My colleagues from the Public Libraries were at the Suntec Convention Centre early this month, for two outreach events that happened in the same week. I went down on Sat, 2 Apr, to say Hi to my colleagues.
MOE ExCEL Fest 2011 (1-2 Apr)
The MOE ExCEL Fest is organised yearly by the Ministry of Education (MOE). It's a showcase of innovative practices in schools. The event aims to let parents and the general public learn more about the latest developments in schools.
I saw Primary and Secondary schools, as well as Junior Colleges and Polytechnics at the event. Didn't hang around long enough to properly check out the booths. But I saw reading programmes, lesson plans, student projects etc.
The ExCEL Fest's first day was for teachers and MOE staff only. The second day, Saturday, was open to the public.
The library booth was there for both days.
My colleague, Robin, observed that more teachers and parents were asking more indepth questions about the library digital resources (databases and eBooks). A year ago, they probably asked general questions (e.g. "How do I access?"). Now, the questions were more specific (e.g. "Why aren't certain titles available?") that suggested they had actively used the resources and had specific suggestions/ feedback.
Two of my colleagues spoke, at different presentations, on the second day. Unfortunately their event were just over when I arrived. I was delighted to see one of the event ("Raise-A-Reader") fully subscribed.
Active Ageing Carnival (1-3 Apr)
This annual event was organised by the Council for Third Age.
The event blurb says:
The Active Ageing Carnival 2011 will help seniors discover their inner Fun-atic! This annual event is back this April with three full days of fun and exciting programmes. There is clay craft, glass art, Kangoo Jumps—the world’s lowest impact exercise shoes— and an obstacle course designed to build confidence. There is always something for every active ager at the Carnival.
From what I saw, I thought they certainly achieved the "discover the inner fun" part.
The place was packed.
The library booth was particularly so, which was an excellent sign. Books were being issued at such a brisk pace that I could only barely manage to exchange a few words with my colleagues on duty.
Senior citizens visiting the carnival were issued a little book. If they collected the required stamps (by visiting and "playing" at the various booths), they stood to win prizes. Or, I think they were instantly given some gifts.
I think this was the first time there were two major outreach events happening at the same venue.
From the public library's perspective, they were just two of the hundreds (in total) of outreach events conducted each year. Part of the job of public library staff and librarians.