Monday, February 25, 2008

My 2007 Discography

[Related: 2006 Discography]

Published a total of 21 songs for 2007.

Five of the songs were composed because of the Songcraft Songwriting Circle (including adaptations of original compositions by some of the Songcrafters). I'm usually inspired to compose something after each meetup.

SeaStars 2007 cover art - 1Nine of them for the collaborative music album with Adrian.

It all started with this song (thanks dude, 'cos I really enjoyed putting the album together).

And we've decided to seal the partnership by giving ourselves a band name.

Enjoy the songs!

Creative Commons License

Ivan Chew's 2007 Discography :: Incidental Tunes of a Rambling Singaporean
  1. Walking On Air (Music Video Version) | Download
  2. We Stand Unbroken (2007) | Download
  3. Sea Biscuit Redux - Tears Came To My Eye (2007) | Download
  4. Home Again (2007) | Download
  5. Happiness Is (2007) | Download
  6. Seashore Days (Music Mash-up) | Download
  7. At My Window (cover version) | Download
  8. At My Window (Rock cover version) | Download
  9. Once Upon A Star | Download
  10. Love On A Train | Download
  11. Midnight Runner | Download
  12. Birthday Song - Library@Orchard | Download
  13. 真正的爱情 (True Love) | Download

SEASTARS 2007 :: The Album | Download the entire album here
  1. Seashore Days
  2. Once Upon A Star 1.3
  3. Flowing With The Waves 1.6
  4. Into The Deep 1.2
  5. Sea Anemone 2.1
  6. Stargazer 1.4
  7. Starfish 1.2
  8. Dolphins Galaxia 1.1
  9. Seabreeze 1.4

Creative Commons License
This work by Ivan Chew is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. For permissions beyond the scope of this license , please contact via

RamblingLibrarian's Podcasts:
My Odeo Podcast

Monday, February 18, 2008

Speaking at USF (Part 11): Learning the Basics (or, "Why libraries should support Digital Literacy")

[From Part 10]

The ability to use modern amenities is a skill.

I see these appliances being used on American TV shows. But they stumped me when faced with actually using them (they were in the apartment provided by USF). Luckily Sarah was kind enough to demonstrate their use : )

#1 - Dish washing machine
These are sold in Singapore. Just that I've never used them before. You'd think it's a no-brainer right? Load the dishes, put in the detergent, turn it on...

OK, I know how to load the dishes...
American kitchen appliances

You press the buttons here (options are in English, so no problem understanding what each button will do).
American kitchen appliances

Ah, I didn't know that the washing detergent is loaded here! And seems that you can't use just any detergent. Has to be detergent specially manufactured for dish washing machines (something to do with the amound of suds produced).
American kitchen appliances

This model was called "Quiet Partner II". It probably means it operates quietly. But I really think it means less grumblings by the spouse tasked to do the washing :)
American kitchen appliances

#2 - Garbage Disposal
This one is not common in Singapore, if it's available at all. Sarah says it's not necessarily in all American homes.

American kitchen appliances

Here's a close-up shot of the hole where you dump the stuff (e.g. food and other organic waste). Looks like a gaping jaw of some vicious alien-android. I was told there's a rotating blade below, very much like the food processor, aka blender.

And yes, you can get your fingers hurt if you attempt to reach down while the machine is on.
American kitchen appliances

To use it, you have to let the water run and turn the garbage disposal switch on (located on the wall). You see Sarah pressing the switch with her right hand.
American kitchen appliances

This is the mechanism below the sink. The broken-down and liquefied organic particles are washed away.
American kitchen appliances

Most Singaporeans live in apartment blocks like these:

[Photo credit: yunir]

Waste is dumped into a rubbish chute. Typically each apartment unit has one (this product website has several diagrams showing how they work).

[Photo credit: srikaya2kaya]

I explained to David and Sarah that most Singaporeans live in apartment flats. And most choose to own their homes. I suspect unless they actually step into a housing estate or into a flat, it's hard to really visualise how our homes work (just like how I'm just learning how things work in a particular American home).

The connection to Digital Literacy
The ability to use modern amenities is a skill. Technical skills for modern living.

These skills are the equivalent of wilderness survival skills that people in early civilisations were required to possess.

You could learn on your own after a few trials and errors. But without proper instructions, you might damage the appliances. Or worse, you create inconveniences for others by inadvertently doing the wrong thing.

