Its been 2 weeks since i last blogged of my exciting placement experience with Katie of UWCSEA. Was supposed to have ended placement on 11 Nov but because of a Hari Raya Public holiday on 7 Nov, UWCSEA staff development day on the 8Nov and my meeting up with Prof Robert Shumer from Minnesota on 11Nov, my placement was extended to today. Will try to recollect all the exciting learning that took place.
Day 1-2( 31Oct-1Nov 2011)
Introduction to the UWCSEA East Campus Kishore Mahbubani Library. Tour of the school and meeting up with library staff in both middle/high school library as well as staff in primary school library. Attended meetings and observed library’s daily operations.
Day 3-5 (2-5Nov 2011)
As part of professional development, Katie encouraged her library staff and I to try to attend a few of the online Library 2.0 Conference entitled The Future of Libraries in the Digital Age, organised by Steve Hargadon and his team. As this is my first time attending a Library online conference, I found the experience very interesting and enriching. Was impressed by how participants from all over the world can come together to attending sharing by some renowned speakers. Some of the more pertinent and interesting sessions took place in the early hours of the morning bec of the time difference between the USA and S’pore. Despite this, the experience was definitely well worth it. The power of digital technology has certainly made the world a much smaller place, made distance learning and online conference participation just so CONVENIENT!! Am very heartened to note of the generous sharing that took place, completely free of charge!
Some of the more interesting sessions which i attended are:
1) 2 Nov 11-Keynote by Dr Sandra Hirsh, Professor and Director of the school of library and information science at San Jose State University on the topic, “New Career Pathways for information Professionals in a Library 2.0 World.
2) 3 Nov 11-“Creating a School Learning Commons” by Prof David Loertscher.
3) 3 Nov 11-“Exploring what a connected world of continuous computing means for 21Century library service” by Asst Professor Michael Stephens (SJSU school of Library and Info Science)
4) 3 Nov11-“Teaching Plagiarism Prevention in an Online Environment”-Breanne Kirsch, evening services librarian.
5) 4 Nov 11-“Libraries in the Clouds” by Doug Johnson
6) 4 Nov 11-Knowledge Building Centers in Libraries and Learning Commons” by Prof David Loertcher.
Found all the sharing to be most informative and useful especially for my upcoming module INF 506. Interesting to hear the insights of practitioners and experts in the library fraternity on the future of libraries in the digital age~ never been a more exciting time to be an information professional. For someone like me who is new to social media and web 2.0, it is both exciting and daunting at the same time. Exciting because of the new learning and knowledge; daunting bec’ there is simply so much to learn amidst the rapidly changing digital world what with talks of Web 3.0 coming on stream in the not too far future.
Besides attending the Library 2.0 online conference, i had the good opportunity to learn about LibGuides from Katie. Started working on two LibGuides, one on Natural Disasters and the other on the sinking of RMS Titanic. The latter guide was chosen as the Marina Bay Sand’s Art and Science Museum is currently holding the “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition-the 100th Anniversary 1912-2012”. For more details go to http://www.marinabaysands.com/Singapore-Attractions/ArtScience-Museum/Whats-On/.
On 3rd Nov, both Katie and I attended a book fair and sale organised by UBS Marketing and met up with some local book suppliers.
Day 6 & 7 (9-10 Nov 2011)
Attended a library staff meeting on the 9th Nov and a Digital Literacy Steering Committee meeting on the 10th Nov. Through the meetings, i had the opportunity of learning more about the school’s library official opening by Kishore Mahbubani on the 18 Nov and the school’s Digital Literacy and ICT matters. Continued to work on the 2 LibGuides which i started the week before. On 9th Nov, Katie and I shopped for acrylic book ends and other stationery items at Bras Basah complex before adjourning to the 2nd Library Association S’pore (LAS) Special Libraries Networking session at Li Ka Shing Library at the S’pore Management University located in Orchard Road.
Day 8-10 (14-16Nov 2011)
Assisted in sprucing up the Kishore Library in view of its official opening ceremony on the 18th Nov. Helped with World Languages, Graphic Novel and Biographies book displays as well as putting up students’ work in the library. Took photographs of the library and students’ activities for Katie so that they can be used for the opening ceremony presentation.
