Sunday, October 09, 2011

What has kept me busy, work-wise

My blogging frequency has decreased sharply since the beginning of this year. A big reason was that work had eaten into my personal time. First three months was just crazy.

A bit of that work, slogged over with several other colleagues, is finally in the open. It's reflected in the draft plans for the Arts and Culture Strategic Review (ACSR), under the part for "Communities for Reading, Writing and Storytelling":
ACSR draft report

We hope to build on the existing network of reading communities to nurture a vibrant reading culture and cultivate an understanding and appreciation of the literary arts. 
ACSR draft report

While the National Library Board (NLB) manages about 100 reading communities (which organise monthly book discussions), only a small number of such communities integrate all three elements of reading, writing and storytelling. Writing, and the appreciation of local writing, is still a very niche activity that has yet to take root. 
ACSR draft report

Singaporeans could be encouraged to come forward and contribute their personal stories (e.g. with old photos, letters) through communities for reading, writing and storytelling. These communities could be set up all over Singapore, in libraries, community clubs and even the places where we work and live. Besides enjoying books together, participants could be encouraged to write, share their stories, experiences and interests, and even produce creative works in both physical and online forms (such as blogs, video clips and audio recordings). These works could then be shared with their friends, family and online communities. 
ACSR draft report

The entire ACSR plans (still a draft as of this post, at the post-public consultation stage) has several components, and will be a mutli-MICA-agency effort. The National Library Board is one of those MICA agencies.

The ACSR was initiated by the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts (MICA) in 2010 and aims to chart Singapore’s next phase of cultural development until 2025. This review would also aim for twice as many Singaporeans – from 40% to 80% – to attend and benefit from at least one arts and culture event a year by 2025, and to encourage Singaporeans’ active engagement in arts and culture activities, up from the current 20% to 50% by 2025. This could include taking up or volunteering for arts and heritage activities in their personal time.

You can download the 50-page draft report here, at (public consultation just ended recently). Or you can scan through the summary list if recommendations, here.
ACSR draft report

There will be some other changes to my work scope. It's not a state-secret but I'll share more when it's finalised in a few weeks' time.


  1. No excuses, Ivan! We want more ramblings from the librarian! Just kidding, wo de pengyou. I do remember well how hard you and your colleagues work and am amazed that you find time to blog at all. BTW, your latest efforts seem to me superb, but then being a wannabe storyteller, I no doubt am a bit biased. Something I don't understand: your posts are often very interesting, sometimes controversial, almost always worthy of feedback, i.e., comments - and yet I seldom see reader response. Perhaps you cover most of the bases most of the time and so folks don't see a need to comment. Anyway, a pat on the back now and then would, I imagine, be appreciated. So here's a pat on the back: you're great, Ivan! And not just for the library, but for the nation. Keep it up. (Only one caveat: you might consider changing your blog name to "CHEW ON THIS!" Whaddya think?)

  2. Ollie1:04 pm

    P.S. "chew" punning on RUMINATE, of course. Don't know if you folks have the colloquialism "to chew on something," meaning to think about it.

  3. Sure, we use "chew on it" all the time. There's a popular Singaporean comic artist strip by that title.


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