If we see from that context, then it's not hard to understand why libraries need to forge a role in supporting Digital Literacy.

Computers, IT, Social Media -- these are the appliances of modern living, in my opinion.

[Part 12]

Speaking at USF (Part 10): Perspectives II

[From Part 9]

Social Media. Conversations. Shared Experiences. Awareness. Action. Social change.

Have been thinking about these topics lately.

Action: Changing one's Neighbourhood first
It's obvious to me David and Sarah are interested in effecting social change (this is the first that I know of). And they have started with their neighbourhood first.

They shared a story about their Blue Planter. Essentially, it was their response towards trash being dumped in front of their home.

I hope David and Sarah would share the thinking behind the Blue Planter Story soon. It's inspirational, that's all I can say. Their simple story reminded of what Siva once told me -- before trying to change the world, try to improve your neighbourhood first.

[Update: the story here!]

Perspectives from an outsider
My friend from Singapore, Lucian, is also here in SF on a working trip. He blogged about his impressions while strolling in SF one morning:
I suppose you could say I’m in love with the United States of America, but the truth is that I’m in love with the idea of America, rather than America herself...

... America has grown paranoid. Voices, even that of the majority, have been silenced. Newspapers and blogs write about how ridiculous certain bills are, but congress passes them anyway. I’m only a visitor to this country and I’ve seen a fair number of veterans homeless on the streets, but Bill O’Reilly , who actually lives in America, denies their existence. Everything is upside down, America.
It's fairly common to have (some) Americans comment on another country's domestic policies. What would their reactions be to read an outsider's perspective? Would an opinion of a non-American count?


Kelly (one Davies scholar who impressed me before I even arrived in SF) blogged her perspective of the talk. In her third para, she writes:
And if we utilize the tools available to us in a conversational manner, I think we can begin to discover the utility and humanity of this potentially overwhelming medium.

Shared Experiences
I found this Davis scholar, lissle, writing about an abandoned couch in the street. She makes what I felt was a profound statement: "Comfort is found just in simply having someone to talk to".

Seems to me Social Media is the digital equivalent of the couch in the street.

So I'm thinking:
Digital Media facilitates Conversations and Shared Experiences and may lead to new/ greater Awareness of issues.

But to ultimately result in Social change, it's up to people to Act.

[Part 11]

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Speaking at USF (Part 9): Perspectives

[From Part 8]

I've found a few blog posts about the talk. The links will be added here as I find them. And I'll blog about some of them.

Here's one by Davis Scholar Steven (cool-looking dude, 'cos his hairstyle reminded me of Lenny Kravitz and Slash!)

Steven wrote that I seemed nervous to him when I attempted to make conversation before the talk.

He's right -- I was nervous at first, now that I think about it (in turn, I've shared my perspective at this comment).

In truth I'd much preferred if he'd not mention it (who likes having their flaws pointed out, heh).

But I'm glad he mentioned it. Now I know something about myself that I'm wasn't acutely aware of.

I'd asked Steven and Lulu this question: "What are the three main things you learn in your Digital Literacy course?"

Apparently, Steven felt his reply wasn't satisfactory to him. Steven sees himself "in a revolution" but wasn't sure where his place should be in it.

Well Steven, you already are.

By sharing your perspectives via your blog.

Blogging, to me, has a lot to do with perspectives. The same issue or topic -- food, politicians, life -- would have different viewpoints, treatment and emphasis by different people.

Something might be seen as trivial might generate a significant perspective for someone else.

Like what you did.

Because from what you've shared, it's told me that nervous or not, I did the right thing by attempting conversation before the talk.

Asking that question has apparently led you to more questions you're asking yourself. I didn't deliberately set to do that but it's what I ultimately aimed to achieve. And I am likely to ask the same questions in a similar setting.

I've learned something useful which wouldn't have been apparent from my own perspective.

And by using a social medium like a blog, we allow others to clarify and add another perspective on things.

Steven's post has also made me think:

I've always maintained that it's not so much WHAT you write but HOW you write it. How do you share your honest perspective without ruffling feathers? (NOT that Steven had ruffled mine, in case you're wondering, heh).

That may be the more important aspect of New Media education than teaching people how to use tools.

