How many ways can we get to know Hedwig Anuar, the first Singaporean director of the National Library? We speak to a librarian, a consultant from the National Archives of Singapore, and those who have continued her legacy at the Singapore Book Council. Through their eyes, get a more intimate look into the woman we've come to know as the First Lady of Books.
This programme includes a live Q&A towards the end of the session.
Writers / Presenters
Michelle Heng is an English Literary Arts Librarian at the National Library of Singapore. She has co-curated exhibitions on Singapore’s English-language literary pioneers and compiled as well as edited their bibliographies and select publications on their works. In 2016, she helped to handle the Hedwig Anuar donor collection comprising personal documents, ephemera and books.
Kiang-Koh Lai Lin is a consultant at the National Archives of Singapore (NAS) where she has interviewed over 170 people from all walks of life for the Oral History Centre. She was formerly a director at the National Library Board who spearheaded reading initiatives including nationwide campaigns such as READ! Singapore and kidsREAD to nurture a nation of readers. The President of The Society for Reading and Literacy (SRL) since 2018, Kiang also founded numerous reading clubs in the community.
A trained librarian, R Ramachandran worked with Hedwig Anuar to help develop Singapore’s National Library system from scratch. After retiring from the National Library Board in 2004, he worked as the Secretary-General of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions in Den Haag, Netherlands. On his return, he was Executive Director of the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) until he fully retired in 2017. The NBDCS is now called the Singapore Book Council.
Constance Singam is a writer and civil society activist. Constance has led women’s organisations, co-founded civil society groups, been a columnist in national publications, and co-edited several books. Her nonfiction works include Re-Presenting Singapore Women (2004) and The Art of Advocacy in Singapore (2017). She has written two memoirs including Never Leave Town Without Chilli Sauce (2016), and three children’s books including Porter the Adventurous Otter (2021). She was inducted in the Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame in 2015.