Lynnette graduated from the National University of Singapore with a degree in English Literature. She holds a Masters of Arts in Information and Library Management from Loughborough University. She is currently involved in the planning of new public libraries, and looks forward to seeing more of her ideas brought to life in the near future .
After a number of holiday jobs in bookstores and spending a summer poring over Shakespearean manuscripts in a beautiful rare book library, perhaps it is not so surprising that I have found my way to a career at the library.
I stumbled into librarianship at the National Library Board two years ago after deciding that it would be the ideal career to fuel my ongoing love affair with the printed page. I have since discovered many more reasons to love the job, and am constantly surprised by the diverse opportunities open to me. After starting out as a librarian in a branch library, I am now part of a team tasked with re-imagining public libraries of the future, through the development of new services and service models.
My other pet mission is helping the digital generation rediscover the whimsical, playful side of books, reading and libraries – a job made all the more interesting when armed with an arsenal of social media tools.
As public spaces where knowledge and learning can be freely accessed by all, libraries are inspiring, reassuring and an essential step towards social equality. The opportunity to positively impact the lives of people around me makes a career in the library a truly inspiring and meaningful one.
Alicia is currently on secondment at the Ministry of Communications and Information. She holds the position of Deputy Director (Planning) at the Strategic Planning Division.
I first chose to work at the library for quite a trivial reason: I simply liked the idea of being the first to flip through new titles before anyone else. I also like a good chase. As a reference librarian, one is always hunting for clues and treasures of information for the public’s information.
And as contrived as it may sound, I actually do believe in the work that I do, in helping NLB materialize its vision of inculcating readers for life, learning communities and a knowledge nation.
The most interesting part about being an NLB scholar is the exposure given to you on a corporate level, where you can witness the kind of tough decisions our management and ministry’s leaders have to make.
Sometimes, opportunities also come up for overseas trips, to study best practices and glean ideas and solutions for current library projects or issues. I was sent to New Orleans, The Hague, Suzhou, Shanghai and Helsinki in 2011 and 2012.
As a scholar, plenty of opportunities are also given to lead, manage and mentor others. I find this to be personally rewarding, and hope to continue this in my career – to try and bring out the best in people to brainstorm together with my colleagues to solve project-implementation woes or to come up with strategies to further the library cause. No man is an island, and if you really want to achieve something in the long haul, you need to bring people with you on the journey.