Saturday, December 29, 2007

Benazir Bhutto, 1953 - 2007

From High Browse Online:
She was born into a wealthy land-owning family that was also actively involved in national politics, and later completed her education at Oxford and Havard. In Oxford, she became the first Asian woman to be voted as president of the Oxford Union, the prestigious debating society.

The family’s involvement in politics has been marked by violence and tragedy. Her father, Zulfakir Ali Bhutto, was himself Prime Minister from 1971 to 1977, before he was deposed and later hanged on charges of conspiracy to murder. Her two brothers also died under violent and mysterious circumstances.


For readers who might be interested in reading about Benazir Bhutto or Pakistan, please check out the following selections at the library:


[UPDATE, 30 Dec 2007: Here's a thoughtful piece by Marina Mathathir, who's met Benazir Bhutto and family. She's the daughter of the ex-Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mathathir Mohamed. Thanks to Siva for the heads-up.]

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Kudos to SMRT Cabbie, Mr. Koh, of SHB 5915Y

What I've just submitted to the SMRT Taxi company:
"I wish to compliment Mr. Simon Koh of SHB 5915Y. My colleagues and I took his cab on 14 Dec 2007 at [time, pick up and drop off location in the submission form] .

Feedback - SMRT Cabbie

Mr. Koh made the journey pleasant by first offering us some sweets, and engaging in a cordial chat with us. It's a simple gesture on his part in offering sweets but we thought it ought to be recorded. Thank you."

The last time I openly compliment a cab driver was at this post (17 Apr 2005).

My motivation then was of gratitude (I'd given up my keys as lost for good). This time, it's simply to show my appreciation for a seemingly small gesture by the cabbie, Mr. Koh.

Actually when I told him I'd submit a compliment for him, he said it wasn't necessary.

"It's nothing", he said.

Well Mr. Koh, it doesn't take much effort for me to submit a compliment (via your taxi company website) either.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Interesting... a commenter at the preceding blog post (thanks, Avagee!) alerted me to this site:

BooksInMyPhone - read books on your cell / mobile phone, carry a library in your pocket!

The site provides eBooks that can be installed and read from your mobile phone.

It's an excellent alternative for people who want to access eBooks on the go, but find products like the E-ink eBook reader expensive.

Browsing through their website, their About and FAQ pages, I have the impression that their ebook content are likely to be from Project Gutenberg.

They explain that if your phone can play Java games, then you should be able to install the ebooks (see "Technical Requirements" at the FAQ page).

The downloads were free (but I stopped short of installing on my phone).

There are instructions on installing the ebooks (either via your mobile phone direct, or to your computer for subsequent transfer).

If you're wondering about Copyright, look at their sidebar on the left. I quote:
The books offered here are either licensed under Creative Commons or out of copyright in the USA and many other countries including Australia, Canada, and the UK. Most of the books are out of copyright world wide, please check the copyright laws that may apply to your country prior to download. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are not breaching the copyright laws that may apply to you. This is part of our Terms and Conditions of Use. By using this website or downloading a book, you are indicating that you acknowledge and accept our Terms and Conditions of Use and the license under which the book is offered (Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License).

Apart from the copyright disclaimer/ advice, the site verifies the user's eligibility to download the content, based on the user's I.P. address.

For instance, when I clicked on the download link to Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina", the download wasn't made available to me:
Our systems see your location as: Singapore. We believe this work is in copyright in your location and so do not provide a download link.

BooksInMyPhone - read books on your cell / mobile phone, carry a library in your pocket!

If I think the system has made a mistake, then I was advised to email them (made sense!)

I like how they've provided the book synopsis. It increases the chance of the user finding a suitable book and making a download.

Of course, you get what you pay for in terms of content. Meaning, you won't find Harry Potter here (for that, go borrow/ reserve from your nearest public library!)

But if you're looking for "classics", then you might want to check out the site. I noticed works from Jules Vernes, Lewis Carroll, Miguel de Cervantes, Robert Louis Stevenson, Hans Christian Andersen, Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift and H. G. Wells.

I also spotted some futurists and SciFi authors that I like, and whose works are offered under the Creative Commons license. Like James Patrick Kelly, Cory Doctorow, Charles Stross, and Lawrence Lessig.

Hmm... Now I'm interested!

But before I attempt to install, I'll check with some of my knowledgeable and trusted friends whether doing so carries any risk, e.g. inadvertently loading a computer virus onto my handphone.

