Tag Archives: tnl

Top 2 Search Tips

1. Limit to only Full-Text.

2. Check NUS Libraries Holdings.

At the 2 library sessions held recently at Hon Sui Sen Memorial Libray’s Training Room, our students wanted to know how to get the full-text of articles.

You see, Business Source Premier, this wonderfully popular business databases, does not have full-text to all its articles (we explained why at the session). So, students wanted to know how to quickly retrieve only full-text articles (hey, some people just know what they want).

Click on the image to see a 1.4min video on how to limit your results to only full-text articles and quickly retrieve the articles. It’s dead easy.



Click on this image to see how to look for articles when there is no full-text.



Check out some pics from the sessions.

Wai Kit is teaching while Kah Wei is assisting a student who came in late. We had some MBAs and some 2nd year undergrads.



Kah Wei is explaining a wildcard search. There is always a joker in a deck of cards, isn’t there?


Top 2 Databases All BIZ Students Should Get To Know

1. Business Source Premier
2. Factiva

You got to love lists.

Get to know all about Business Source Premier today and tomorrow:

Here are the details:

24 Aug, Wed, 2-3pm
25 Aug, Thur, 2-3pm

Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library’s Training Room, 3rd Storey

At the end of the sessions, you will learn how to get articles like these:



Your librarians who will be conducting the sessions are the same two shameless exhibitionists at the recent Bizad Roadshow.


Biz Amazing Race at HSSML

Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library was the starting point of Biz’s Amazing Race. And amazing it was! A race it was not quite.

TNL was there, of course. Who can resist watching a library transform (albeit only for that hour) into a noisy, rowdy, fun-filled place with students running around?

And what a transformation it was. Check it out.

There was a festive and colorful welcome at the entrance of the library. You can see the 3 librarians in the background. No, they were not just waiting around for students. They had spotted the Campus Security patrol car parked outside with lights flashing. It seems a car had skidded into a drain in front of the tennis courts.


The students started streaming in after the briefing in the LT. There were 6 teams. Each named after a hero. Ares was the first to come in. All the new students were in red and the seniors were in navy blue Ts.


First, they had to hear a short briefing about the library and its services. Here is a funny shot of Su Yian (one of the librarians) pointing at the Self-service Borrowing machine and the students looking at the Loans Desk.


After the briefing, 3 reps from each team were sent to Game Master Wai Kit who gave them their 1st clue. Each team had a different clue. But all of teams were required to locate the Call Number of a book (if you don’t know what a Call Number is, aiya, you should have come lah. Tsk, tsk, tsk…) from LINC+ and then locate the book on the shelf.

It doesn’t end there. They had to find a piece of information in the book to be given to the Games Master before he handed them the envelop for their next station.


Teams ran up (well, some did. Some thought time would stand still for them while they sauntered) to the 3rd Storey where the books and LINC+ terminals were. 

When they got there, they tapped furiously away. Some were clever enough to take a pic of the screen which showed the Call Number of the book.



Then off they ran to the shelves to locate the book. Ah… here is where they stumbled. Some remembered just a part of the Call Number and got shocked when they realised, hey, there are tons of books with HD31! Which one, leh?



When they found the book they wanted, it was quickly scanning the book for that bit of information.


Then off they went to the Game Master to submit their answers to get the next clue. But wait.. first, they had to perform a mini activity…

Some got patted on their heads…


 And 2 librarians got proposed to…




All things done, then, it is off to the next station.


 Have a look at Game Master Wai Kit’s photostream.

Bizad Academic Fair and Roadshow (What Great Fun!)

The shenanigans that librarians get up to. Tsk, tsk, tsk…

TNL was at the Bizad Academic Fair and Roadshow last Mon and my, oh, my… check these pics out.

Here you see the 2 librarians from the Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library standing quietly in front of their booth at the start of the roadshow. rd01

Wai Kit is wearing the giant book he made – “Library for Newbies”. Kah Wei is wearing giant earrings which are miniatures of Wai Kit’s book cover.rd02

Wai Kit’s book cover opens to a pink torso with a stack of HSSML Fact Sheets for the taking and a sign that says “Please take a piece of me”. Now, this is where the fun starts…


Here is Wait Kit flashing the students. What can TNL say? The girls knew a “piece” of Wai Kit was good to have. So a piece each they certainly took. But the chap on the right had only this to say – “I rather not”.


These chaps, on the other hand, were curious. Very curious.


TNL shan’t say too much of what this chap had in mind. With nary a thought, he took what he wanted.


Kah Wei had her share of comments about her earrings. The first comment came from a near-sighted but polite young man of good taste. “Aunty, your earrings damn cool.”


