About Me

[Updated: 15 MAR 2014] - "Still rambling (probably) but no more a librarian"

NOTE: I'm no longer working in the library. But if you still wish to find out more about librarianship in Singapore, I'd still be happy to share what I know and/ or connect you to the those who might be in a better position to answer your questions.


I tell people I love to read, though what I really love are the ideas I get from reading. Tend to favour War stories, Sci Fi and Fantasy -- a combination if possible.

In June of 2004, I started this blog (ramblinglibrarian.blogspot.com) after a blogger took issue with my remarks that "blogs were platforms for verbal diarrhea".

I decided he was right. I didn't know what I was talking about. So I plunged into the Blogosphere to educate myself.

This Rambling Librarian blog was my mission to share with the world what being a librarian was about. Well, from my perspective anyway. I never set out to be an authority on the subject. Still am not one. But I did want to let would-be librarians have just a peek into what being one was like.

My other blogs/ podcast/ etc (still around, but maybe half are actively being updated):

In March 2007, I started a social experiment to understand how wikis work.

At one time I had six nine blogs (um, you count them yourself), one podcast and a bunch of other stuff.

Some people asked how I managed to maintain that many blogs. I said if they had 10 cars, they wouldn't drive all 10 anyway. Most people understood when I explained it that way.

More self-indulgent ramblings ahead (I could point you to the more concise LinkedIn profile but then this blog isn't the Rambling Librarian for nothing).

When I was 10, I told a teacher my life's ambition was to become an artist. At 19, I got friends to teach me the guitar, so that I could impress the girls. During National Service, I played rhythm and lead guitar in an amateur band. The girls still weren't impressed.

My guitars were collecting dust and the paints were drying out -- until I discovered blogs and the Mac. I taught myself to play the piano after being amazed at my wife's playing. I'm a self-proclaimed amateur poet. I used to maintain an online amateur poetry circle (Yahoo! killed that off though, but in honesty that site and group was long defunct).


My LinkedIn profile is probably more concise. But if you don't mind a ramble, read on.

I'm a librarian by training (current job title says "Assistant Director, Digital Engagement"). I've a MSc. (Information Studies) from the NTU. My dissertation is titled Public library services for wheelchair-bound young people in Singapore (see also, DLIST reference). Upon hindsight, in fact after the thesis topic and title was approved, I would have avoided the term "wheelchair-bound" and replaced it with "wheelchair users" instead. That was back in 2000 and I know better now.

I was thinking of doing a PhD. but plans are put on hold indefinitely. A "Dr" title would be really nice, but it would be for the wrong reason.

Some people ask my why I became a librarian. Long story but an uncomplicated one. You might want to read my posts here and here.

After a while, total strangers started emailing me questions about becoming a librarian. Later I decided to compile this FAQ.

I've been employed by the National Library Board since 1996.

I started out as a librarian in a public library, back in the days when we still stamped on books to issue and return them. An auto-return bookdrop was something you read only in SciFi (today, we can't do without them).

Along the way, I've worked on digital library projects, then assigned to manage a public library in a shopping mall, and then a standalone library, and later a regional library.

From 2005 to 2009, I was given the opportunity to serve as the Information Officer in the IFLA Standing Committee for Libraries for Children and Young Adults Section. I took on the role, not quite knowing what to expect. By the end of it all, I was glad and humbled by the experience. I learned a few things about putting an international newsletter together, working with librarians from different countries and backgrounds. And most of all, some became real friends.

From 2004 to the tail end of 2011, my portfolio was to head the Adults & Young People services in the public libraries, which in the last two years expanded to include the Children services.

I would have been comfortable remaining in the public libraries. Then in mid 2011, I was asked if I would like to join the Singapore Memory Project. It was a national project (more than the library). They had a social media position open. Something I thought I've been educating myself these few years.

Among various reasons, I thought 12 years with the public libraries was a good run. Also, my voluntarily leaving my public library position would give others a chance to move up.

So in Nov 2011, I was officially transferred to the National Library (which the Singapore Memory project team resided).


Since that first post in 2004, I'm even more convinced that blog’s and online social media can promote and advance librarianship. I try to share what I know, like how to start a new blog (I'm by no means the expert, and that's the beauty of it -- we don't always have to be experts to share what we know). Librarians now how have more ways to connect people to people through conversations and ideas. We just have to try them out.

I love to read because I love learning about new ideas. And old ones as well. Thanks to blogs, I'm reading, learning and connecting (with smart people) a whole lot more.

I can be contacted at ramblinglibrarian@gmail.com

"Every Book its Reader; Every Reader his Book"
S.R. Ranganathan. 1892 - 1972