Can't take security for granted. After all, it's my phone, so better safe than sorry.

Perhaps the folks at might want to address that in their FAQ, i.e. "What about the risk of computer viruses".

Also, it would give me greater confidence if they reveal more about who they are, like some names at their About Us page.

Better yet, if they can partner with a public library in their community and have the library endorse them.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Electronic ink ebook reader

Preetam shares his first impressions of the Bookeen's Cybook Gen 3 eBook reader that uses Electronic Ink technology.
Cybook Box
["Cybook Box". Photo credit: Preetam Rai]

Cybook in Bright Sunlight
["Cybook in Bright Sunlight". Photo credit: Preetam Rai]

Read his full post here.

Which reminded me of my earlier blog post (Jun 2005) about the Seiko Epson's flexible E-paper.

From my brief search in Google, the last mention about the Seiko Epson prototype seemed to be from on 12 June 2006. Maybe another year before we see it being offered commercially?

On the other hand, non-flexible electronic ink products were widely available. I found this recent article (Oct 2007) about Fujitsu's electronic paper products. I'm sure there's more than a few companies out there offering similar products.



A few days ago, I saw my colleague reading a book, about the fall of societies and civilisations in human history's recent past (can't remember the title, sorry).

We both agreed that while digital technology was great, whole generations of information, knowledge and know-how might be wiped out the day society collapses. We might be busted back to the level of printed information.

I joked that if our human society was wiped out by a comet today and rediscovered eons later, future archaeologists might wrongly assume that we've only progressed to the state of paper-technology. Chances might be higher that they could retrieve our recorded information on physical materials like paper, than from digital devices.

They might refer to our eras as "BP" and "AP" -- "Before Print" and "After Print".

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Like riding a bicycle

They say you never forget how ride a bicycle once you learn how to do it.

The last time I rode a bicycle was almost 10 years ago. So when Siva invited me to join them at Changi Village for a two-hour cycling trip, I hesitated.

But he assured me it would be, in his words, a "lame duck ride".

No jostling with traffic on the main roads; a leisurely pace on the park connector between Changi Village and East Coast Park. Nothing strenuous.

The only thing I'd have to be prepared was for a stiff bum.

He was right.

About the pace and the stiffness.

But nothing prepared me for the downpour at 9am. The weather forecast predicted showers in the late afternoon but I guess the winds shifted since the last time I checked the NEA website.

It wasn't a bad thing though.

There's something to be said about riding a bicycle in the rain, near the coast.

Wind in my face. Rain, tasting faintly of salt, tapping out a staccato song on my helmet. Getting soaked from helmet to socks.

Soggy feet.

The one thing I dreaded most. But turned out I didn't mind it that much.

I guess the anticipation of soggy feet was worse than the sogginess itself.

Finally, that hot drink at the end of the ride. Feeling the warmth permeated the chill in your bones, your spirits buoyed by the company of nice people.

There's also something to be said about riding a bike after a long hiatus.

I was surprised, and delighted, that my mind and body remembered how to balance on one. Even down to the coordination in the shifting of gears.

Oliver Wendel Holmes, Jr. said, "Men's minds, once stretched by new ideas, never regain its original dimensions."

Perhaps there's something similar about riding a bike too.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Anyone used a Wacom Cintiq 12WX?

Wow. I'm impressed.

I have a Wacom Intuos but it's collecting dust most of the time. It's a waste of good money, I have to admit.

Here's my first and only attempt so far at 100% digital illustration (by "100% digital", I mean completely sketching, drawing and painting the image directly to a computer and not sketching on paper and scanning it in to fill in the colours):
BatGirl Chinese Style (Apr 2006)

The problem isn't with the painting. It's the initial sketching process.

Let me try to explain.

I need to see WHERE I'm drawing to figure out the relative size of WHAT I'm drawing. If I'm drawing an apple on a A5-sized paper and similarly onto a A2-sized paper, my brain-hand-eye have no problem doing the mental translation for both the A5 and A2 sized paper.

But I don't find it intuitive when attempting the same thing on a computer directly. I'm limited by the screen size, so to speak.

No problem with A5 since the computer screen can show 100% of A5.

But I can't do it well for A2, or anything larger than what the computer screen can show at 100%. I'd have to zoom in and out to figure out the relative scale of things on a A2 size area on the computer. The typical computer screen (i.e. 15" to 17") isn't as large.

