Tag Archives: Singapore

Singapore Management University Libraries hosts ‘A Day in the Life’ Programme

Recently, Bryan Leow, Associate Librarian, Law from Singapore Management University Libraries (“SMU Libraries”) hosted participants in the ‘A Day in the Life’ Programme (“the Programme”) from other Singapore university libraries.

About the ‘A Day in the Life’ Programme

The Programme was developed in 2013 by an executive planning team comprised of representatives from Nanyang Technological University Libraries (“NTU Libraries”), National University of Singapore Libraries (“NUS Libraries”) and Singapore Management University Libraries (“SMU Libraries”). The draft terms of reference also note that the Programme was “a collaborative staff development programme for Singapore Universities library staff which promotes broad understanding of academic library environments, open sharing of good practices, and connecting with colleagues across libraries”.

To this end, the Programme aims to:

  • Provide opportunities for staff to have exposure to the operations and management of other academic libraries in a short, condensed, practical and simple way;
  • Provide networking opportunities for those staff so that they can keep in touch with each other for subsequent follow-up and collaboration; and
  • Provide opportunities for the staff of host organisations in gaining experience and confidence to plan and present about their own library to visitors, i.e., the programme will be delivered (as much as practicable) not by Heads of Departments/Divisions but by the staff working in those units.

The Programme’s intended audience are professional library staff (or equivalent), with a preference for staff with no prior experience working in an academic library; as well as those who have worked in a particular library for a long time and would benefit from being exposed to another academic library.

The Programme takes place twice a year. During each run, three nominated institutions act as ‘host’ institutions. Each host institution puts together their own programme that typically provides and overview of their library, core functions of the library highlighting services and functional departments and provide networking opportunities. Participants get to spend a full day at each host institution (3-day programme) and the Programme is open to one participant per academic institution (maximum of seven participants per run). Each participant is required to prepare a brief reflective report which is submitted to the executive planning team and annually submitted to the University Librarians of participating institutions. Some participants also share their experiences using various platforms such as staff meetings or writing.

Back on Track and in their Own Words

This year, following a hiatus of the Programme during the COVID pandemic, SMU Libraries, together with The Ngee Ann Kongsi Library, Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT Library) and NUS Libraries hosted the Programme in November 2022. As a recent hire, Bryan was nominated as the SMU Libraries participant. He also put together the SMU programme which involved presentations, sharing of best practices, demonstration of tools and applications used for work, tours, and an important Reflection segment at the end of the day, which was facilitated by Rajen Munoo, Head, Learning and Engagement.

Wearing his IFLA, Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning (“CPDWL”) Section Member hat, Rajen asked participants to pen their thoughts to the following question: Why is it important to have continuing professional development activities?

Below are some of their thoughts in their own words:

Participant 1: “It is important to stay relevant as the world keeps changing…Important to exchange knowledge, be open to ideas, learn from the others”

Participant 2: “It is important for us to have professional development activities as they give us a chance to learn about what other institutions are working on, how we can collaborate, network and do better. It gives us an opportunity and open our mind and think creatively.”

Participant 3: “The library/academic scene is changing rapidly e.g., moving into electronic resources, more interdisciplinary learning. Development is needed to stay relevant and to keep up to date with the latest changes.”

Participant 4: “Share ideas with others. Share how challenges were resolved. Students and staff need continually changes, and so…library must keep up with the times.”

Participant 5: “No professional is an island. Like, research, the professional work also should be made open to grow and contribute to the society (library) as one.”

Participant 6: “Staying relevant is crucial as technology evolves – information is readily available in just one click. Professional development programmes allow us to connect with other librarians or experts where we can continue to learn.”

Participant 7: “Teaching and learning are always evolving, so is technology continually improving and adapting to the changes and in response to the needs of faculty and students. Hence, the library and librarians must always engage in exploring new avenues of thought, learning from one another so that all SG libraries are not left behind in this digital innovative age.”

Participant 8: “It is as simple as for personal self-development and remain relevant not just for the present state but also future. It allows us to collaborate and share greater knowledge with one another to deliver greater value to our stakeholders. A win win situation.”

Bryan too, noted that, “This Programme was very useful for me to better understand how other university libraries work, and to get a sense of the challenges they also face. I was also glad to get to know more people within the different universities, which would definitely come in handy for future collaborations between university libraries.”

From the reflections above, keywords such as change rapidly, sharing, collaboration, evolving, knowledge, staying relevant, digital innovation, how libraries work, keeping up with the times and more. Participant 5’s comment, is worth re-reading. As new professionals, it is important to start thinking about career paths and planning and having the relevant skills and competencies in hybrid working environments is essential as part of the digital transformation taking place in all libraries.

A Day in the Life Programme is an example of a CPDWL activity that has been a successful collaboration amongst university libraries in Singapore and is a simple model that can be adopted quickly by others.

