SPH Foundation sets up reading corners at Polytechnics

Singapore, 22 November 2006 Temasek Polytechnic students need not rush through their reading or fight over the limited number of copies of newspapers at the library anymore, all thanks to the new Reading Corner which is officially opened today.

Besides Temasek Polytechnic, the stylish Reading Corners sponsored by the Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) Foundation can also be found at the libraries of Ngee Ann, Singapore and Nanyang Polytechnics. With the Reading Corner, each library will now have more copies of The Straits Times, Lianhe Zaobao, Berita Harian, Tamil Murasu, The Business Times, and International Herald Tribune, to be shared among its students. The SPH Foundation also roped in Financial Times as a partner to make its international newspapers available at the Reading Corners.

“As an information service provider, we are keen to cultivate newspaper reading even if it is for a short period every day and promote lifelong learning. With this sponsorship, we are able to offer more copies of our local newspapers and it is very enlightening to see all the papers taken from the rack and our students deeply engrossed in reading them. We hope to sustain this interest in reading news and current affairs among our students,” said Mrs Esther Ong, Director of Library from Temasek Polytechnic.

Ms Caroline Loh, Director of Ngee Ann Polytechnic Library shared the same sentiments. “This initiative has created an even more conducive environment in the Ngee Ann Polytechnic Library for students to develop the reading habit. Once inculcated, they are likely to continue to read for life. This will equip them to meet the challenges posed by a competitive knowledge-based economy when they graduate into the working world,” said Ms Loh.

The Reading Corner project is the SPH Foundation’s latest bid to promote lifelong learning and efforts to improve proficiency in English and the mother tongue, through newspaper reading.

“Reading brings consolation, distraction, excitement, knowledge and experience of the wide world. In some countries, they have competitions which promote the power of the written word. Such platforms help to bring people from diverse cultural backgrounds together, like writers of mystery, romance and biography, as well as passionate readers. And these, are all done to encourage reading which can bring lots of fun to everyone. New interests such as blogging and podcasting have taken over the traditional habit of newspaper reading among our youths these days. While it is important to keep up with new technologies, it is equally paramount that our youths are equipped with the hard facts and knowledge of what is happening in the world around them. As such, it is essential that we cultivate the habit of reading in our youths and what better way to start than with the newspapers which cover a wide array of topics to cater to everyone’s interests,” said Mr Joseph Conceicao, Director of SPH Foundation.

Since the Reading Corners were set up at the polytechnic libraries earlier this month, they have been a hit with students. “I find the Reading Corner very useful because in my free time, I can come here to relax by reading the newspapers," said first-year student Chen Ying Jie, who is pursuing a Diploma in Mechatronics at Nanyang Polytechnic.

First-year student Ms Nur Farhana Omar who is currently doing Nautical Studies from the Singapore Maritime Academy at Singapore Polytechnic is also ecstatic with the new Reading Corner. She said, “"I seldom read newspapers but with the Reading Corner, I find it more convenient to do so now. I will make an effort to read The Straits Times everyday. It will help me to keep up with the news and my general knowledge."

The participating polytechnics were consulted on the placement and design of the Reading Corner to ensure easy access by students and proper assimilation into the existing décor of the library.

Republic Polytechnic is also looking forward to having its own Reading Corner which will be set up by the end of this year. “Having multiple copies of newspapers available will allow more students to keep up to date with local and world events," said Ms Yee Wai Fun, Senior Manager of Republic Polytechnic Library.

The SPH Foundation will also be introducing this initiative to other institutions in 2007.

The full text of the speeches delivered at the launch of the Reading Corner today at Temasek Polytechnic Library by Mr Edmond Khoo, Deputy Principal of Temasek Polytechnic, and Ms Ginney Lim, General Manager of SPH Foundation, can be found in Annex A and Annex B below.

14KB Annex A - Speech by Mr Edmond Khoo
Please click here.
49KB Annex B - Speech by Ms Ginney Lim
Please click here.

Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Foundation Co. Registration No. 200300910M

For more information, please contact:

Selina Lim
Singapore Press Holdings Foundation Limited
DID: 6319 1872
HP: 9435 2856
FAX: 6319 8150
Email: limyl@sph.com.sg

About the Singapore Press Holdings Foundation
The Singapore Press Holdings Foundation, a registered charity and an Institution of Public Character, was first set up as the Press Foundation of Singapore in January 2003 to help build a lifelong learning community that embraces language enrichment, creativity, diversity, healthy living and sports. The seed contribution of $20 million to the Foundation came from media group Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. It was renamed Singapore Press Holdings Foundation in May 2005.

For more information, please visit the Foundation's website at www.sphfoundation.org.sg.



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