I wonder if it's because I'm not a "Digital Native".

Anyway, I'm going to learn more about the Cintiq (having a YouTube video for the product demo is a great idea, btw -- and maybe the defacto standard for advertising soon?)

From the public library's perspective, I mentioned about Digital Storytelling (posted in 2005).

So I didn't manage to do a digital story yet.

Or have I?

Looking back at the post I realised now that producing a story is more than just providing the equipment to draw the artwork. There's the sound, and image sequencing...

Maybe technology will evolve to allow that to happen. And soon. Then it just might be realistic to have the National Library and or Public Library actively collecting "Citizen Digital Stories" as part of its collection.

If not that, perhaps a tool like the Wacom Cintiq could be used as another sort of input device. E.g. Advisory Services.

Instead of typing out words via Chat to ask questions, some people might want to write on the tablet or draw something. Would this be considered an assistive device for people with disabilities?

Something like this could be done now (Tablet PC?), but seems something like Cintiq is more elegant.

Is anyone aware of current applications using something like that (i.e. Pen Tablets as input devices) as part of delivering services -- libraries or otherwise? I'd be very interested to know.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Songcraft inaugural concert: Saturday 15 Dec 2007

The Songcraft amateur songwriting group has come a long way since its first meetup in April this year.

There's mini-concert this Saturday (15 Dec 2007), at 7.45pm.

Details here.

Jeremy has even set up a wiki for guests to register themselves.

Nope, I won't be performing "live" but I'll be screening this music video.

Singaporean behind Direct2Dell blog success

Is Dell's blog a success?
Direct2Dell - Dell's Blog

It's a 'yes' in my book.

Almost everyone I know who owns a Dell product have read the Direct2Dell blog at one point or other.

Heck, I don't own a Dell but I've blogged about it nonetheless.

(I wish everyone who has borrowed a book from our public libraries have read a post from NLB's book blog, heh).

It's not just their blog per se. It's their use of blogs (and other people's blogs) to track customer's rants and comments -- comments that otherwise would not have been sent to Dell.

They actively respond to what people are saying in the Blogosphere (and their potential customers are able to see that they are responding).

What surprised me though, was that a Singaporean was instrumental to Dell's blog success:
Many folks have worked behind the scenes to help build Dell's Digital Media strategy. I'd be hard-pressed to find any single person who has been more influential to me than Wilson Tan.

What a nice gesture by Dell.

Or I should say, what a nice gesture by Lionel Menchaca, Dell's Digital Media Manager.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

BusinessWeek Asia’s Top 25 Young Entrepreneurs: Two more nominees to congratulate

Earlier I congratulated Paddy Tan for being one of the 25 nominees for BusinessWeek Asia's Young Entrepreneur award.

I just learned that three other people whom I should congratulate:
Through blogging and/ or related activities through social media, I've had a chance to meet and speak with those three guys on different occasions. They're nice folks. So it didn't feel right that I don't mention their nomination.

This post comes a bit late, but better than never.

Votes for the nominees are still open as of this post.

Good luck guys!

Singapore Writers Festival: "World Wide Web of Words" post-event reflections

[From this earlier post]

Arrived at The Arts House 30 minutes early.

Went upstairs and saw this scene.

Alas, they weren't queuing up for our panel discussion though, LOL (they were waiting to listen to a poetry reading session by Chinese poet Bei Dao, i.e. Zhao Zhenkai).

In contrast, this was how it looked at the other side where the "World Wide Web of Words" panel discussion would be held:
SWF: Corridor outside the Living Room, Arts House

Heh. : )

I made sure I was at the right room (the one complaint I have of The Arts House is its lack of signages. Even the toilets were hard to find).
SWF Programme Listing (Living Room) - 8 Dec 2007

The "Living Room" where our panel discussion was held was lovely. There were about ten people when the session started (when we ended at 4pm we had about 20).
SWF: World Wide Web of Words
I took this shot in the midst of them moving to the front seats. Deepika (she's in the red top, from the left) requested that they moved up, to make things cozier.

I couldn't resist taking a photo of the panelists: [from left to right] Sharon, Deepika and Zafar.
SWF: World Wide Web of Words panelists

Zafar wasn't listed in the programme, and there wasn't time for us to be introduced (along the way, I learned he's a published author, currently starting on his third novel, and has a blog with a poetic name: DreamInk).