[Next, Part 10]

Saturday, February 16, 2008

IOC Reluctantly OKs Blogs at Beijing Olympics 2008 (or, "Social Media as Disruptive Technology")

When I read this, I thought: "Here's one example how social media is a form of Disruptive Innovation (even if it was not originally conceived to be one)".

Extracts from the post (15 Feb 08):
Athletes have long demanded they be allowed to write their blogs -- on-line journals of personal opinion or reflection -- during the Games but the IOC was concerned these could potentially infringe on copyright agreements and private information.

In a series of guidelines, the IOC said blogging would be allowed during the Beijing 2008 Olympics as long as individuals writing the journals keep within the IOC format.

The IOC is eager to protect rights holders as Games broadcasting contracts are worth several billion euros.

Technology has made it easier and faster to blog with on-line athletes' personal diaries on the rise during the last two Games, the 2004 Athens Olympics and the 2006 Turin Winter Games. All those blogs were not officially approved by the IOC at the time.

Can the IOC effectively ensure that the guidelines are adhered to?

How are they going to stop someone from taking a picture or video from a handphone?

What about the non-athletes? How will the IOC ensure the same guidelines apply to the direct support/ admin staff from participating countries? The thousands of people indirectly involved in the events (e.g. drivers, delivery staff, service personnel)?

How is the IOC going to stop an attendee to the games (from all over the world) from blogging, making a vodcast, or publishing a podcast?

And how will the IOC stop ME from watching/ reading a blog rather than the televised channel?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Speaking at USF (Part 8): Slides

[From Part 7]

I felt the talk went well. Let's see what the audience say.
Testing the view angles Waiting for the talk to start Nicholas the camera guy

David asked his students to blog their thoughts about the session. Folks, do email me your links!

Was impressed by David's students. They were attentive. Showed interested in the talk (OK so there was one yawn at one point, heh). They asked thoughtful questions during Q&A.

They missed Valentines Day. Hope the talk was useful for them.

Tired now.

My body is fine but my brain is crashing. It's telling me it needs more than the three hours of sleep I had before the talk.

So instead of doing my usual post-talk reflections, I've posted an abbreviated version of my presentation, in three parts.
(BTW, I misspelled "Davies" in the slides. Sorry about that).

Nicholas the video-guy asked about the Dolphin Galaxia video. Here's the link, Nicholas.

UPDATE (blog posts by attendees):

[Next, Part 9]

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Speaking at USF (Part 7): Social Media & Singapore Public Libraries

[From Part 6]

It's almost 5 am here, 14 Feb 2008 in San Francisco, as I post this.

Landed in SF this yesterday morning.
Speaking at USF

Cleared through immigration and customs quickly (was impressed by its efficiency and didn't expect the immigration officer to be so cordial and friendly!)

David was there with a big friendly smile. I recognised him immediately. For some reason, whatever apprehensions I had, in meeting him for the first time, were all gone. :)

Speaking at USF

During the drive to USF, David shared that their university library just started a blog called Gleeson Gleenings. Reading their blog posts, it's obvious to me that they get it.

Picked up the keys to the campus accommodations. It's more like an apartment for special guests (David emphasised "Special" and I had to suppress a look of disbelief -- come on, I'm nobody)

Speaking at USF

Very, very nice place! I may not be special but I feel special now, heh.

Unpacked my stuff. Checked my work and personal emails for a short while. Hey, new comments to the blog, from Amber and jini!

Went out for dinner.

Speaking at USF

Came back and then 5 pm and my lack of sleep caught up with me. Zonked out for the next few hours.

Woke at 9.30pm. Washed up. Wasn't hungry. Cleared more work emails.

Accessing work emails was slow (since the servers were hosting in Singapore). Plus my access to the USF network was limited to 20 minutes each time (I didn't have a campus account) so I was my connection to my work mail constantly dropped.

But apart from that, access to blogger & flickr etc. was FAST, now that I'm in U.S.

Continued working on the slides (included more screenshots, streamlined the presentation).

Then suddenly I'd inadvertently downloaded a spyware.


Spent the next 30 minutes halting work and rooting out the problem. At least my anti-virus software was up-to-date. Decided not to copy anything to my backup drive, in case the virus gets transferred.

(So I typed the most of this post while letting the program do a full scan).

OK, problem solved. Phew.

