Last night, at the kind invitation of Liana Tang (@spoonrabbit on Twitter), I participated in the first #nlbmeetup (issue #1) organised by the National Library Board. Happening at the lovely Esplanade Library, the Meet Up was a good chance for me to catch up with social media buddies and to witness the evolution/revolution of Singapore libraries from Paper Books to Facebook.
Of course, our libraries aren’t strangers to social media, as my buddy Rambling Librarian (aka Ivan Chew) would testify. They have blogs for almost anything under the sun, a Twitter account, a Facebook fan page, an electronic encyclopedia (Infopedia), as well as other social media tools. Being a great fan, I can attest to their extensive efforts in using web and social technologies to improve the entire book borrowing, reading, fine paying (it happens!) and information gathering experience.
It was great to know that Siva (or @sivasothi), a long-time friend, former biology tutor, Friend of Yesterday.sg, and eco activist extraordinaire, would be speaking about his experiences as one of the pioneers in embracing social media for teaching and other purposes.
Bloggers and friends were given this cool sachet of custom-made sweets. In case you’re wondering, the message on the candies was…
…”I Heart Social Media”. Nice touch!
Liana Tang giving an introduction to what NLB has done in pioneering their digital library initiatives.
Trust Kevin Lim (@brainopera) to reveal his true colours like this. 🙂
Molly, the Mobile Library Bus was one of the great innovations by our public libraries to make books and reading more accessible to the heartlanders.
SNAP or Singapore National Album of Pictures on Flickr is another digital innovation by NLB which helps to build an online repository of crowd-sourced event photographs.
Of course, the icing on the cake was the Facebook application which incorporated utility with social features.
Up next was the head honcho of NLB himself, Dr Varaprasad. I liked his quote that “the library is not a place but a space” which gives a different context to what libraries do. You can also see a capacity crowd of bloggers following the proceedings closely, armed with digital cameras (from point and shoots to micro 4/3rds to DSLRs!) and iPads.
Dr Varaprasad launching the Mylibrary Facebook application by dropping a “facebook” into the “bookdrop”.
Voila! The application is now officially launched.
Siva regaled the crowd with his bygone tales of pioneering the online activism scene.
Do you know that he was the guy who launched Singapore’s first natural history blog (which became its first museum blog)?
Siva was also credited with the first local cycling blog in Singapore!
After all the brain food, we were treated to a pretty sumptuous buffet spread.
Bloggers doing what they do best, social networking!
Most of us stayed back till 9 plus for the
lucky draw excellent company and conversations. My friend Coleman Yee (@metacole) won a funky “Fame” branded headphones!
I was luckier I guess, as I won a brand new iPOD Shuffle. Woo hoo! Looks like everybody is a winner tonight – NLB, bloggers, and book borrowing public!
awesome post, walter! thanks for sharing your thoughts on each idea that got you thinking. i hope everyone had a good time and that we all learnt something new 🙂
Good write-up! I can feel and imagine the proceeding of the events even though I’m not there. Thanks for the sharing and great details…