Deepika started by asking the audience if they blogged. About five people did.

Perhaps that set the tone for the session, with most of the talking points focusing on the topic of blogging, and the panelists' motivation for starting them.

Why we blogged
Deepika directed the question to me first ("What made you start blogging").

I shared my "blogs were platforms for verbal diarrhea" story.

Sharon essentially explained that she had a compulsion to write and blogging was her outlet. She often had to tell herself to stop posting (and occasionally feed her husband, she says).

Zafar's blog was his "cure for isolation".

Deepika started her blog to post material from her interviews with celebrities (with permission from her then-employer), that otherwise would have been wasted since only a fraction of the interview content was used on air.

Would blogging stay?
We discussed about whether the advent of Facebook shifted our blog readers away. Deepika observed that Sharon's blogs seemed to have relatively fewer comments, and wondered if people were participating more in Facebook. I shared my observation (in using Facebook) that people were using Facebook to promote their blogs.

"Blogs as spaces for inserting your voice"
Deepika also started her blog in response to her being misquoted by some other websites. Since they weren't going to properly acknowledge her or publish corrections, she used a blog to publish her version.

Managing Comments
We discussed quite a bit about dealing with comments.

Deepika turned off her comment feature entirely.

Sharon, on the other hand, said she welcomed comments and the more argumentative the better. Her aim was to create Sharon "self-sustaining conversations". She viewed her blog as a catalyst to get conversations going.

Most satisfying part about blogging
Zafar iterated how his blogging was a way to reduce that sense of loneliness of living in a new country. For Sharon it was from "having lots of conversations" with her readers. Deepika said "blogging takes a life of its own". I shared how one has to blog to truly understand the feeling of receiving an unsolicited comment. It was like an affirmation that your existence is being acknowledged.


While the discussion wasn't so much about books and blogging, or about our writing per se, I thought it might have benefited the audience as most of them might not have found a reason to start one (which might change after hearing what the panelists had to say... maybe).

There were lots more points being discussed, but those were the ones I managed to note down on my handphone/ PDA.

Interestingly, at one point, Deepika noticed me punching away on my handheld and asked if I was "live" blogging (in fact, I'd noticed from the corner of my eye that Sharon was looking at my handheld and I bet she thought I was SMSing!)

I quickly explained that I wasn't "live blogging" (it didn't work for me, as I preferred to compose my thoughts and write about it later). And I told the audience I was taking notes.

Speaking of notes, the organisers passed me this -- a personalised notebook (with my name stamped at the bottom-right corner). How nice!
SWF: Notebook with individualised names!

Unfortunately I got caught up with chatting with some participants after the session, and didn't manage to chat more with Deepika, Zafar and Sharon.

But then again, I'll have their blogs to read and to stay in touch with.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Singapore Writers Festival: World Wide Web of Words - Literary Blogs (8th Dec 2007)

Tomorrow's the panel discussion on the "World Wide Web of Words".

The blurb for the panel discussion says:
Saturday, 8th Dec, 3pm. Venue is the Arts House.
A treat for book lovers out there, World Wide Web of Words – Literary Blogs, brings together online communities of readers and writers. Thoughtful and insightful, our panelists will talk about their favourite page-turners and web pages! Log on and join in the fun!

I've no doubt that Deepika and Sharon will be thoughtful and insightful. It was obvious to me, from reading their blogs.


It's for the audience to judge.

To be honest, I find it hard to explain why I like certain books or authors without rambling.

If I had to be brief, I'd tend to say, "They moved me."

So much for being insightful.

And I can't say I know the "literary works". I've only read one Man Booker Prize book to date. I'm quite weak in my readings for Singapore Literature and Asian Literature.

At one point, I wondered if I've made a mistake by agreeing to be in the panel. I don't want to disappoint the audience, especially.

But an email from an author gave me a confidence booster.
Ivan, I am a children’s poet/author ... ... I have to say, your book review blog in THE best list I have ever seen for boys. I know you didn’t intend it to be exclusively for boys, but wow. Really. Wow. Keep up the good work. sara holbrook

Wow. Thank you, Sara!

I don't know Sara personally. Haven't read her works either (but that'll soon change!)

She must know her stuff though (about my book blog being "much more of a boy focus", as she explained in a subsequent email):

Her husband ( is also a teaching artist/poet. She keeps herself updated on Young Adult (YA) literature by reading book reviews. Like those from this blog, belonging to her friend (whom I found out was a professor of children's and YA literature).