Thoroughly enjoyed and learned much from the 10-day placement made special by the hospitable UWCSEA library staff and teachers. Definitely a fruitful learning journey in an authentic set up.
Joined Katie and her team of library staff for their weekly meeting. Learnt of some issues discussed. Spent 2 hours troubleshooting internet access problem with notebook. Explored the use of LibGuides the rest of the afternoon.
DAY 1 (31Oct/Mon)-8.30-5.30pm
Was a fruitful Day 1 with Katie (TL) giving me an overview of the student organisational structure of UWCSEA(East Campus). Katie brought me together with a temp staff (Dillon) on a guided tour of the Primary and Secondary libraries.
STUDENT ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE
|PRIMARY||MIDDLE SCHOOL||HIGH SCHOOL|
G1-5 (Light Blue Ts)
|G6-8 (Green Ts)
|Own curriculum“NOT MYP”
|iGCSE “O”||DP “As”||About 22 pp/class
Boarding: 50 pp
|1000 students||500 students||500 students(Non in 2011)||500 students(Non in 2011)||2011-total 15002012-2000
|Debbie Daiz (Librarian)Kalimah
|Katie Day (TL)Ernie
Literacy: Michelle GoodisonDigital Literacy:
8.10 :School starts
8.10-8.30: Form class Interaction
|3.00-4.30After Sch activities|
What I have learnt from all the visits.
After visiting a total of 7 different information agencies over 2 weeks in October 2011, I realized that regardless of the nature and scale, all the libraries have the same goal of supporting their stakeholders (students, faculty and staff) with the necessary teaching and learning information and research resources. The needs of end-user or stakeholders play a key role in influencing the collection and services provided.
For educational libraries, be it school or universities, the primary aim is to ensure that the core readings and resources for the curriculum are readily available. All other print, non-print, digital and e-Resources related to the curriculum or faculty are developed to expand and enrich the stakeholders’ knowledge in their respective field of studies or interests. The Arts, Media and Design library and the LaSalle College of Arts Library for instance, focus on developing Arts related collection while that of National Institute of Education Library focuses on educational and pedagogical resources to support the needs of trainee and experienced teachers. Except for the Archives, it is interesting to note that, most other libraries are channeling more budget towards digital and eResources (eBooks, e-Journals, eDatabases, e Archives, e Media). All information agencies are also actively tapping on the Internet and ICT to deliver information 24/7. Except for the National Archives, all other libraries visited are already harnessing Web 2.O tools of one kind or another. Blogs and Facebook are the two most popular Web 2.O tools used. Four Institutes of Higher Learning or IHLs namely Temasek Polytechnic, S’pore Management University, National Institute of Education and Art, Design and Media library@NTU have started using smartphones to deliver library services such as access to the library catalogue, loan, renewal, access to library account and promotion of new arrivals. Library on-the-go apps have been developed or provided by library automation systems to bring the library resources closer to the end-users. Through the library study visits, I noted that the larger libraries, in view of the sheer size of their collection and the number of end-users, the library staff have greater opportunity to specialize in some specific area of work such as cataloging, acquisition, website maintenance and instructional role. Librarians in smaller libraries have to assume multiple roles and also to multitask in order to manage the library operations. I also learnt that the larger libraries have also started outsourcing manpower to maintain the state of orderliness of the library. There are external agencies that provide shelving services to such libraries after library closure at night.
Overall, the library study visits have been an enriching and enlightening learning journey. Besides on-site learning about library management, provision of reference and instructional cum research services, the visit has provided exposure to a host of interesting library physical environments. Many of the larger IHL libraries are either planning or are in the midst of transforming library spaces into new learning and knowledge commons to facilitate group collaboration work and learning. The visits have also provided opportunities for me to meet up with many people in the library fraternity. Such a network of library professionals is precious as I could tap on their experience and expertise to guide me in my own area of responsibilities in the future.
Singapore American Middle School Library
VISIT REFLECTION REPORT
The library has a collection that comprises resources from a range of literary, artistic and subject related print and electronic materials. The library has a collection of about 32,000 books, 3,000 ebooks, 250 audio books, 15 online databases and access to the National Library Board eResources. These are selected to support the major themes of the curriculum. Resources that expand students’ knowledge beyond the boundaries of the curriculum are also included. At the moment print books are the predominant media, however, according to the librarian, Mr Starker, the library’s ebook collection will surpass print collection in the near future by powers of ten. Due to the digital revolution, the library’s development policies will change radically in the next 2-3 years. Currently, the library has a comprehension selection policy, where students, parents and teachers are invited to submit requests for materials and the librarian has the final say. ICT is radically changing library work and processes. The SAS Middle School library is seeking to develop a Research and Development Center for Emerging Technologies within the library.