The street lights outside the apartment bathes the street and apartments across the road in an amber glow. It's deserted at this time of the morning. The place looks clean and safe.

I'm really looking forward to the session with the students.

It's very humbling to be given a chance to share what I know. And I take pride in being able to share a little bit about Singapore, its public library services, and the good work that my colleagues have done.

Another thing I'm looking forward to is meeting up with Shel. The guy who got me started with blogging.

Three and a half years ago, I'd dismissed blogs in front of one particular American guest in Singapore.

And now I'm a guest in North America, to talk about blogs in front of an American audience.

I'm wearing a big happy silly grin inside my heart.


[Go to Part 8]

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Speaking at USF (Part 6): Social Media & Singapore Public Libraries

[From Part 5]

Part of my talk will cover how the Public Libraries in Singapore are using new media* to target Children, Teens, Adults and Senior Adults.

I'll share why we started these blogs, some concerns at the initial stage (and whether they were realised), how we managed and maintained them, how these blogs complement what the physical libraries do, and the learning points we've gathered so far:
Alot of what I'll be sharing has to do with blogs. I'll see if anyone in the audience picks that up. Maybe during Q&A someone will ask if public libraries have gone into Facebook, Second Life, Twitter, Flickr etc.

ASIDE: My friend Siva the Otterman (with a swanky new blog) says I've been fretting over the talk. Yes, I tend to do that. But apparently so does Siva!

* In Singapore, we tend to use the terms "New Media" and "Social Software/ Media" interchangeably.

Next, Part 7 (I'll probably be in SF by then).

Speaking at USF (Part 5): Structuring the talk

[From Part 4]

Not sure if you're familiar with the superhero character called Midnighter (if not, check out Warren Ellis' The Authority and Stormwatch series -- great stuff, imho).

I'm referring to this guy.


He fights on the side of goodness. He has the ability to calculate and guess his opponents' moves before his opponents even realises what they'd be doing next. He's fond of saying that he's plotted all the possible moves and fought the fight a million times in his mind, and he's won it before the fight has begun. And he wins. Always.

So I'm thinking about the Midnighter character because in structuring my talk (one more day left!!!), I can think of so many ways to approach it.

Right now, I wish have Midnighter's cockiness.

Wish I could say I've already figured out, a million times in my head, how the audience will respond to my talk before they've even heard it.


At least I still have a little sense of humour. Not yet at the panic stage (or maybe it's because I'm panicking).

Nah. Don't think so. Not after reading this comment from one of David's student's.


Super-engaged is what I'll call Kelly. :)

I simply had to share her comment with the folks at the Media Socialist group (a non-political group; don't let the word "socialist" mislead you). Kevin said that would be what Singaporeans might call a "Super Siao-On" attitude.

It's a compliment, Kelly! If there's time, I'll explain what that means to you, in context. :)

So now I know what at least one student might be thinking. Of course I'm not going to structure my talk just to answer her questions. But now I have a clearer idea what to emphasise and what examples to show. Kelly asked very good questions.

I understand from David that his students -- seven of them -- are mostly in their early 20s. Six of them seniors, and one freshmen. The Davis Forum is an honours class.

Woah, I can hear some of you go, "Whaaat!? Off to USF to speak to seven students?"

Better seven highly engaged students than 70 uninterested ones.

But no, it's not just seven students. The talk is also open to the public.
University of San Francisco (USF) - USF Home

I also asked David if his students are new to blogging. Apparently, some have been blogging for years, some recently, and some not at all.

But on tuesday, they will officially begin blogging as a class.


I'd expect them to post their thoughts and reflections of the speakers, including mine I hope, in their class blog.

It's an extremely scary and humbling experience, as a speaker or trainer, to read about what other people thought about my talks or workshops. When I come across them, I always take a deep breathe breath before reading on. :)

Overall it works for me.

In the context of blogs, it's equally true that what doesn't kill you (comments wise) will only make you stronger -- as a speaker, trainer, service provider, or simply as a human being.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Speaking at USF (Part 4): My 72-year old cousin's blog


72-year old cousin.


It's not a typo.

I've a cousin about half my age. We only discovered each other recently. There's a pretty interesting story behind this, which I'll let my cousin Philip blog about in his blog.


