Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Overview of library-related blogs in Singapore: My guest posting at Infobib (from Germany)

Ever so often, I'm reminded of the professional satisfaction I get from blogging. I would get emails from perfect strangers, who happen to be information professionals. And who're interested in what's happening in this part of the world.

Like an email from Sarah Lohre, about a month ago. Sarah hails from Germany and is part of a team who run "a little experiment" and call themselves Infobib (interestingly, I learned about how their experiment got started not from their blog but from someone else's blog post! They probably have an explanation somewhere in their Infobib post, but in German.)

screenshot - Infobib blog Features

I was asked to blog "an overview of library-related blogs in Singapore". Wow, tall order. Where do I even start? So I pretended as if I was having a conversation with someone, and I rambled about:

Overview of library-related blogs in Singapore [I wrote: "Now, there are about 15 active blogs written by Singapore librarians. Back in 2005, there was perhaps a quarter of that number."]

Singapore “Liblogarians” [I listed five librarians' blogs there. I chose them because they posted quite regularly... and YES, I was biased and chose only Liblogarians who worked for NLB! Of course that's not doing justice to other non-NLB Liblogarians in Singapore. But I was weak and caved in to organisational loyalty. I guess I should have been more objective. To make amends, you folks can check out my public blogroll of Singapore Liblogarians -- it's not exhaustive so if you're a SG Liblogarian, and wish to "come out of the closet", I'd love to hear from you!]

Library-institutional blogs [There's no official documentation of when library institutional blogs started, but I'm confident my information is correct as to when the first Singapore library-related blog was started. And it wasn't NLB's. I learned recently that there are more library-institutional blogs in Singapore, from NTU, so I'll find time to post about them later -- unless someone beats me to it first (yes, please do, heh) *Update: Hazman blogs about the NTU library blogs]

What do I expect from the future of library and library-related blogs in my country? I shall reproduce this portion in its entirety:
In the last 10 years, the reputations of many libraries in Singapore have improved tremendously, due to the many proactive changes adopted by the public, national and academic libraries. The image of librarians has also improved generally, although many people still do not really know what goes on within the profession. Stereotypes still abound.

I sense that younger librarians recognise they will be the ones to effecting that change in mindsets, about what the profession is about. So I think there will be more librarians taking up Social Media (like blogs, podcasts, and wikis) as a way to engage and connect with users and non-users alike.

Or to learn new skills in order to keep up with whatever’s happening on the Internet. I can personally attest to this part – I’ve learned so much from my blogging “experiments”, and you tend to meet many helpful people in the blogosphere. The amount of genuine sharing is tremendous. It works both ways.

I’d expect libraries and librarians to be around in Singapore for a long, long time. It’s clear to me that library and information professionals in Singapore have the fortitude to adapt and evolve according to circumstances and changing user needs.

Thanks again, Sarah and folks at the Infobib team, for this opportunity to share about the Singapore library blog scene. The full post of my guest entry can be found here.

You might want to take time to check out other guest posts they've invited, from librarians from other countries.

I particularly appreciate the posts, deliberately written in English, from countries where English isn't the first language. Like Spain, Hungary, Norway, Iran, France, Belarus, and many others in between. I'm sure more will be added.

Oh, they add that: "If you don’t see your home country in this list and you feel that writing an article about your country’s biblioblogosphere would be a good idea, please contact one of us."


  1. Good to have these entry and as requested here my reply: As requested, here my entry: http://hazman.e-joi.com/myspace/2007/07/10/overview-of-library-related-blogs-in-singapore/.

  2. Bro,

    Thanks for the update.

    I just noticed: "But I was weak and caved in to organisational loyalty."

    Hehehe, I thought Librarians should be democratic people. They mustn't be bias to any parties as they belief information is for everyone who belief in information science.

    Hehehe, just teasing you lah. It is okays. The main factor you fight for your organisation to raise. Although I am still new in this librarianship, but the nults and bolts that what the library has become. I am definately glad that it come to this far, especially with people like you around.

    Now, I can't tell my mom. I don't hate library anymore. Library is my playground, especially in Academic environment. Did I tell you before that I used to hate to go to NLB's Library when I was young. Because the OPAC system is so boring.

    It is quite fun that I havee end up in library profession for the next 5 years.

    The old folks always say you always end up doing the job you hate. It is because you hate, that why you change it and make it to be a better environment.

    Don't ask about my gf. She a library freak, love to go to library and borrow romanance books or kids books. Then story telling to the kids. No wonder, she wants to be Pediatrics Occupational Therapist.

    Haha, eh, I need to go to Bloomberg Office. I catch with ya soon. Need to learn some tools there so that I can help my library users in search for financial information.

    Cya mate


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