Monday, April 17, 2006

Celebrating Libraries: Last call for submissions

celebrating libraries 2006Message from my colleague involved in the NLB Celebrating Libraries initiative:

The deadline for submitting stories for Celebrating Libraries will be closing at the end of this month. So far, the committee has received more than 400 entries from the open category, more than 300 entries for the school category and nearly 50 entries for the Librarian award nominations.
The organising committee would appreciate if you help spread the word (where appropriate) to your friends and colleagues to encourage more entries before the closing date. Here's the mail that you could forward. NOTE: The story you share could be for ANY library, not necessarily an NLB library:
  • Did a book from the library give you the idea for your first business venture?
  • Did a collection of music inspire you to learn an instrument?
  • Did attending a library programme enhance your understanding of a subject?
  • Did a librarian provide invaluable advice that led you to discover new insights?

How has the library transformed YOUR life?

Share your story of how the library has made a positive difference in your life and stand to win attractive prizes, including an iPod Nano, a 3G mobile phone and hotel stays. What's more, your story could be among the selected stories to be published into a book.

To submit your story, visit or any participating library to pick up an entry form.

Closing date for entries is 30 April 2006.

The library (public library in particular) has meant different things to me at different stages in my life. It's certainly transformed my life. If not "transformation", then at least "shaped" my life in very positive and influential ways, though this recognition comes as an afterthought.

During Secondary School days, it was a place to hang out with my neighbourhood friends. For some reason, we liked to meet at the Young Adult section half an hour before the library closed (around 8.30pm). We weren't rowdy or anything. We'd meet there, chat (softly) and browse (sometimes we'd borrow, but more often than not it was a meeting place) afterwhich we'd adjourn to the nearby coffeeshop to have supper before heading home. We did this at least once a week. It was part of our teenage lifestyle even before the concept of a "lifestyle library" was conceived then.

And also during that time up till National Service, the public library represented a place where I could spend my time constructively and save money during the school term breaks.

My first full-time job was with the public library. It's still my only job as of this post. I also got to know my wife at the library. Fwah, romantic right? Not really, my wife would attest... : )

The authors whose ideas and information have been encrypted in the materials I use so often from the public library have been -- at various times -- my teachers, counselors, therapists, and companions (on long trips).

It is through the library (my job, that is) that I was exposed to the Internet. It's through my job with the library that I've had so many opportunities to meet people, Singaporeans as well as guests from overseas. It was an overseas visitor who introduced me to blogs...

I could go on and on... well, not really. My personal story would end here. Not that it would END here, just that my conscious awareness of the influence of libraries in my life is really up to this point. I'm sure in 10 year's time, I'd be able to write a whole lot more when I do the same reflection.

So, how have libraries influenced your life?



  1. Dedicated to Ivan:
    The Internet and The Library,
    One is imaginary yet intentional,
    Other is tactile yet serendipitous,
    Both in harmonious co-existence.

  2. Gee, thanks. First time anyone's dedicated a poem to me!


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