Hello from AFCC 2014!


Greetings from Singapore, where I have just attended the first day of the Writers and Illustrators Conference of the Asian Festival of Children’s Content. It was an amazing first day featuring a stellar ensemble of speakers and inspiring talks, great company (hello friends, old and new!) and a stack of signed books to go in my luggage.

It’ll take some time for me to transcribe all my notes from the conference, and upload the photos from my camera, so in the meantime, here’s a look at the National Library of Singapore, where the Festival is being held. In previous trips, I’ve always passed by the huge library building on book hunting jaunts at the Bras Basah Complex right next door, but I’ve never actually been, so I was quite excited to set foot in this library.

The 16-storey National Library is located in the heart of the city, at 100 Victoria Street, near the Bugis and City Hall MRT stations. It houses not only an impressive reference collection; but also the Central lending library, reading areas, multimedia stations, and event facilities.

After one of the sessions today, I wandered into an exhibit on the history of the National Library and was fascinated to learn it was established in 1823, along with Singapore’s first educational institution, The Singapore Institution (now the Raffles Institution), set up by none other than Sir Stamford Raffles, founder of modern Singapore.

The exhibit was small but quite informative, and it traced the evolution of the library from a subscription service for a few into a library system that serves the general Singaporean public.

I especially enjoyed the artifacts:

IMG_3560Old-timey library event poster

cardsLibrary membership cards

Library stamps


book pressEven an old book press, apparently used for torture book binding

It really makes an ideal venue for the Festival, and on a Sunday it was bustling with activity, even outside of the festival program:





You’ll see more of the library later on in my #AFCC2014 reportage. Meanwhile, I’m in need of some shuteye and then it’s off Day 2 of the Writers and Illustrators Conference! For current updates, check out the Bookmarked! Facebook Page and/or my Twitter.

More later!

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