IGeLU member in spotlight

IGeLU member spotlight:

Tell us your name, title and some more about Singapore Management University (SMU). 

My name is Shameem Nilofar and I am the Head of Information Access and Resources at Singapore Management University (SMU) Libraries. SMU is a relatively young institution and was established in the year 2001. Home to around 10,000 undergraduates and postgraduates, SMU comprises six schools: School of Accountancy, Lee Kong Chian School of Business, School of Economics, School of Information Systems, School of Law and School of Social Sciences. SMU offers a wide range of bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degree programmes in the disciplinary areas associated with the six schools, as well as in interdisciplinary combinations of these areas.

SMU’s city campus is a state-of-the-art facility located in the heart of downtown Singapore, fostering strategic linkages with business, government and the wider community.

Li Ka Shing Library
Kwa Geok Choo Law Library

Situated at the heart of SMU’s city campus, SMU Libraries offers its services through two physical libraries, Li Ka Shing Library and Kwa Geok Choo Law Library as well as virtually through various web based services. The library facilitates knowledge creation, discovery through its electronic search platform and access to a wide array of research resources on and off campus. Library collections include over 500,000 printed and electronic books, 80,000 print and electronic journals, more than 170 electronic databases and over 22,000 SMU research publications in its Institutional Repository (InK), including Electronic Theses and Dissertations.

What Ex Libris products are used by SMU?

SMU Libraries have been using Alma & Primo since 2015 and Leganto since 2018.

Tell us how you first became involved with IGeLU?

My involvement in IGeLU was a part of a larger push by the then Steering Committee members to widen the representation of various regions in the working groups and the Steering Committee. The footprint of ExLibris products was growing in Asia and IGeLU has always stood for the principles of diversity and inclusion. When my institution migrated to Alma from Millennium in 2015, it provided me with  an opportunity to become involved with IGeLU. It so happened that it was also the year, where there was a vacancy on the Steering Committee. I submitted by nomination and was elected to the Steering Committee in 2015 @ Budapest, Hungary.

Can you talk about a time where contributions from IGeLU members helped your work or the work of your institution? 

The annual conferences run by IGeLU are a fantastic platform, where best practices and innovative integrations are shared by IGeLU members. This has been very useful in refining our workflows in ways that are meaningful in meeting the needs of our user community. In addition, you also meet highly qualified technologists and librarians, who are faced with similar issues and\or challenges in their parent institutions and are willing to share their recommendations. The friendship and camaraderie earned is the icing on the cake J

Since IGeLU 2019 will be hosted in Singapore, can you share some suggestions as to where we should visit?  (feel free to add links and/or photos)

Singapore is probably the best stop to begin your exploration of the South east Asian region, if you have never been to this part of the world. In addition, 2019 also happens to be a special year for Singapore. This is the bicentennial year for Singapore and a number of events have been lined up for this occasion throughout the year. Singapore also happens to be a foodie heaven, and the choice of cuisines and flavors is pretty astounding. Two of the must try local favorites – Chilli Crab and Chicken Rice.  

Some of my personal recommendations on places to visit –

1.       Gardens by the Bay:  http://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/en/attractions.html (inspiration behind conference logo)

2.      Singapore Zoo : https://www.wrs.com.sg/en/singapore-zoo.html

3.      Night safari : https://www.wrs.com.sg/en/night-safari/  (Part of the Zoo umbrella, but a separate attraction that starts at 6 PM once the zoo closes – A must-see)

4.      Tree top walks : https://www.nparks.gov.sg/gardens-parks-and-nature/parks-and-nature-reserves/central-catchment-nature-reserve/treetop-walk

5.      Botanic Gardens : https://www.nparks.gov.sg/SBG

6.      Day Tours

a.       Hop on Hop off tours : https://www.hop-on-hop-off-bus.com/singapore-bus-tours

b.      Cultural tours : https://www.visitsingapore.com/walking-tour/culture/in-the-neighbourhood-joochiat-katong/  

c.       For every other kind of tour with a local guide: https://www.withlocals.com/experiences/singapore/singapore/

7.       And if you are into shopping, this is a shopping haven: https://theculturetrip.com/asia/singapore/articles/the-top-10-malls-and-markets-in-singapore/

8.      Sentosa: In case you want to check out the place where Trump stayed during the summit

What is your first memory of working with Dave, IGeLU chair? 
Dave was in-charge of the first-timers to IGeLU in addition to all the other hats he wears, when I met him (he still is!!). He introduced me to the then Steering committee and put me at ease immediately about becoming involved with an international organization. He is very patient, meticulous and loads of fun to work with. I am sure that IGeLU will continue to grow in strength under his leadership.