For now, here's his first post.
NOSTALGIA: Childhood
This is my first blog after much encouragement by my cousin Ivan Chew. I notice that most blogs are by young people. I am already 72 years old and my cousin is less than half my age. Anyway, there must always be a start and here I am Ivan! To begin with I like to talk about my primary school days.
I asked Philip if he intended to continue blogging, now that he's tried his hand at it.

He said he intended to blog as long as he can. So far he found it quite challenging, as it's not just about the recollection of his memories but also to research and get his facts right.

No, cousin Philip isn't a librarian. LOL!

And no, I didn't ask him to start a blog because I was going to give a talk at USF. I felt he has something worth sharing, so I encouraged him to try it out. We were digging about for some family history.

He declined at first (to start a blog), but later discovered a few inaccuracies (about a family member) reported in some other websites and posts. So starting his own blog was his way of attempting to correct those errors.

I won't give away the story for now (it may be an anti-climax to you, for all I know). I'll see if Philip has more things to share, so that I can mention it at my USF talk.

Over to you, Philip!

[See Part 3 and Part 5]

YO! a blog by the librarians & volunteers from the Young People’s Services (Public Library)

This is the 5th blog from the public library services (NLB), simply called Y.O!:
Teen Signature Online - Online chat programme for teens Part I ¦ Y.O!
Blog URL -

According to this post, Y.O! stands for "nothing and yet everything".

There's an interesting story in how the name came to be, and how the blog design was chosen.

The blog was launched in December 2007. I'm happy to say they have "recruited" two regular teen contributors to the blog: Kathleen Tan from Temasek Junior College (her book reviews are pretty neat) and Sarah (who chose to contribute in a different way).

The Y.O! blog will feature things like stories from young people, book reviews (it's a library blog after all), the happenings from the teens bookclub, and a "library gossip" section.

The blog is really About Teens.

It's not about books, or getting teens to write reviews, or simple to recommend books to other teens (those will be nice and necessary, but not the entire point of the blog).

The simplest way to put it would be for the blog to acknowledge the individuality of young people (OK, maybe not so simple!)

As the blog progresses, we hope there'll be more posts from teens themselves. Not just book reviews or recommendations, but stuff that interests them, particularly if there's a learning element (which most things are bound to have, if you know where to look).

I'll be mentioning this blog at my USF talk.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Speaking at USF (Part 3): Planning for my talk for the Davis Forum

[From Part 2]

What follows is a proposal I've been discussing with my IFLA colleagues (from the Libraries for Children and Young Adults Section) since last year.

I intend to include parts of this under "future plans/ ideas", for the part on "digital/ Web 2.0. experiments to reach and engage the younger generation".

Discussion points:
  • While some librarians think there is value in doing this, others are skeptical. But what about the teens? Maybe they think it's irrelevant.
  • Perhaps in a few years time, using digital media to reach the "younger generation" might not be exclusively applied to only teens, i.e. such ways of using digital and social networking platforms would be equally relevant to adults and seniors.

There's no title for this proposal. Here's the broad outline (feel free to comment):

It's about "Youth Expression" -- we want youths (13 to 25, thereabouts) to express their thoughts in any medium they are comfortable with.

[Note: The closest example I can find is at See also, "Potential Issues" below]

Teen volunteers and Libraries will play central roles in this project, e.g. Young adults can help refine the ideas as well as carry it through; libraries and librarians can help facilitate in the planning, getting youths to participate, acting as mentors/ resource people for the young people.

We want to make it "global" in terms of participation. The Internet will be an enabler. With current technology, we are probably looking at using some online tools (e.g. blogs) to put what teens come up with, online. We can also leverage on free tools like Youtube, Flickr etc.

For participants and libraries who don't have ready access to the Internet, they will still be included. They can be partnered with libraries who have the means.

12 months (to give enough time for publicity and participation)

IMPLEMENTATION (i.e. Imagine this):
We have X libraries in Y countries signing up, by Z date.

Each library forms a team (youth volunteers and librarians). At the planning stage, these teams will link up with X libraries across Y countries to refine the aims/ themes/ scope of implementation.

The teams can discuss via Instant Messenging, emails, blogs.

They will shortlist the themes, think of how to publicise and carry out this project. Basically, they agree on what is to be done, and how to do it.

We can also invite more young people to suggest a list and we shortlist the themes. We can agree on a few common themes, and also allow different countries to focus on different themes.