Currently, the middle school library has 1 full time professional librarian and 2 library assistants. Technology support is provided by a team of IT specialists. As a faculty member, the librarian, is expected to participate in the many professional development opportunities during each school year. Both the librarian and library assistants are expected to provide ongoing support and training to teachers within the school. In tandem with the impending upgrading work planned for the library, there will be corresponding dramatic changes to the job scopes of the various library staff.
The library provides the standard face to face reference service at the information counter as well as through email. The reference book collection of approximately 10,000 books, will be the first collection to be replaced by digital resources. Currently, the librarian teaches reference skills to all 900 students via English, Social Studies and Science classes. Due to the small number of library staff, SAS will be exploring more effective ways such as the use multimedia approaches to accomplish this instructional service. The library is very dependent on the Internet for the many library processes but Mr Starker felt that they could do a much better job of teaching students and teachers effective Internet Search techniques.
Network & IT Infrastructure
The library recognizes the importance of IT infrastructure and is already in the midst of equipping the library with state of the art technology tools for learning. The remodeled library will move away from the warehouse model concept to that of a highly interactive, collaborative and multidisciplinary model. Plans are in the pipeline to include Library 2.0 features such as flexible work and study spaces, ergonomic furniture and shelving, experimentation with mobile phone apps as well as consideration on the use of augmented reality, games based learning and gesture based computing.
User Education is carried out during the new students’ orientation period during which students are brought through a structured library induction programme. Information literacy as well as reading programmes are carefully dovetailed into curricular topics. The librarian who is a member of the teaching faculty is in a good position to plan and collaborate with other academic staff.
The SAS Middle School library is one that is well resourced both in terms of collection as well as various facilities to support the teaching and learning programme. It is both progressive and strong in its instructional programme as the library is managed and led by a dynamic and visionary librarian. From the visit, I am able to see the important leadership role of a teacher librarian in driving and managing the library.
National Institute of Education (NIE) Library
VISIT REFLECTION REPORT
DATE : 19Oct 2011 (Wed) TIME: 11.00-3.00pm
I visited the NIE Library located in the Nanyang Technological University Campus on the 19th Oct (Wed) and was warmly received by Mrs Yeoh-Wan Seok Kwan, the Library Director.
Through Mrs Yeoh’s sharing and guided tour, I learnt that the NIE library aspires to be the largest teachers’ training institute library in South East Asia with a primary focus on educational and pedagogical resources and collection.
The library is currently in the midst of being renovated to further enhance their information commons and learning commons. The NIE library is one of the earliest academic library that had conceptualized features of learning and information commons some ten year ago, even before the terms have been coined. The library had already put in place a beautiful Café with comfortable furniture which allow for flexible furniture arrangement that facilitates collaboration work over a cup of coffee or meal. See powerpoint slides of the existing facilities below. An internet lounge and other interesting collaborative space that appeals to the users were tastefully set up some ten years ago. The library will undergo further upgrading work in the coming months to refresh and recreate a 21st century library with Library 2.0 features.
Goals and users
The NIE library’s mission is to provide quality and relevant information resources and services that will promote excellence in teacher education and educational research. Besides that, the library also aims to meet the needs of the education professionals in the Ministry of Education, schools and other educational institutions. The Library Director shared on the library’s aspiration to be the largest teachers’ training institute library in South East Asia focusing primarily on educational pedagogy and research resources. This is in support of the various teacher education programmes at diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The library resources are also to cater to other professional development programmes and courses.
