Recently my colleague asked if I could contribute a blog posting on some of my thoughts about Lee Wee Nam Library (LWNL) as I have managed the library for about nine years, i.e., until last December when a new team took over.
So my three quick thoughts.
It is busy and the busiest of all our libraries. Maybe because it is near the canteen & fast food joints, like they say, food draws people. Maybe it is near a key bus stop along Nanyang Drive (an important entry and exit point) or perhaps it is the largest library in our campus. Maybe it is also the serendipity in a library… 🙂
Crowd tends to build up from near lunch hours during term time. The peak of the peak is typically during the revision weeks, just before the start of examinations. During this period, a large crowd would not be a surprise both inside and outside the library, in particular at our entrance just before library opens in the morning.
Come year 2026, when the Jurong MRT Line and Nanyang Crescent MRT station are completed (with LWNL just adjacent to this station), I am sure the “bustlingness” level will be go up quite a few notches.
We meet and serve an assortment of users. Though LWNL is known for its engineering & science collections, however, we do get a lot of non-engineering users that frequent us, from the humanities, business, social sciences etc and also NIE as well. Their students and staff too visit our library, to access our resources which are unavailable at their library.
We also meet and serve users who are not in the NTU community. They are usually visitors from the academia or member of the public with the request to browse some of our resources.
There is another group, and an interesting lot as well, and which is our associate members. They are mainly our alumni and former or retired NTU staff. It is nice to meet alumni or former NTU staff, especially those you are familiar with, but it is also nice to meet new friends as well. I recalled this meeting with a retired NIE faculty (a regular user at LWNL) and I was assisting him on an enquiry. I later learned he is an expert on sea turtle. We got on well and thereafter I invited him (and which he accepted) to do a sharing at one of our library events. The sharing was about “World Sea Turtle Day”, celebrated every 16th of June. Great to learn there is such a Day and which I did not know there was even one.
Often during library tours or when talking to current NTU staff or students I get disbelieving stares when I say, “You can actually view parts of Johor (Malaysia) from LWNL Level 5”.
The North Spine Academic complex, where the LWNL building is part of, is built on top of a ridge. From Level 5 of LWNL, you can get a good view of what’s ahead. On a clear sunny day, you could get a panoramic view of parts of Johor, the hills and waters of the Straits of Johor.
The good external scenery is not just restricted to Level 5. At Level 2 of the New Space, and besides the windows, is a row of single seat study tables equipped with individual task light. Looking out from the window, you too get to see a nice view of greenery, the trees, and part of Nanyang Drive (I heard the night views are good too). The New Space was opened in August last year after near to a year of renovation and it includes an Amphitheatre style seating, collaborative booths, circular pods and digital workbench etc. So do make it a point to visit and use our New Space.
Last, but not least is our LWNL main entrance. Whether it is external visitors, guests, convocation graduands or even alumni (some came back to do their wedding photo shoots), the entrance remains a popular background for photography or should I say, an iconic spot as well. Anyway to all of them, “Welcome (back) to NTU and Lee Wee Nam Library”.