Written by

  • Bryan Leow, Associate Librarian, Law, SMU Libraries
  • Rajen Munoo, Head Learning and Engagement, SMU Libraries

With inputs from the SMU Libraries programme participants:

  • Ms Jeyalakshmi Sambasivam, Senior Assistant Manager (NTU Libraries);
  • Ms Suhasini d/o Rajendran, Associate Librarian (Singapore University of Social Sciences Library);
  • Ms Stephanie Ow Tsin Li, Librarian (National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University (NIE NTU), Singapore;
  • Mr Muhammad Ridzwan bin Hussain, Senior Associate (Singapore University of Technology and Design Library);
  • Mr Allan Mones Quito, Senior Manager, Technology (SIT Library);
  • Ms Wendy Thun, Librarian (NUS Libraries);
  • Ms Poonam Lalwani, Curator (NUS Libraries) and
  • Ms Gladys Toh Mei Jun, Research Assistant (NUS Libraries).

Update Taking charge of your career Workshop

The Summary of the topic:

 How to connect: using social media

Moderator Anne Lehto, Head of Services Tampere University Library, Finland,

e-mail: anne.m.lehto@uta.fi


In the workshop, there were 6 groups attending this round table one group at a time. We discussed the possibilities and challenges of using social media as a tool for professional development. Social media was defined widely in this session meaning different types of communication using web 2.0 technologies which enhance collaboration and include the aspect of interactivity.


1) How to use social media at your library?


There was an interesting IFLA offsite Social Media Workshop by Academic and Research Libraries that took place at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore on 16 August. The theme was Social media strategy in academic libraries – Implementation experience at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Libraries. Some participants in the round table had attended the workshop as well. At NTU it was learned that NTU library had impressively hired 200 students to create social media content. The programme and presentations can be retrieved from http://blogs.ntu.edu.sg/ifla2013/programme/


Furthermore, examples of the use of social media in University library context are numerous, see e.g. Mervi Ahola’s (a social media savvy colleague) prezi-presentation: Social Media in the Work Practices in Tampere University Library:


2) In the workshop, the most common social media tools/technologies (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, blogs, wikis, Linkedin…) were discussed from the point of view of their usefulness to enhance professional development.


It turned out that Facebook was used more for personal purposes than for professional ones; however, there were also participants who shared their experiences of using Facebook to get information about current issues and for informing their professional network.


On the other hand, blogs were commonly used for professional development purposes. Also, Akademia.edu and Researchgate, http://www.researchgate.net/ were mentioned as major professional development networking tools. 


If you are a new professional or a life-long learner, don’t forget IFLA New Professional Special Interest Group’s (NPSIG) blog,http://npsig.wordpress.com. In the blog you will find interesting webinars which have been recorded and are available on the site e.g., “New Librarians Global Connection: best practices, models and recommendations“ is a new series of free quarterly webinars on issues of interest to new librarians, models of library associations and library schools working with new professionals, and groups by and for librarians. The free webinars are presented by IFLA Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning  and IFLA New Professionals Special Interest Group in partnership with the American Library Association.


LinkedIn was regarded as an increasingly more important platform for professional development. Other important role of LinkedIn is that it is used for the companies’ recruitment purposes. Thus, keeping your profile up-to-date is necessary if you want to become recognized by the potential head hunters. Technically, you can make your profile more complete by adding your photo, your CV, skills and your areas of interest. We discussed that the more contacts you have in Linkedin – the better it seems, and the more international contacts you have – even better. Do you disagree?


Your contacts in LinkedIn may endorse you for your skills. However, even people who have never met you in real life are able to endorse your skills, as LinkedIn actively invites you to endorse your contacts. The value of such endorsements is therefore controversial.


3) To sum up, there are multiple social media technologies and tools applicable to networking to enhance professional development. As both working time and spare time is limited, you don’t need to adopt them all. Still, it is worthwhile being curious and trying some social media technologies especially as they are mostly freely available. If you don’t get what you expected, just try some other technology that might fulfill your expectations better.


PS. Meanwhile you read this summary, some social media technologies that before were freely available may have turned fee-based or completely disappeared. It is certain that there are still some unexplored technologies that you can use for purposes you might not even know yet.


CPDWL Conference programme for the Singapore Congress 2013

CPDWL sessions

Sunday 18 August, 2013 13:45 – 15:45, Session 83
Building a learning and knowledge sharing organisation
Room: Summit 1
Information Technology, Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning and Knowledge Management –a NPSIG programme sponsored by CPDWL
Monday 19 August, 2013 09:30 – 12:45, Session 100
Libraries as learning organisations: how to nurture growth in our staff and our communities
Room: Summit 2
Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning with Education and Training (SET)
Wednesday 21 August 2013 11:45 – 13:45, Session 176
Taking charge of your career: a workshop
Room: Summit 1
Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning
Read more in the workshop blog post.
Thursday 22 August 2013 10:45 – 13:00, Session 210
New librarians global connection: best practices, models and recommendations
Room: Nicoll 3
New Professionals Special Interest Group with Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning

Standing Committee Meetings

Saturday 17 August 2013 12:30 – 15:00, Session 31
Room: 312
SC I Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning
Tuesday 20 August 2013 15:00 – 16:30, Session 149
Room: 310
SC II Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning
New members, please note that SCI and SC II Meetings are our section’s business meetings where we plan our activities for the coming year. Please be sure to try to attend both meetings.