Then, some girls started asking questions about how the earrings were made. Oi! Ask about the library leh!


All in all, the librarians had lots of fun. They gave out over 200 library guides and highlighters. The Dean came by with a wide smile and a thumbs-up. Lots of friends from the faculty sauntered by to chat and gave their support.

As for TNL – well, she didn’t quite get to take a piece of anything. But just so you know… she had a fun time too.

PS. Here is Wai Kit’s photostream.

Bizad Academic Fair and Roadshow (and we will be there too!)

Welcome, welcome, all ye newbies!

Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library (HSSML), your very own business library, welcomes our new students to a brand new year of lots of learning and discovering.

Come and get to know us at the Bizad Academic Fair and Roadshow on Mon, 1 Aug, betwen 5-7pm, at the Mochtar Riady Building foyer.

We will have a booth there and will be handing out the NUS Library Guides (How many libraries are there in NUS?, Who do I contact if I need help?, etc) and HSSML Fact Sheets (“Where is the Loans Desk? Where are your books?, etc).

And every year, we have little freebies to give away.

Here are some pics of our friends getting ready for the roadshow.

This is Wai Kit, our new librarian, doing his new librarian thing of preparing for orientation.


Wai Kit getting his costume ready. Yup, folks, he is going to be walking around wearing this fake giant book.


Murni is getting the library guides, fact sheets and freebies ready.


The freebies this year is a really cute pack of mini highlighters and baby stapler.


See you!

Once a Sssher, Always a Sssher…

One lovely afternoon, out in the quiet corridors of academia, a burst of laughter and noisy chatter filled the still, humid air. Students in baggy T-shirts and shorts were running around playing all sorts of games and obviously, having great fun. Ahh… orientation has started …

Just as the old TNL was chuckling with colleagues, recalling past orientation games held outside the library, a very agitated graduate student came into the library demanding attention. Could the librarians please stop these students from making all this noise outside? Can’t you hear the din? We can’t study!

Well, it seems, some grad students ensconced in the student lounge just found it real tough to hit the books with all the fun and activity going on outside. It is Special Term after all. And somehow all their requests to quieten down went unheeded. Oh dear, oh dear…

The grad student seem to think librarians do a better job at ssshhh-ing….. even if it is in some place other than the library. A ssshher is a ssshhher, no matter where the noise is coming from, right?

Of course, we tried our best but you know how it is with things happening along corridors of the school. Help was certainly needed. 

But that isn’t the point. TNL couldn’t wait to entice her colleagues into a discussion on who had the right of way.

A new colleague fell for it like a ton of bricks stating his stand very firmly without a moment’s hesitation. The university is, after all, a community of diverse groups involved in all sorts of activities. Come on, just once a year, let the students break out and have fun. Student life isn’t all about studying. Hmmm….Spoken like someone who had just left that student life, well, not too long ago.

The old jaded sorts, like our very own TNL, could not help but sympathise with those that had assignments due, exams to take. All these while the rest of the university is on vacation! Perchance, our grad friends were feeling a tad envious? 

Well, one of TNL’s colleagues had the last word on it – they better start bracing themselves for more because it is just only the beginning!

What You Put In Your Bibliography

One fine day, a very supportive and extremely focused Vice Dean wanted to know whether his first years used academic databases for a particular assignment.

You see, the students were supposed to write on something current with a Singapore focus. He didn’t want a Google deal. “Its about time they started on academic databases. By the time they get to FYP, I want all of them to be up to speed.”

As far as TNL is concerned, the least invasive, least stressful way of finding out if these students were using academic databases is to look at their bibliographies. You know, those lists of references at the end of each paper you submit?

Think about it. These are sources (books, journal articles, research papers, web sites, etc) from which you referred to to get the information you to need to analyse and write your paper. Don’t you think perhaps the quality of these sources maybe a reflection of the quality of the paper you submit?

The question is what does TNL look out for in a bibliography?

Well, that depends on the assignment itself and what information is required to support the analysis.

There is sometimes a good mix of primary and secondary sources. Sometimes in different media types. Sometimes from government bodies, research organizations, commercial places. Sometimes the currency of the sources.

But definitely, without a doubt, only the lecturer (or rather the expert in that research area) will be able to discern the absolutely-must-haves from the by-the-way-maybes.

The next time you think it is such a gargantuan and odious task to search for sources for your assignment and put them together in a bibliogarphy, just think of what someone (like, say, a librarian) may look for when asked to (say, from a Vice Dean).

PS. Want to get academic sources for your assignment? Email your fave librarian listed in any of these subject guides.

