Tag Archives: NUS Libraries

Introducing: NUSL Express!

NUS staff and students at UTown can now borrow books from NUSL Express, a mini “branch library” which is an automated book lending and returning machine. Located at the Education and Resource Center near Starbucks, this library is accessible 24/7. You can now save on time travelling to other libraries, borrow a book from NUSL Express, have a cup of coffee and and contemplate on the book while gazing at the soothing green field.

NUS Libraries is the first academic library in Singapore to have such a fully automated self-service book lending and returning machine. The system is quick and convenient as it is retrieves the exact books requested and updates your loan records immediately after each transaction. A book returned at NUSL Express will be immediately available to the next user. The system is smart enough to recognise and reject returned books that do not belong to NUSL Express.

Only titles that are recommended readings for course modules taught at UTown are available from NUSL Express. Currently, there are more than 200 titles available for loan, although the machine can accommodate up to 500 books. More books will be made available as lecturers add more titles to the list. You can browse or search the titles from the multilingual catalogue displayed on the machine’s screen. Some of the books can be borrowed for 2 hours while others for 2 days (i.e.48 hours). Do check the due date or due time of the books you borrow and ensure that books borrowed from NUSL Express are also returned there. A date or time due slip will be printed for each loan, but this will be eliminated in the future when the system is able to send email messages on each loan transaction.

NUS Libraries

New to NUS?

New to NUS? Come and join our library orientation programmes, and get a headstart with your assignments and projects!

Central Library Programmes

FASS, FOE, SDE & SOC students can join either the hands-on or online sessions, or tours!
• Tours (Reception Desk)
Date: 1, 2, 5, 6, 12 – 16 Aug
10 – 10.45am, 1 – 1.45pm

• Search Skills Training (Training Room, Level 6)
Date: 1, 2, 5, 6, 12 – 16 Aug
Graduate students: 11am – 12.30pm
Undergraduates: 2 – 3.30pm
No registration is required. First come, first-served basis.
• Online (WebEx) session: 11am – 12.30pm
Date: 22 Aug
Look out for announcements on the library portal.

Tour Chinese Library

Library tours from 12 – 23 Aug (except weekends), twice daily at 10 – 11am and 2 – 3pm.
Please meet at the Information Desk of the Chinese Library.

Business School Students

Come to Hon Sui Sen Library for a tour and after that, an information searching session with FindMore@NUSL. No registration is required.
Date: 12 – 16 Aug
Time: 11am, 12pm, 1pm

Meet at the Information Desk of Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library (Level 1).

Discover Science Library

Join us for a hands-on library orientation session cum tour. All are welcome and no registration is required.
Venue: Science Library, Block S6, Level 4, Training Room
Date & Time:
5 Aug (Mon): 11 am – 12 pm
6 Aug (Tue): 12 – 1 pm
13 Aug (Tue): 1 – 2 pm

For enquiries, please contact sclib@nus.edu.sg.

Students from Dentistry, Law, Medical, and Nursing faculties as well as Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music will have pre-arranged visits to the libraries. Do check with your respective departments!

For more information, you may also want to check out the following:

New to NUS guide
Interactive library guide
NUS Libraries’ Facebook page
NUS Libraries’ YouTube page

We wish you a fun and fruitful time at NUS!

Instant Books

Word has it that a book lending and returning machine has landed on campus, and will be ready for use very soon.

I was inspired to surf the Internet for book dispensing machines, and I found two really cool ones.

Monkey’s Paw bookshop at Toronto has a Biblio-Mat machine that dispenses old and curious titles for a mere 2 Canadian dollars.

Bookseller Stephen Fowler was musing about putting his assistant into a box to dispense books when somebody drops a coin, but animator Craig Small decided to convert an old metal locker into a vending machine for the books. Read more about the Biblio-Mat here and watch the video below:



In the library world, Fullerton Public Library has stocked a vending machine with a capacity for 500 bestsellers. Those with library cards and no outstanding fines can choose from the titles that are currently visible on the racks.

Dubbed the FPL Station due to its proximity to the Fullerton train station, this machine offers access to books 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Bibliophiles with no time to visit a brick and motar library, rejoice! Find out more about the FPL Station here.



NUS  Libraries’ own machine is already on campus, has anyone noticed it yet? We’ll write more about that later!


What a Library Is; What a Library Means

Quite frequently I see students in the library doing–how should I put this?–non-academic activities. Sleeping is the most common one, and also various online hobbies such as playing WoW (or CoH or other MMORPGs), watching videos (I actually saw a student watching the 1984 television version of the Legend of the Condor Heroes once, which made me almost weep with nostalgia), browsing Facebook and other social media websites. The one activity I have to swoop in and stop is eating, as food, including crumbs, stains and leftovers, will attract pests, not to mention introduce unpleasant odours.

While noticing all these extra-curricular activities, I sometimes wonder how students view the library nowadays. Reams of articles, surveys and data have been generated in the library science field on the perception of the library by its users, and I don’t think anyone has definitively come up with an answer. There is usually a gap between what the user of the library wants and needs, and what the library offers. Filling this gap takes resources and we may not always get it right.

The library as a physical space has become increasingly irrelevant for learning and research, as entire fields of information, such as company financials, statistics, indexes and industry data are moving online. However, the library as an entity has become increasingly important–and paradoxically more invisible–as electronic resources need to be reviewed, subscribed to, organized, and presented to users in a meaningful and accessible form. Users may see the “graceful swan”, which is easy access to information they need. Alas, they may overlook all the hard pedaling the swan needs to do under the surface.

