All the “kanji” (Chinese characters) in the books come with furigana which provide the pronunciations of the “kanji”. Moreover, this series is accompanied by a compact disc that records the reading of its contents. Therefore, even beginners can read the books without having to look up in the dictionary. As readers will be intrigued to read on because the contents are easy to understand, reading becomes a fun thing to do for them. This will motivate them to read even more, and as a result, their Japanese reading ability improves. This is exactly the principal objective of this series – to promote extensive reading.

NUS Chinese Library has “Japanese Graded Readers” (Level 0 – 4):
Reberu betsu Nihongo tadoku raiburarī. Reberu 0 – 4 / kanshū NPO Hōjin Nihongo Tadoku Kenkyūkai. — Tōkyō : Kabushiki Kaisha Asuku, 2012-2015. (PL537 Reb L0 – L4)


Book Reviews on Science Pioneers

In this golden year of jubilee celebration of Singapore’s 50th birthday, it is fitting that we take a look at the past history and contributions of the various science pioneers, and their discoveries which have impacted our modern society. Below are some samples of some fitting books you can find at the Science Library.


William Hodson Brock. 2011. The case of the poisonous socks: tales from chemistry. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry [call no. Q180.85 Dis.Br 2011]

poisonous socks


In this book, Brock has written a collection of essays and tales of 42 chemists from the 19th and 20th centuries, which describes their scientific discoveries as well as their beliefs in the advancement of science and education. Find out how, thanks to the expertise of the chemist, Sir William Crookes, you do not find yourself wearing poisonous socks on your feet today. Or how the multi-coloured billiard ball models of atoms in Chemistry teaching came to be, from August Wilhelm von Hofmann’s innovative education techniques. You can also learn about the eccentric donor legacies of Thomas George Hodgkins who may or may not have donated to the wrong institution!

This book shows a different perspective of Chemistry, chemists and the idiosyncrasies within this subject discipline. Written in a light-hearted tone that blends the delight of quirky tales and enlightenment of scientific innovations, it will surely make you more appreciative of chemistry in our daily lives.


Balazs Hargittai, Magdolna Hargittai, and Istvan Hargittai. 2014. Great minds: reflections of 111 top scientists. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. [call no. Q141 Har 2014]

great minds


This book is a compilation of conducted interviews of the 111 top scientists of the 20th and 21st centuries by the Hargittais. These notable scientists include 68 Nobel Laureates and they span globally from different nations like United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Japan and Taiwan.

Organised by their specialty (physicists, chemists and biomedical scientists), each interview is prefaced with an illuminating reflection of the scientist. For his interview section, Jean-Marie Lehn laments that “I tried to contradict Freud, but he always won.” Francis Crick, who co-discovered the double helix in 1953 with James Watson, states that “I would stress the right of a person who is incurably ill to terminate his own life.” With these interviews, influential scientists such as Linus Pauling and Roger Penrose have allowed us a peek into their thoughts on their scientific work and life reflections.


Juliana Chan, Grace Chua, Shuzhen Sim, Rebecca Tan. 2015. Singapore’s Scientific Pioneers. Asian Scientist Publishing Pte Ltd. E-book available at

spore pioneers


Bringing the focus back to our local shores, Asian Scientist Publishing has profiled 25 Singaporean scientific pioneers aged 50 and above in this e-book. With grants from the SG50 Celebration Fund and the Nanyang Technological University, this commemorative book was made to celebrate the scientific, engineering, medical and educational achievements in Singapore from the past five decades.

A total number of 18 scientific pioneers come from NUS and their backgrounds range from botany to biochemistry. Even our NUS President, Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, is included in this illustrious list! In addition, the prolific Professor Sydney Brenner is among the local scientists as well. He has worked as a trusted advisor to the Singapore government on scientific policy since 1983, and was conferred the inaugural Honorary Citizen Award in 2003. Currently, he is the Senior Fellow at A*Star and holds many senior positions at other established research and education institutes.

To read the individual stories of these scientific pioneers online, you can visit here.

Minuscule Pieces of the Science Library

I love miniatures. Making the bite-size replica of a real-life object unleashes my inner child and allows me to look at the surroundings at a different angle. This time round, I decide to place the spotlight on the prominent (or perhaps forgotten) corners in the library. To all self-proclaimed avid fans of the Science Library out there, how many of these spaces can you recognize here?


Book Drops


Book drops. With their appearances resembling the old English postboxes, these iconic book chutes stand strikingly beside the main entrance. You can “feed” these boxes with the library items that you wish to return (no letters please) but take note of the exceptions.

New Books Corner

“New Books” Corner. Keep a lookout for our newly-purchased titles in this cozy corner. You can also receive regular alerts on the new library titles via MyLINC.


LINC Terminals

LINC terminals. Conveniently located at levels 4 and 5, these LINC PCs come in handy if you are looking for a library item.


Current Journals

Current Journals. Besides the sizeable physical collection of journals in the library, you can locate e-journals in FindMore or LINC. Likewise, look out for the label “Electronic version of this journal available” on the magazine holder to find out if you can view your favourite journal online.


SC Books Room

SC Books Room. Don’t forget our e-book collection as well!


Be sure to drop by these lovely spots the next time you head down to the Science Library. If you’re eagle-eyed enough, you can spot the above miniatures in our library!

Mak Jie Ying

Science Library

The latest happenings at NUS Libraries

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