The library has a collection size of close to about 400,000 print materials and subscribes to about 1,000 journals related to education. Unique to this library is a collection of resources specially catered for teacher trainees such as Big Books, Children and Young Adults’ collection and Singapore Education Resources. Other education papers, theses, dissertations, instructional materials, question banks, test collection, assessment exercises cum print and electronic databases are also available for users of the library. The library’s main focus is to build a niche collection of resources in the field of education. Although the current predominant media is about 70% print with 30% non-print, the ratio is rapidly changing with greater focus now being given to building the electronic and digital collection. This is in view of the ready availability of resources such as eBooks, eJournals and eDatabases. The other advantange being its 24/7 accessibility. The library is highly dependent on the NIE portal as well as the integrated Library Management System and Digital Repository portal to promote the library’s e-resources 24/7. They have also adopted SirsiDynix BookMyne™ an iPhone app, to reach out to the end-users. However, print resources especially in-house publications such as theses, dissertations and other publications are being actively digitized. Resources are selected based on BOA, publishers’ alerts as well as input from faculty members and this is usually aligned closely to the course curriculum. Older editions and books in very poor conditions are also weeded periodically to be replaced with new copies or editions.
The library has about 30 staff members comprising professional librarians, para-professionals, IT and technical officers. The professional librarians aid in cataloguing, acquisition, referencing as well as assume instructional roles. Both the para professional, IT and technical staff provide critical support so that the library can operate efficiently and effectively to meet the needs of the students and faculty.
Reference Service & User Education
Reference staff provides assistance in reference and user education services such as information and database searches through traditional face to face reference service at the counter as well as through email, FaceBook and blogs. The instructional librarian works closely with small groups to conduct information and research skills classes together with faculty staff. The NIE library is heavily dependent on the Internet and Web 2.0 tools to promote library information resources and actively harnesses Blogs, Facebook, RSS feeds and mobile apps to facilitate information access 24/7.
Network & IT Infrastructure
The library is currently using the SirsiDynix Integrated Library system for key library modules such as cataloguing, serials and acquisition. One of the interesting feature offered is the SirsiDynix BookMyne™ iPhone application which offers on-the-go library users with many convenient library functions. Aside from mobile access to in-demand library information, holdings and services, BookMyne offers patron value added functions such as barcode scanning capability, social recommendation engine and enhanced accounts functions.
Despite the current conducive physical library set up with a well designed Café and extensive group collaboration facilities, the NIE library’s attempt to further enhance the information and learning commons is testimony to the importance of transforming the library into user-centered learning common where participation in the creation of content is highly encouraged and promoted. The focus on harnessing Web 2.0 tools and mobile apps to deliver library services and resources have gathered momentum in the NIE library as well as in many other bigger academic libraries.
Art, Design & Media Library @ Nanyang Technological University
VISIT REFLECTION REPORT
DATE : 14Oct 2011 (Fri) TIME: 3.15-5.30pm
I visited the ADM Library at NTU on the 14th Oct (Fri) and was warmly received by Mr Baharudin (Head/ADML) Assist Director (Lib Technology & Systems and Ms Ng Mee Ling (Art Librarian).
From the dialogue and sharing with both personnel of the ADM Library, I learnt that the library is one of 7 libraries in the Nanyang Technological University serving specifically the undergraduates and staff of the Arts, Design and Media faculty. The ADM subject courses such as Animation, Art, Design, Filmmaking and Photography strongly influence the collection development of the library. Currently, the library has a collection of well over 11,000 books specifically in the areas of visual art, architecture, drawing, design, illustration, painting and photography. These include reference materials, animation guidebooks, production (plays and cinema) resources, exhibition and design catalogues. Core reading materials stipulated in course lists are located in the Reserve Book Collection and can only be on loan for a maximum of two hours. The library subscribes to over 100 periodicals, covering the school’s curriculum in media, film, animation, design and art. The library also has a comprehensive and expanding collection of Audio-visual materials such as VCDs, DVDs, audio CDs for loan to students and faculty members. Please refer to powerpoint slides below which show the various services and facilities of the ADM library.
The contemporary library design, the libraries’ collection coupled with ready AV/ICT services, I feel, makes the library interesting, appealing and welcoming. The feeling of being ‘cool’ to be in the library seems pervasive.
Besides reference service, the ADM Library also provides instructional services for students and staff where they are introduced to the different art-related online databases and resources. The librarians conduct Library Essentials workshop and tour of ADM Library for new undergraduates primarily through mass lecture approach using powerpoint slides. ADM Library website and blogsite are used actively to put up instructional slides and subject research instructions. Other user education strategies involve information on survival skills, library tour and subject research instructions.