Posting of entries
The idea is to allow young people to express themselves using ANY MEDIUM they are comfortable with.

This can be digital or non-digital (e.g. produce a video, or produce a sketch on paper).

But the entries should be coverted to digital formats (e.g. scanned) and uploaded to digital platforms (e.g. blogs,, YouTube)

For participants who may have difficulties in utilising digital formats (e.g. lack of equipment or infrastructure), they can send in their entries via snail mail, to be hosted/ uploaded by libraries who have the means.

POTENTIAL ISSUES (main ones I can think of)
English is not the first language in all countries. And would everyone consider it to be "universal"? Potential solution: Adopt English out of convenience. Or allow different language submissions, but they must be accompanied by English translations.

Different levels of what's deemed as acceptable or sensitive, in terms of topics or contributions. For instance, at the PostSecrets blog, you'll notice the topics touch upon topics that might be considered taboo in some cultures (e.g. sexuality, homosexuality) Potential solution: Let the youth volunteers plan and discuss this (that, to me, is one of the main point of this event!)

How "open" do we want the contributions to be? If we allow online submissions, we can't really verify if people claim they are "youths". Potential solution: We may have to live with some ambiguity, or we combine with some form of validation by having libraries collate the entries (one has to choose between being careful or being the bottlebeck).

[Part 4]

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Speaking at USF (Part 2): Planning for my talk for the Davis Forum

[From Part 1]

When David first contacted me, his course syllabus wasn't posted yet. What I knew was his students were expected to "learn about digital literacy by exercising digital literacy".

About 20 emails later, David and I settled on these points for my talk:
  • My personal reasons for blogging
  • My thoughts on the event to introduce senior citizens to blogging
  • The digital/ Web 2.0. experiments my librarian colleagues and I have experimented with in trying to reach and engage the younger generation

The third point's quite straight-forward. I share about the NLB blogs, online chat sessions for teens like this and this one, or via videoconferencing, or getting teens to express themselves via digital mediums.

For the first point, David elaborated that I could share how I used my blogs (in his words) "as a portal to [my] professional life" -- how I've used it to advertise events about the library, get feedback, and network professionally.

Here's a possible discussion topic -- I was thinking that all this "Web 2.0." stuff seems to lead us towards an inevitable meshing of our personal and professional lives. From my perspective, if we intend to use social networking platforms for professional work, it's not 100% possible (or desirable) to keep our personal lives completely removed from the professional domain. But it doesn't mean we lose total privacy either.

My main premise is that effective social networking requires us to reveal some parts of the Person, and not just the Employee. But I need to think about this further. Need to think of some concrete examples to share.

For the second point on senior citizens and blogs, David remembered a blog post on how Chun See and I introduced blogging to senior citizens in 2006. He also had an impression that that the idea of using blogs to capture the stories of senior citizens came from the prime minister of Singapore.

After some digging around, I realised David was referring to PM Lee Hsien Loong's 2006 National Day Rally speech. Specifically, on page 21, para 4:
"The young, even children, have blogs and some of the blogs are quite good. ... ... Old people also put up blogs. This one is called Bullockcartwater, ngau che soi (牛车水). So writing about the neighbourhood, festivals, food, the people, the activities, the place, the ties that bind us to Singapore."
David's main idea was to use this point to introduce the idea of "cultural differences" online.

He explained that it was difficult for a 20 year-old USF student (or anyone else) to imagine what it was like "to use Facebook as a Brazilian, or blog as a disabled person, or email as an Australian". But there were observable differences between the online
activities and comfort levels between a 20 year-old and a 70 year-old for instance.

In addition, he has hopes that his younger students might one day plan for a similar talk or workshop, using blogs or digital media to bridge the generation gap. For this part, I hope to get inputs from people like Chun See and Wee Kiat, and the folks at Yesterday.SG.

I appreciate David taking time to exchange ideas on the content of my session. There are clear goals in terms of the talk should achieve.

David has advised me to plan for a 45 minute talk and leave time for Q&A. I've chunked my content into these main segments:
  1. My perspective on using new media for personal & professional work (15% of my talk)
  2. How the Public Libraries in Singapore are using new media to target the children, teens, adults and senior adults (30%)
  3. Context of Senior Citizens in Singapore; Using digital media to reach this group; Issues, challenges, opportunities (30%)
  4. "Putting it all together" - Senior Citizens in Singapore, Digital Media, Role of Public Libraries (25%)

Maybe David's students would find their way to this post and leave comments -- on what they'd like to know, what they already know, questions or comments from what they have already heard from other speakers etc. It might help me refine the talk so that they'll get more out of it.