Hmm... come to think of it, I tend to read books that would interest guys more.

I started RoughNotes in July 2004 (it was it was RawNotes on blogger, before I migrated to At the start, I took pains to explain that it wasn't a blog about book reviews.

Three years later, it remains as my "digital dump" for the stuff that I've read.

Except that thanks to Sara, I'm seeing my blog in a different light. :)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Music of Reuben Kee, 1984 - 2007

[First posted at SeaStars2007]

I first learned about this young man's music from Jean's blog post.

singapore4Reuben Kee was one of the five dragon boaters who died in the accident. See articles from The Straits Times and Channelnewsasia (the Facebook group mentioned in the ST article can be found here).

He's a talented musician as well.

I liked what I heard.

Wonder if the site would be maintained. If not, his music ought to be hosted in a service like
[UPDATE: I've emailed the owner of the Facebook group -- presumably one of Reuben's close friend -- with pointers on saving his music on]

In an email to some of my friends, I wrote that it's sad that his talents weren't recognised until his death. But I realised I was very wrong to have written that.

Reuben Kee's musical talent was probably widely recognised among his friends. And I'm sure he's delighted people with his compositions.

And in death, his music still delights.

The music lives on, if not the memory of the musician.


I'm glad Adrian and I are doing this music album.

Gaining fame and fortune -- those are the least of our objectives.

Creating happiness is.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

David & Sarah are married

I never thought I'd write a congratulatory blog post. But there's always a first time.

Dear David and Sarah,

Some weeks back, David wrote in his Facebook status profile that he's moved from "engaged to married". I presumed he was marrying the same woman he was engaged to (sorry... I'm lousy at jokes).

But seriously, other than the Facebook profile update, David's blog was silent on the matter of the marriage.

Until today.

So you two got married!

My wife and I are happy for you.

David and Sarah, in 2004 you inspired me with your work on The September Project. That was how we had a chance to work together.

Three years later, you still inspire me with your work.

We've never met in person.

But that will change soon, I trust*.

Since we won't be meeting face to face just yet, this song (for what it's worth) will have to do as a wedding gift/ dedication:
“真正的爱情 (True Love)”

[Listen/ download at ARCHIVE.ORG]

It's in Mandarin, so here's a quick translation of its excerpts:
They say that real love needs to be put to the test
But should I give up if it gets too difficult?
They say that real love needs to be put to the test
If we were to pursue our love
How can we part just because of what people say?

Walking slowly in the moonlight
I hear your voice.
With you together,
In your embrace,
I’m missing you here tonight.
I constantly see your smile
In my dreams, I ask myself
When we’ll be together again

May you two have a fulfilling marriage.

Best wishes in your life long adventure.

Yours Sincerely,

* David is a professor of media studies at the University of San Francisco. I've accepted an invitation to speak at the university next year. More about this in another post.

Singapore Writers Festival: Meet Kurt Busiek!


A solid line-up of programmes at the Singapore Writers Festival today (yes TODAY, 2 Dec!) and I forgot to check ahead.

I was reminded only when Siva sent a note to the kakis this morning (telling them that I'm in a discussion panel on 8th Dec).

Why am I kicking myself?

'Cos Kurt Busiek is in town!
Singapore Writers Festival  Kurt BusiekI'm a fan of his work (he writes) for the Astro City graphic novel series of which he's the co-creator (also see the Astro City website).

Guess I've to be happy with just reading his interviews online.

Check out the SWF website ( for details. They also have a Facebook group.

Kenny Sia and Mr Miyagi will be talking about "making money online without really trying". Alas, I can't attend their session today.

I've been invited to sit in the panel discussion on 8th Dec, titled "World Wide Web of Words - Literary Blogs", with two other panelists, Deepika Shetty and Sharon Bakar.

[UPDATE: My session with Sharon and Deepika is on Saturday, 8th Dec, 3pm. Venue is the Arts House. There's a typo on the printed copy (date is stated as 9th Dec, Sunday, which is wrong). The website info is the most updated. I've already informed the organisers.)

Singapore Writers Festival - Deepika Shetty

One reason why I agreed to be in the panel was because I'll get a chance to meet Sharon Bakar in person. We haven't met but we've traded comments via her blog (

Singapore Writers Festival  Sharon Bakar

The blurb for our session says:
"A treat for book lovers out there, World Wide Web of Words – Literary Blogs, brings together online communities of readers and writers. Thoughtful and insightful, our panelists will talk about their favourite page-turners and web pages! Log on and join in the fun!"