Though the ADM Library is one of the smallest satellite library of the Nanyang Technological University, it nevertheless aspires to develop its ADM collection into the largest in Singapore.
Li Ka Shing (LKS) Library @ Singapore Management University
VISIT REFLECTION REPORT
DATE : 12Oct 2011 (Wed) TIME: 2.00-4.00pm
During the visit, I was hosted by Ms Yeo Pin Pin (Head Info Services/Research Lib Social Sciences) and Mr Rajen Munoo (Head Instructional Services & Research Librarian)
Goals and users
The Li Ka Shing Library’s main focus is on providing the Singapore Management University faculty, staff, undergraduate and post graduate students with quality library services, facilities and access to information that support and enhance their research, teaching and learning activities.
The library is the first point of instruction where research and information literacy skills are taught by a team of dedicated instructional cum research librarians. Their key role is to support the teaching faculty and students in their research and project work needs.
The library’s collection focuses primarily on resources in the fields of Law, Social Sciences, Accountancy, Economics and Lifestyle collection. LKS has print and non print resources such as databases, articles, e-journals, e-examination and InK (Institutional Knowledge at SMU). The set of powerpoint slides showcases some of the facilities provided by the library.
One significant learning from the dialogue and sharing is the library’s strength in providing instructional services to SMU’s students at all levels. There is a team of strong and passionate instructional cum research librarians each of whom provides dedicated services to the following faculties namely, Accountancy, Business, Economics, Information systems, Law and Social Sciences. These instructional librarians designs and post research guides to aid the faculty and students in their respective area of responsibility. Besides the rich array of research guides, I am most impressed by the structured instructional services offered. In SMU, the instructional team designs, develops and delivers training programmes for the SMU community which includes students, faculty and staff. Comprising of professional staff with domain and subject knowledge, the instructional programmes equip students with lifelong learning skills during their academic journey and beyond SMU.
The team advocates embedding information, research and media literacies skills in their programmes.
The diagram below provides an overview of the various instructional programmes provided by instructional and research librarians over the course of 15 weeks term. The sessions 1-4 described below are planned to provide just-in-time assistance to support students’ research needs.
1) Matriculation: Library Orientation
The research librarians initiate a compulsory library orientation programme of about an hour duration and introduce the new undergraduates to the use of the digital library (PYXIS). About 1,700 students are taught the use of e-journals, e-resources and books through a hands-on session in groups of 30. The library conducts a total of 50 sessions over 3 days. Such hands-on sessions are unlike the common mass briefing in lecture theatres conducted by most other tertiary institutions. This I believe makes their programme for effective in reaching out to the students.
2) Customised In- Class Course Related Training Sessions
Research librarians work collaboratively with subject faculty to customize in-class session aligned to course outlines. Students are introduced to authoritative resources useful and specific to their class. Students are shown alternative sources beyond Google and Wikipedia. During the session, students are also introduced to their respective faculty research librarians. Through such concerted efforts, the success rate in reaching out to students to use evaluated quality resources will definitely be higher. In SMU, the research librarians are proactive in creating and promoting the use of Research Guides (key resources tied to the course) during their in-class sessions. Such attempts at guiding and bringing resources closer to the students, I feel, is commendable efforts on the part of the research librarians.
3) Thematic Sessions
These sessions initiated by research librarians are organized based on popular topics and are offered nearer to assignment or term paper submission period. These sessions are targeted at students who had missed the in-class session or those in need of a refresher course.
4) Research Consultation
These are individual or small group facilitation sessions initiated by students with the research librarians. Students are able to book research consultation sessions in order to obtain advice on resources needed for their research topics or term projects.
The various just-in-time instructional services at SMU struck me as one distinctive quality of the library services which sets them apart from other academic libraries visited. Their structured and just-in-time instructional approach is a good model to emulate and is certainly a useful idea for me to consider trying out in my school library.
Ngee Ann Kongsi (NAK) Library @ LASALLE College of Arts
VISIT REFLECTION REPORT
DATE : 12Oct 2011 (Wed) TIME: 10.15-1.00pm
I visited the NAK Library at LASALLE College of Arts on the 12th Oct (Wed) and was warmly received by Ms Malar Villi NADESON, the Library Director.
I learnt much about the Arts Library through my conversation and tour of the library provided by the Ms Malar, Library Director herself.