So, while I do not worry that the library as a space is taken up by users for leisure activities, I do worry that users do not see and so hence do not value, the fact that librarians work tirelessly to obtain and proffer information that would otherwise be locked away and made available only at a prohibitive cost. So use the e-resources while you have them, students; once you graduate, all the easily accessible articles, statistics, company reports and other online information will be closed to you!

Results of the Library User Perception Survey Prize Draw

On 25 April 2013, 15 excited students and staff gathered at Central Library Theatrette One. It was the prize presentation ceremony for the Library User Perception Survey Prize Draw!

The 15 winners were randomly selected from the pool of participants of the Library User Perception Survey, held from 7 to 28 March. What made the event even more exciting was everyone knew they had won something. The live draw was for them to see for themselves which prizes they were getting.

The event started off with a welcome message by Deputy University Librarian, Mrs Lee Cheng Ean, who thanked the audience for participating in the Library User Perception Survey. Next, Senior Librarian Aaron Tay shared some highlights from the survey results, including sample comments given by the participants. A write up of the survey results will be published on the Library Survey website shortly.

Finally, it was the moment everyone was waiting for! Anticipation was high as University Librarian, Ms Sylvia Yap started drawing the winners’ names from a glass bowl. The draw started from the fifteenth prize. As more names were being drawn for the prizes, those whose names had not yet been called became more excited, as they would have better chances of winning the top prizes generously sponsored by the library’s partners.

The first prize winner, Ms Sandhya Chintalapati, walked away with an Asus 7 inch tablet, while our second prize winner, Ms Mukta Bansal, won an iPad mini.

After the draw and a quick round of photo-taking, everyone enjoyed a spread of pastries, coffee and tea. Conversation flowed and new friends were made.

We thank the NUS community for participating in the 2013 Library User Perception Survey. We received a total of 6,718 responses, with a response rate of 14.3%.  Your contributions to the survey will help us perform better.  Look out for the summarized results, which will be published later at the Library Survey website.

Congratulations once again to our prize winners:

1st prize (Asus 7 inch tablet 32GB 3G):  Sandhya Chintalapati

2nd prize (iPad mini wi-fi 16GB):  Mukta Bansal

3rd prize (Nikon Coolpix S6400 digital camera):  Tan Ching Yi

4th prize (3M Polarizing light):  Benoit Mayer

5th prize (3M Polarizing light):  Zhou Yong Justin

6th prize (3M Polarizing light):  Jonas Taege

7th prize (Cooler Master power fort 6600mAh):  Elizebeth Mathai Aswathy

8th prize ($100 shopping vouchers):  Lin Xuzheng

9th prize ($100 shopping vouchers):  Tang Ka Fai

10th prize ($100 shopping vouchers):  Lin Hsiao Lei

11th prize ($100 shopping vouchers):  Wong Chun Foong Jovian

12th prize ($100 shopping vouchers):  Zhang Hong

13th prize (Wireless mouse + $50 Kinokuniya vouchers):  Yang Kaymond

14th prize (Wireless mouse + $50 Kinokuniya vouchers):  Yeo Li Xia Amanda

15th prize (Wireless mouse + $50 Kinokuniya vouchers):  Hsu Jung Pu

Library Survey 2013 Team

New Law Databases

Here are two law databases that were added to our electronic resources collection recently:


eGazette gives the pdf version of the printed Singapore government gazette and goes as far back as 1998. It is updated daily and like the print gazette, it covers bills and acts supplement, the subsidiary legislation supplement, the industrial relations and trade marks supplements. 

You can also browse the free version at http://www.egazette.com.sg/Welcome.aspx which is made available for public viewing for 5 days.


Investment arbitration reporter

The coverage starts from 2008 onwards and it tracks international arbitrations between foreign investors and their host governments and analyzes key developments in the area of international investment law. Among the areas that it covers are ICC and SCC rules, environmental, energy, mining and telecoms disputes. 

Do note that access to both databases is for NUS students and staff only.

Zaleha Othman
C J Koh Law Library

Tell Us What You Think!

Library users, now is your chance to tell us what you think!

From 7 March to 28 March, NUS Libraries is conducting an online user perception survey on the quality of library services. This survey is open to all NUS students and staff (except library staff) with a NUSNET ID.

By now, you would have received an email invitation with the link to the library survey. Please click on the link provided in the invitation email to answer the survey, from 7 to 28 March. It will take only about  10 to 15 minutes to complete the survey. Rest assured that your responses in this survey are strictly private and confidential. Your valuable feedback will provide us with opportunities to improve.

In addition, you will also stand a chance to win attractive prizes! To qualify for the prize draw, you need to submit your NUS email address when completing the survey. Among the exciting prizes up for grabs: Asus 7” tablet, iPad mini, digital camera, shopping vouchers and more!

Look out for the summarized results of the survey, to be publicized later.

For more information about the survey and the prize draw, visit the web site here.


Library Survey 2013 team

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

Fabulously Peranakan

From colorful kebayas to exciting jogets, NUS Libraries’ staff got a taste of being fabulously Peranakan for an afternoon. On 8 Jan, the library had our annual hi-tea at the Hotel InterContinental and many staff took the opportunity to doll up like nyonyas!

Ladies in kebaya

With games, good food and lucky draws, it was a wonderful opportunity for staff to let loose and enjoy each other’s company. We not only saw a very different side to our colleagues but to our bosses too! These candid moments are indeed hard to come by and should be treasured.

During this event, the library also took the opportunity to recognize staff who have been serving with us for many years as well as those who have exhibited exemplary behavior at work. Good job, dear colleagues!

Long Service Award

We are certainly looking forward to the next annual event, which I believe, will be an extra special one. More on that, in a later posting!

Gerrie Kow Yu
Central Library