I'm thinking about what prepare what to say about the books and blogs I read. I'm not short of things to say, but it's how to say it. Can't ramble like what I do on my blog. And I don't want to be caught out like the "SeaBiscuit" episode again... heh.

Singapore Writers Festival - Ivan Chew

I'm not sure about the turnout for the our panel discussion, but it doesn't bother me (for once, haha). I'm just tickled I'll get to interact with with distinguished writers like Deepika and Sharon.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Closure of library@orchard: D-Day (Part 4)

[From Part 3]

This post is dedicated to the 13 volunteers who signed up as the library@orchard citizen reporters (in no particular order):
  1. Alice Cheong (she brilliantly archived the library@orchard interior with several 360 degree views; even generously supplied us with 20 copies of the CD)
  2. Angela Jean (and her moving video, "You Are The One")
  3. Christine Tjia (who wrote that "a small part of library@orchard" rescued her)
  4. Donna Daritan (there's 11 things she loves and one thing she hates about the library@orchard)
  5. Regina Chan (check out her pictures of the library@orchard, and man you'll never guess how old she is from reading her blog... she's young in age but pretty mature in thoughts!)
  6. Joel Sim (who's "emo-fied by the touching scene" when the doors closed)
  7. Kenneth Goh (and his Five People Who Will Miss library@orchard Very Dearly)
  8. Charles Wong (and his "clandestine photography")
  9. Ceneple (she created a category just for her library@orchard posts)
  10. Priscilla Tan (disappointed that some "don't know and don't care")
  11. Olivia Wee (she guest-blogged and shared her perspective after being away for three years)
  12. Ian Timothy (he learned more about the library)
  13. Max Teong (shares a conversation with a friend)

I discovered this post by Yuhui, who attended the party and felt "weird and uncomfortable" how the library seemed to be "raving about the impact of blogging and "citizen bloggers" in chronicling the last days of the library".

It's an interesting perspective. I suppose to a bystander, it could seem like overkill that we mentioned the bloggers in our Chief Executive's speech, plus several references by the MCs, and then a video tribute to the bloggers.

I suppose she he, as a blogger, felt that it might cause a rift between bloggers and non-bloggers.

I'm not apologetic though :)

The 13 citizen reporters deserved it (Joel was overwhemed by it apparently, with his mind going blank after what he called was the "OMG" moment, heh).

I commented in Yuhui's post, explaining that it wasn't about highlighting bloggers and non-bloggers. We were genuinely appreciative of the 13 volunteers. Their posts did make an impact as far as the library was concerned.

Collectively, their coverage, interviews, photos, video etc. gave us at the library a different perspective -- of how our library customers felt about the library. I guess you have to be working for the library to understand how those perspectives mattered.

Besides, I'd say NLB was unprecedented in allowing bloggers to have free rein over what they wanted to cover.

We didn't vet their content.

They could have posted the negative side of things or highlighted the unpleasant (there's always something negative to say, and there will always be people with axes to grind).

But they didn't.

They spent their own time and expenses writing, taking photos, making a video.

They saved the library@orchard in words and pictures.

So no, I didn't think it was excessive.

Folks, here's a personal Thank You to you once again.

Closure of library@orchard: D-Day (Part 3)

[From Part 2]

Three videos that were screened at the library@orchard Moving On Party, 30 Nov 2007.

1) Angela Jean's tribute to library@orchard - "You Are The One":

Cast: Alice, Edmund, Ridzuan, Tianhong, Yip Leng
Music (used with permission): lenniez
Production: Xinhui, Angela Jean

She sent me and Jillian a draft after she and her friends made the recording on a Sunday. My immediate reaction was that the video must be viewed! I don't know about you, but I thought the video's punchline was at the end, with the words "In loving memory...".

library@orchard Moving On PartyIt's a video showing a few friends meeting at library@orchard, browsing through materials, the space, ordering something to eat at the cafe.

Nothing spectacular. Just about an everyday occurrance in a typical public library in Singapore. It's how young people use libraries.

But I believe this video will be more significant after a year or two when library@orchard has faded from people's memories. When memories of how library@orchard looked and felt like has become a ghost in our memories.

