College of Humanities and Sciences (CHS) Open House: Highlights from NUS Libraries

By Nur Diyana, Lyndia Chen, Patsy Chia & Mak Jie Ying


The recent College of Humanities and Sciences (CHS) Open House drew a diverse crowd of prospective students, faculty, alumni and visitors. Held on 18 May 2024 (Saturday), the main stage for Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) took place in NUS Central Library while the Faculty of Science (FoS) held theirs in conjunction with its 95th Anniversary Alumni Homecoming within the faculty premises and the Medicine+Science Library.

At Central Library, we participated by showcasing a selection of rare books and interactive activities that highlighted our rich collections and collaborations with FASS departments.

Among the rare books on display was the Dictionarium Malaico-Latinum Latino-Malaicum, published in Rome in 1631. This dictionary, one of the oldest texts in NUS Libraries, offers a fascinating glimpse into early linguistic and cultural exchanges between the Malay and Latin-speaking worlds. Another notable book on display was Voiage de Gautier Schouten aux Indes Orientales: Commencé l’an 1658 & Fini l’an 1665, published in Amsterdam in 1708. This travelogue takes readers to East Indies ports such as Malacca through explorer Gautier Schouten’s accounts.

Rare books on display

Beyond books, there’s plenty to be had at our library! Participants could choose between a virtual or a physical treasure hunt. The virtual treasure hunt featured our award-winning BookBridge, allowing participants to explore library treasures digitally. The physical treasure hunt led participants to current library attractions, including the tiger showcase and our special collections exhibitions.

Students checking out the BookBridge at our virtual treasure hunt

A 360 video of the event courtesy of our library student associate, JF

Meanwhile, at the Medicine+Science Library, visitors had the opportunity to learn about our dynamic library spaces and the significance of our Reserved Books and Readings (RBR) collection through a fun and interactive quiz. Alumni visitors were thrilled to learn about the resources and events available to them. In fact, many were impressed that NUS Libraries offers 24/7 spaces today. They couldn’t help but marvel at how fortunate students are nowadays as they reminisced fondly about their university days. All visitors walked away with beautifully designed yet functional library souvenirs such as notebooks and folders, as mementos of their visit.

Discovering our library through an online quiz

The responses to our booths were positive, with visitors appreciating the opportunity to view rare texts, learn about interdisciplinary collaborations, and engage in fun, informative activities. Many students expressed interest in disciplines offered by FASS and FoS and sought advice from our librarians on managing university life, effective study habits, time management, and utilising academic support services. Faculty members also learnt about collaboration opportunities using the resources and tools offered by us.

A buzz of activities at the Medicine+Science Library

We had some fascinating conversations with a few visitors about librarianship. Several incoming students shared their excitement about the prospect of becoming librarians, while a curious parent of another prospective student asked if librarians were actually students! We couldn’t help but smile as we proudly explained that we are professional working adults, most of whom hold a Masters degree in Library and Information Science 😀

Visitors engaging with librarians

Overall, the Open House was an excellent platform for us to connect with the FASS and FoS community, showcasing our resources, fostering academic curiosity, and highlighting the collaborative spirit that drives our institution forward. We hope the visitors had as much fun as we did!

Our team at Medicine+Science Library

The Central Library team


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