Letter from the co-Chairs

Sylvia Piggott
Ulrike Lang

Dear CPDWL members and friends,

After a very active and successful year 2012 with a well attended pre-conference in Tampere, Finland and very good conference presentations at our session in Helsinki, Finland, we are now on the way preparing the 2013 Singapore Conference.

The high standard of the Tampere Conference can be seen in the papers contained in IFLA publication No. 157 The Road to Information Literacy and also in one of our presentations in Helsinki which will be published in the IFLA Journal.

We intend to keep delivering the same high quality in our future programmes, as we use the creativity and knowledge of our section members to create an interesting programme for Singapore in August.

CPDWL will host a workshop session. The theme is Taking charge of your career. The format will be of round table discussions, each lead by a team leader with some experience on the topic who will facilitate sharing and recording of information. Our information coordinator Catharina Isberg will start with an introduction “Competence wheel: communication and personal skills”.

The different tables will deal with intercultural competencies, publishing of papers, self managed careers, personal skills and competencies, the use of social media, alternative careers, internationalizing your career and jump starting career and, finally, professional ethics.

We hope you will be able to visit several tables but we will also prepare some flyers with the most important information from each table so you can carry home an overview of all the topics.

Additionally, and in collaboration with SET (Education and training section) we are planning a session with the theme Libraries as learning organisations: how to nurture growth in our staff and our communities”. The Call for Papers is out with the expectation that submissions will be received by the end of January 2013.

And last but not least, together with NPSIG (New Professional Special Interest Group), CPDWL is planning the session “New librarians global connection: best practices, models and recommendations”, presented also in a workshop style.

Please check the IFLA programme for conference details and times at the end of March.

In addition to these professional topics, CPDWL is also very much interested in the modernization and enhancements of the IFLA organization.

We are also pleased to report that our Information Coordinator Catharina Isberg and Co-Chair Ulrike Lang are founding members of the IFLA DIAL Working Group and will help to promote the updating of communication in IFLA.

The strong connection with the New Professional Special Interest Group (NPSIG) spearheaded by Loida Garcia Febo, is also a significant part of our work. The webinars which Loida hosts with the support of ALA are a very good example of this. The sessions consisting of international participants with topics of global interests are generally well attended. The timing is very convenient for the different time zones worldwide and the entrance to the chat room is very easy.

Some of the section members will end their terms in Singapore. They will leave a huge gap of professional competency and we surely will miss their support. Therefore, if you are interested in working with an active international group please do not hesitate to contact us.

Finally, I, Sylvia Piggott, Co-Chair and Treasurer, have completed my two terms with CPDWL and will be moving on to another Section of IFLA at the end of the first CPDWL Section meeting in Singapore. It has been a pleasure to work with such a dynamic group. Having been coordinator each year of a CPDWL programme session I know how much we can count on our Section members for support of these sessions. I coordinate my final session in Singapore. I pledge continued support of your programme sessions despite the fact that I am moving on.

We wish you a happy and successful year and hope to see you in Singapore!

Ulrike Lang
Sylvia Piggott

WLIC 2013, Singapore – The CPDWL section sessions

“Taking charge of your carrier”, “New librarians global connection: best practices, models and recommendations” and “Libraries as learning organisations: how to nurture growth in our staff and our communities” are the themes for the three sessions which CPDWL are involved in at the WLIC 2013 in Singapore. One of these is a workshop, one is a session together with NPSIG and one is a session together with SET

The workshop session theme is “Taking charge of your carrier”. The format will be round table discussions each lead by a team leader with some experience on the topic and who will facilitate sharing and recording of information.

Together with NPSIG (New Professional Special Interest Group) CPDWL is planning the session “New librarians global connection: best practices, models and recommendations”. The call for papers is available at http://conference.ifla.org/ifla79/calls-for-papers/new-librarians-global-connection

In collaboration with SET (Education and training section) we are planning a session with the theme “Libraries as learning organisations: how to nurture growth in our staff and our communities”. The call for papers for this sesstion is available at http://conference.ifla.org/ifla79/calls-for-papers/libraries-as-learning-organisations-how-to-nurture-growth-in-our-staff-and-o

If you are interested in all the call for papers at the WLIC 2013 in Singapore, they are all available at:http://conference.ifla.org/ifla79/calls-for-papers

Minutes from CPDWL virtual officers meeting

In December a virtual meeting was held with the standing committee officers of  CPDWL.  We discussed among other things the Singapore program, the co-chair model, our use of social media and the standing committee membership list.

The meeting minutes are now availabe at the CPDWL web. Please read the minutes to get a full picture of the meeting.