Anyway, my sense is that a good talk is not in the amount of information conveyed. It's how the speaker makes meaning for the audience, from all the information gathered and presented.

That is the hard part (but also the most fun, for me).

[Continued: Part 3]

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Speaking at USF (Part 1): Digital Literacy - Spring 2008, Davis Forum

So it's confirmed.

In about a week's time, I'll be speaking at the University of San Francisco (USF). As part of their Digital Literacy course, to be exact.

Actually the whole thing was confirmed about two months ago. I didn't want to blog about it until things were firmed up. Like seeking approval from my employer, confirming travel arrangements, finalising the content of my talk (all these on top of my regular work)...

So now it's a week before I fly.

I'm nervous and excited at the same time. Maybe I'll share more about that in another post...

With a week left, I'll air some thoughts on what I'll be speaking at USF. For now, you may want to refer to Prof. David Silver's course syllabus, which he posted at his blog.

Extract from the MS Word document:
Facebook and Fox News, tivo and TV, youtube and yahoo, books and blogs, ipods, iphones, itunes, ieverything – we are pretty much swimming in information. How do we navigate through it all? How do we find the good stuff? And which kinds of information should we use for which kinds of research and creative projects?

At the same time, information, it seems, is changing before our eyes. Today, in our Web 2.0 world, information is often something we both consume and produce. What does it mean, and what possibilities are opened up, when we can add to and annotate, comment on and contribute?

In Digital Literacy we will explain what literacy means – and can mean – in a digital age, our age. We will read, write, and reflect. We will design, create, and construct. We will participate, contribute, and collaborate.

Upon course completion, Davies Scholars will learn:
How to navigate, evaluate, cite, and contribute to existing knowledge;
How to construct and manage a creative, collaborative, and responsible digital identity; and
How to collaborate (preferably effectively and creatively) with others.

First time I saw it, I asked David if I could sign up for the course. :)

I'm scheduled to speak on Feb 14, a day after I arrive in SF.

Details of my talk was finalised after David posted his syllabus, so in the document it says "To be determined".

Which might be a good thing for me, because I'm still refining the contents of my talk. I don't know about other speakers but up till the final minute, as I learn more about my audience, I'm still modifying my talk, adding and deleting stuff.

My talk will centre along these main talking points:
  • Senior Citizens
  • Digital Media
  • Singapore
  • Role of Public Libraries

Oh yeah, from the list of guest speakers, it seems I'm the only one outside of the U.S.

I'm nervous and excited at the same time.

I said that already. :)

[part 2]
link: Davies Forum Speaker Series: Ivan Chew

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

SCL News, Dec 2007 issue: Newsletter of the IFLA Libraries for Children & Young Adults Section

Just sent this out to the CHILD-YA mailing list:

SCL News Dec 2007The Libraries for Children & Young Adults Section is pleased to present issue no. 67 - Dec 2007:

Download the 1.8MB PDF document, here.

Countries highlighted in this issue:
Australia, Malaysia, Japan, United Kingdom, France, Singapore, South Africa

* The Chair Speaks - p1 - p2
* Editor's Note - p2
* Early literacy programs in Australian libraries p3 - p4
* “Every Baby a Book” programme p-5
* Country Highlights: Japan - p6 - p7
* Country Highlights: UK - p8 - p9
* Country Highlights: France - p10 - p11
* Country Highlights: Singapore - p12 - p13
* Highlights of Pretoria Pre-Conference, South Africa - p14
* Call for papers - p15
* Alexandra Children’s Library, Johannesburg,South Africa - p16 - 17
* Words from incoming & outgoing SC members - p18
* SCL Standing Committee Members’Status - p19
* Contact the Section - p20

On behalf of the Standing Committee,
Thank you and best regards.

Ivan Chew
Information Coordinator,
Libraries for Children & Young Adults Section, IFLA

BTW the section started a wiki, as part of our revision of the Young Adults Guidelines.

On page 2 of the newsletter, I elaborated on how the Standing Committee arrived at the decision to start the wiki.