Skip to main content

Sorry, No Outside Books Allowed In The Library

When I was in England, whenever I wanted to have a quiet afternoon to have a little reading, or do some writing; I’d go to the library. Be it the City Council Library or the library at the university I was both teaching and studying at, I never had a problem getting in and have something done. No one checks my bag, or the books or notes I was bringing in with me. If you steal, the door will scream at you.

The Singapore National Library presents a great-looking exterior and comfortable-looking interior, and does offer some books (well I do have problem sourcing for some titles). It is tempting to spend a luxurious afternoon in there.

My first time visiting the library, I had Sandra Steingraber’s Living Downstream with me. I was stopped by the security guard on duty, and had to go in without it – there is a locker system where you can place all your bags and belongings in – securely – hmm…


Today, I had with me a few written essays, which my human students did from plenty of research taken from the library (so they said). What’s the best place to mark these essays, in order to verify their references’ authenticity? The library, of course!

I was stopped by the security guard again.

“There are too many notes, you are only allowed to bring in a couple of blank sheets of paper.” He said, very politely, referring to the essay papers.

“No, Sir (Please note that I’m writing this in a more international context, referring to my also-polite manner. If I really have addressed him as ‘Sir’, he would have thought I’m nuts – for God’s sake, that is Asia!), these are my students’ papers and I need to…” I tried to explain my objectives.

‘But there are just too many notes, who knows you can be studying your own notes?”

What? Are we only limited to only reading the library-owned books in a library? Is this a policy in Singapore? This reminds me of the restaurants’ little sign on the door: “No outside food or drinks allowed on this premises.” It sure sounds like that to me. And do note that he was still referring to my papers as ‘notes’. #-o

I insisted that I cannot see the point of the policy, and he ESCORTED me to the librarian. I explained the situation to her. I got in, finally.

It was the right place to do the grading, until this bunch of Chinese teenagers came in and sat right next to me, and chatted like nobody’s business. Now where on earth is that overly responsible security guard?

I left shortly. And I’m not coming back. Ever


Popular posts from this blog

Sit Back, Relax, And Please Put Your Feet On the Seat

I absolutely hate buses with those facing seats: they are narrow, you get dizzy when you're facing the back of the bus, not to mention that you also have to be staring at other passengers doing the same thing to you; what's worse, THIS:   This person here thinks he owns the bus and had his feet up the whole journey! I was tempted to tell him off but would I dare risk my life dealing with someone this rude and inconsiderate so openly? No, I won't - especially when this is a Seri Kembangan bus route in Malaysia. No offense to the residents there, my family lives there too so trust me - I KNOW. And yes I'm just a coward who only knows how to take a picture and rant about it online, and wished that the bus driver could've done something about it. But then again, this is Malaysia, and this was a Rapid KL bus No.540. You get what I mean, if you're one of the locals.  Such a disgrace to the local people!

Handbags not allowed

This afternoon, I went to Giant Supermarket in Amcorp Mall, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. The security guard at the entrance stopped me and demanded me to leave my handbag in an open cupboard (note: not a safe locker). Well for those who are not familiar with this, you may want to know that there is a funny rule here in Malaysia where certain supermarkets require customers to leave their shopping bags in the cupboard prepared by the supermarket. If you insist on having them they will lock the bags with cable ties so that you can't steal anything with those bags. They will usually let the ladies bring have their handbags in but God forbids, they somehow think that I may steal the whole shop with my "gigantic" handbag. So I refused and told them that it is in fact my handbag and I will not leave my handbag with them. He then demanded to know the content of my bag which I refused again because he simply did not have the rights to invade my privacy. Then he decided that he will

Change Of Driving Direction On Just 1 Road In Petaling Jaya - Left To Right, Then Back To Left Within A Month!

Just when I'm about getting used to this 1 road in Petaling Jaya being changed to right side driving last month, walking across this road this morning, it has just been changed back to left side driving!!! Picture taken on 3 Feb 2018 Picture taken this morning Not that I would complain about it being reverted back to normal, but is this really a matter can be taken so lightly that some "authority" can just decide to change twice in such a short period of time? What exactly is the standard of healthy & safety of this country? Or should I just be thankful that no one got killed because of that? Mind you, that's only my hopeful assumption.