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Ivan Chew — Rambling Librarian

Updated June 18 to include two corrections and one note.

In "I've got a verbYL t-shirt," Ivan Chew—better known online as Rambling Librarian—posts two photos of himself wearing a t-shirt, but doesn't show his face. Well, he's not against disclosing his identity, but he is reluctant to let his neighbors know that he's Rambling Librarian.

With some prodding from me, he allowed me to post his photo. As he says, "I guess I have to assume that 'people know where I live.'"

Ivan Chew — Rambling Librarian
That's him demonstrating the use of the automated machine for borrowing and returning books at the Jurong Regional Library.

Chew is anything but a stereotypical librarian. He is, I believe, the first librarian to have started blogging as a librarian in this part of the world. And he now has several blogs, including showcases for his artworks and podcasts. He has conducted blogging seminars, most notably in South Africa, and has even started the group Singapore Librarians for Empowerment & Advocacy for the Disabled.

In addition, his personal blogging has led his colleagues to consider institutional blogging (see High Browse Online) as a means to reach out to its customers (correction: "has led his colleagues" should be "contributed to the effort"). Check out the book chats they started last June 13 with Tuesdays With Morrie. You can even join their future chats on July 4 ("Mid-Autumn") and July 25 (The Kite Runner).

I first "met" Chew online in April 2005 when he sent me an email (correction: left a comment) and wrote, "Would love to know if there are more of such Liblogarians like yourself :)" That was less than two months after I started this blog, but it would take more than a year before I would meet him in person (note: he left the comment on 3 April 2005; we met in Singapore on 4 April 2006). That's basically what's been happening with all the people I've been meeting lately =)

Category: Librarians

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