Inspiring Next Generation Entrepreneurs: Connecting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), Schools and Public Libraries through Information Services

LEE, Yee Fuang and GOH, Sharlene (2016) Inspiring Next Generation Entrepreneurs: Connecting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), Schools and Public Libraries through Information Services. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2016 – Columbus, OH – Connections. Collaboration. Community in Session 125 - Reference and Information Services.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/1344
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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Inspiring Next Generation Entrepreneurs: Connecting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), Schools and Public Libraries through Information Services

‘50 Schools, 50 SMEs’, is an innovative way for the public libraries of Singapore to make research and reference work purposeful to students and local companies, in support of the national effort to tell the Singapore Story. To celebrate Singapore’s 50th birthday in 2015, the National Library Board (NLB) partnered with SPRING (The Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board) for the ‘50 Schools, 50 SMEs’ initiative to collect inspiring stories from local businesses that have played a part in Singapore’s economic history. Students from 50 secondary schools visited Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) from a wide range of industries, interviewed their founders/leaders, and produced their findings in a story supported with research. Public librarians conducted a series of instructional workshops that covered writing, interviewing and information literacy skills for the students. These skills were necessary for them to write a factual story on the SMEs. Working hand-in-hand with their teachers, the librarians also provided one-to-one tutorial sessions with students to guide them in their research and assisted them in editing. Students’ masterpieces were published on Wikipedia and the Singapore Memory Project Portal. These published articles help to reach out to more youths across the world and inspire them through our SMEs’ stories. Through this authentic learning approach, the students had the opportunity to connect with local businesses for a greater appreciation of their contributions to Singapore, but also used library resources to document entrepreneurial stories. Students applied what they learnt in an actual task, and so there is not only just head knowledge, but also real-life application. This initiative also opens up work attachment opportunities for students, as it exposes them to local entrepreneurship and motivates the young generation to pursue careers with local SMEs, or even start their own businesses.

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