Baloney Online

On Monday, 25 April, a newspaper ran an article about detecting baloney online.

Actually, what caught TNL’s attention was the first word/verb of the headline –  “Teach people to detect baloney online”.

Unfortunately, the silly old girl thought she was going to be reading the “hows” of detection. Not quite, it seems. The article says you got to teach students to detect baloney online (or as the writer says, “more politely, [teach] critical thinking”).

You know, for the longest time, librarians have been going forth to teach how to evaluate information sources. We have it in our website, we include it when we teach how to search for information for student projects, we point it out when we show how to look for specific information such as citation counts, we draw comparisons between reputable databases. The list goes on.

Librarians deal with information and sources of information every day. When it comes to information sources, we have an in-built  system in our librarian DNA that kicks in automatically. We instinctively check, counter-check, dissect, pull apart, question, compare, verify. 

When searching for information for your projects or assignments, all TNL can say is “Don’t settle”.

Never settle for results or information gotten from your very first search.

Eh, excuse me, you mean when your Mummy shows you a photo of second Aunty’s friend’s cousin’s eldest daughter who is also single and available, you say, “Ok, Mum. Book Ritz-Carlton and make sure it is on my corporate retreat weekend so I can save on the honeymoon”?

It is easy to pick the most relevant Internet sites (Google does a good job of pushing the most relevant sites up the list, doesn’t it?). The questions you really got to ask yourself are – Is this enough to help me analyse, am I seeing the whole picture, who or what is this organization that is producing this data, when was this published? When you start asking questions, they don’t stop.

It takes time to figure out which are good and reliable sources. And you know what – you, you students and lecturers out there, you with your questions (“What are the population prospects of Penang for the next 10 years?” “What is the market share of Xbox in Singapore?”, etc), you contribute to this process of testing and evaluating the strengths and limitations of one information source from the other. You contribute to the building of this knowledge base.

So you see, the more one searches, the more one compares, the more one knows, one cannot settle.

Or perhaps, one just needs to check with the librarian. That works too.


When a particular business library went through the process of renovation, the staff of the library faced a process of change too.

The most obvious was managing the renovation work which was an astounding new experience of dealing with architects, estate officers, contractors, sub-contractors, electricians, workers and cleaners.  On top of all that, library staff had to continue maintaining service standards in conditions that changed every couple of months as the renovation progressed in phases.  And don’t let us start about the noise and the dust.

During the whole period of the renovation, TNL had moved her work area, count it, at least 4 times. Blindfold her now and she could still pack, unpack and assemble her PC and IP phone in 5 minutes flat. 

Nobody likes changes. Least of all, the old girl. TNL tells herself repeatedly, it is for the better, it is for the greater good, it is going to be a nicer library, the students will be happy, what an invaluable learning  experience, yada, yada, yada. Yeah, right.

But you know, really, it has been good. It has not been perfect. Things could be better. But it has been good. Although TNL was not in the core team, she was given tasks and responsibilities that made her participate in this change. Seeing how things moved (and sometimes, not), opened her little beady eyes to how people worked in situations where multiple forces (and egos) abound. She encountered energy, passion, drive, tiredness, exasperation, frustration, anger, relief and joy. She saw stubborness, arrongance, manipulations, inattentiveness, apathy but also adaptability, quick thinking, respect, humility and grace.

Participating helped. Being in the thick of it meant contributing to it, being responsible for it, owning a part of it.

No amount of psycho babble could have given TNL what she needed – the acceptance of the reality of change. No, not truly embracing change but rather making some sense of it.

What a Hiatus!

What? You think the old girl up and left? Not so.

You can’t quite get rid of TNL. Not so soon.

She would gladly tell you that she was pleasantly reminded recently she had got to her quarter of a century mark in her service to the university.

Imagine that – 25 years! In a university like this, that is like a dime in a dozen. We still have with us steady stalwarts with 40 years under their belts giving excellent service, contributing with energy and love and inspiring TNL with little nuggets of wisdom. 

But don’t you ever ask the old girl how long she has been at NUS. She will start describing herself as that  little bit of mold growing in the furthest dark corner on the underside of an old reading table tucked away in Closed Stacks. Uggh…

But TNL digresses… these past few months, TNL had been busy keeping up with the renovation of a particular business library. The renovation work was led by the Head of the library and her core team. TNL was given tasks and little jobs that kept her busy and with little time for reflection and writing. But all that is over now. The newly-renovated library is fully operational and students are making good use of the new areas. 

Tis the season for exams and after that comes a much-awaited vacation. And time to read and write for the old girl…