2) Love Notes to library@orchard:

Music: Adrian Loo (see also: SeaStars2007)
Video: Ivan Chew
Love Notes: customers of library@orchard

3) And this was our tribute to the library@orchard citizen reporters.

Words: Jillian Lim, librarian, library@orchard
Music: Adrian Loo & Ivan Chew (see also: SeaStars2007)
Video: Ivan Chew

Next: Part 4.

Closure of library@orchard: D-Day (Part 2)

[From Part 1]

One of our library@orchard citizen reporter, Jean, was "live" blogging while waiting for the event to start. She arrived at the library early to make some final touches to her video tribute to library@orchard.
library@orchard Moving On Party
library@orchard Moving On Party

Hey, don't think she's a person with too much time on her hands. She and Alice (another of library@orchard's citizen reporter) are PhD. candidates in one of our local university. Speaking of Alice, here's her post about the Moving On Party).

At 6pm, the fun began.

The library had a magician going around the library, inviting people to take part in his magic tricks.
library@orchard Moving On Party

Library customers could also have commemorative photos taken, and printed out on the spot.
library@orchard Moving On Party

It was still "business as usual" for the library. Staff were still serving people at the counter.
library@orchard Moving On Party

At the entrance, we had student volunteers helping to register guests.
library@orchard Moving On Party

Moving around the library, I noticed quite a few people whipping out their cameras and snapping away.
library@orchard Moving On Party
None of the library staff had the heart to stop them. After all, it was the last day of capturing the library@orchard in photos and saving it for prosperity posterity. Who knows, perhaps one day they would be the ones to contribute their photos back to the library collection.

There was food for guests (about 300 guests registered). The food was gone, fast!
library@orchard Moving On Party

We were treated to songs, sung and performed beautifully by... arrgh, I forgot their names! (can someone kindly fill me in by leaving a comment?)
library@orchard Moving On Party

When they sang "Leaving on a jet plane", I bet there were tears in the house.
library@orchard Moving On Party
library@orchard Moving On Party library@orchard Moving On Party library@orchard Moving On Party

While the performance was taking place at the Programme Zone, it was also "business as usual" for some library customers.
library@orchard Moving On Partylibrary@orchard Moving On Party

My colleagues, Ian (Manager, Children's Library Services) and Jaclyn (Librarian), did an excellent job being the MCs.
library@orchard Moving On Party

At one point, there was a technical hitch so Ian got Jean to share some thoughts about blogging for library@orchard, among other things.
library@orchard Moving On Party

There was a prize-giving to winners of a loan promotion (iPod Nanos!), more videos (which I'll elaborate in Part 3), and then the NLB Board members penned their words
on a board as a final parting gesture of sorts.
library@orchard Moving On Party

Finale: 9pm.

Everyone was ushered out of the library (staff included).

The glass doors were locked as a symbolic gesture of the closure.
library@orchard Moving On Party
library@orchard Moving On Party

There were tears from some staff, library volunteers and some members of the public.

The library@orchard obviously meant a lot to them.

While the new "library located in Orchard Road" will not be the same as library@orchard for some people, NLB promises that it will be better. So by 2010, we'll see our library@orchard librarians Jillian and Lynn welcome library customers to the new premises:
library@orchard Moving On Party
(btw, staff are assigned to other branches; No, they don't get paid vacations when the library is closed, lol)

Next: Part 3.

Closure of library@orchard: D-Day (Part 1)

We don't like to say that it's a closure of a library. We'd prefer to say that the library has "moved on".

But reading the many blog posts -- from the citizen reporters, the comments left at the library@orchard blog, and those who simply blogged about it -- I guess we have to call it as it is.

It's 1 December, 2007.

library@orchard is no more (the one at Takashimaya Shopping Centre anyway... but the new one will be ready by 2010).

Here are shots of the day before the Moving On Party for library@orchard:

Volunteers being briefed...
D-day minus-One: library@orchard moving on party

No, this isn't a new fangled trend of readers standing on stools to read, LOL
D-day minus-One: library@orchard moving on party

They are students volunteer helping to retrieve books to be transferred to other branches.
D-day minus-One: library@orchard moving on party

Volunteers packing goodie bags:
D-day minus-One: library@orchard moving on party

Stage Rehearsals:
D-day minus-One: library@orchard moving on party

D-day minus-One: library@orchard moving on party

Next, Part 2.

Another Love Note to the library@orchard