Goals and users
The library’s primary goals are:
- To support diploma, degree and masters program’s learning and teaching through up to date resources (required readings and recommended readings).
2 To provide timely and cost-effective access to research resources and online databases. Identify and recommend freely available resources on the Net as well as the National Library portal.
3 To provide appropriate technical support and resources for information storage and retrieval within a transformed collection. This includes the capability to provide appropriate training to the university community in accessing these resources. (Strong IT Infrastructure and Support).
The Library exists to support the educational philosophy of the LASALLE College of the Arts, which is committed to education in the visual arts, performance arts and research in the arts. The Library acquires, organizes and makes available materials in the areas of the arts. Although identified as a general academic arts library, it is also to some degree an academic research library because of its comprehensive concentration in the arts. The library accomplishes this purpose by providing carefully selected materials and flexible, diverse services to aid all levels of students, as well as faculty and staff, in their pursuit of education, research, information in the arts. The Library in its overall goal has included the stimulation of all students to develop the skills needed to acquire and apply knowledge throughout their lives. The Library supports the teaching, learning and research activities of the students and faculty which comprise a community of artists, designers, musicians, dancers, actors, film makers, animators and arts managers. The LASALLE community comprises about 2,300 students with about 30 percent international students.
The library’s main focus is on acquiring resources relevant to the curricula needs of all the 26 degree and masters program offered by the college. The library works in close collaboration with the faculties in acquiring all the resources reflected as required readings and 80-100% of recommended readings. The library acts as a facilitator, collaborator, information hub and disseminator of information. Apart from this, the library engages staff on a quarterly library acquisition activity, to continue the growth of the collection. Staff are alerted to new publications and links to university press websites are sent via email. Catalogues from publishers are also made available in the library for selection. Regular book fairs and books on approval plans are other methods deployed by the library to alert academic staff to new publications in their respective fields.
The library has a collection size of about 50 000 with 2000 DVD Collection, 3000 music CD collection, 100 over journal titles, online journals and eDatabases, such as Ebscohost, Projectmuse and Questia. The library’s main focus is to build a niche collection in the Contemporary Arts. The subject areas covered are Visual Arts and Performing Arts. The predominant resources are still the print collection –art books and periodicals. The library has converted their entire VHS collection built over the years into DVDs. Programs pertaining to LASALLE, documentation on arts education over the past 25 years, graduation shows and exhibitions have also been converted to DVDs. Unlike the Sciences, the Arts collection does not get obsolete and may even have historic value. The library periodically removes books that are in very bad condition, and based on circulation if resources have not been used for a long time, will be sent to the stack collection. Books that are in very bad condition, if still in use will be replaced with new copies, if not withdrawn from the collection. A committee has been set up to review physical preservation of in-house publication and production through digitization. The work is currently being discussed and they are in the midst of reviewing service providers such as DSpace and Digital Commons
The library has 3 professional librarians, 2 para-professionals and 2 student helpers.
Being a relatively new and small library with a steady growing collection, the staff receives training on site and attends professional development courses organized by LAS, NLB and NTU.
The library provides the standard face to face reference service at the counter as well as through email. FaceBook and blogs. The library director works very closely with postgraduate students in obtaining various resources needed. Small group information and research skills classes are conducted collaboratively with faculty staff.
Network & IT Infrastructure
The library is heavily dependent on the campus wide network and IT infrastructure for their services. The library is currently using the SPYDUS Integrated Library software (by Civica) for key library modules such as cataloguing, serials and acquisition. Most of the subject guides and instructional materials are disseminated via the library blog set up and maintained by the library director.
User Education & Location
User Education is carried out during the new students’ orientation period during which students are brought through a structured library induction programme. Information on collection, services and facilities are also posted on the library blog site. Information flyers and library display of new arrivals are other strategies adopted.
The contemporary design and aesthetic appeal of the library serve as additional draw to the students. Its central location to the main admin and faculty blocks add to its accessibility and popularity among the students.
One interesting take-away from the visit is with regard to the arts collection which is generally not weeded unless it is in bad condition through frequent use. Unlike other academic libraries, the information content of art books does not get dated and are less likely to become obsolete. Another interesting fact discovered through the visit is NAK Library’s intent to niche itself as a Contemporary Arts Library.