LINUS July 2002 : Collection Highlights
The C J Koh Law Library Celebrates its Opening
Thavamani Prem Kumar, C J Koh Law Library
The Honourable Chief Justice Yong Pung How was the guest-of-honour at the official opening of the C J Koh Law Library on 27 February 2002. It was a momentous occasion in the history of the C J Koh Law Library. The evening's programme began with speeches and a simple ceremony at the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law Moot Court.
The President, Professor Shih Choon Fong expressed his gratitude to the late Mr. C J Koh and Mr. Ong Tiong Tat, his trustee, for the very generous donation to the library.
Mr. Ong Tiong Tat in his speech, spoke of the new library facilities being provided for the law students who had chosen a noble profession, which 'calls for honour, respect, dignity and justice' and urged all students to 'uphold the reputation and honour of the profession as their first priority'. After the unveiling of the plaque by the Chief Justice, all special guests were given a library tour of the new and refurbished library premises and facilities.
"To me, the most honourable thing to do with his estate and to honour him is to invest in education. As Mr. Koh had been a lawyer and a magistrate, it is most appropriate to contribute to the Law Library."
The generous donation of $5.145 million to the C J Koh Law Library by the late Mr. Koh Choon Joo allowed the library to upgrade and expand on its existing facilities. The official opening saw the culmination of two years of massive renovation and building works carried out at the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law building.
The C J Koh Law Library now has an impressive and distinctive main entrance. The library is now able to provide ample Plug-N-Play facilities allowing library users access to the library's extensive electronic resources collection available on the Digital Library. Additionally, the library building was linked using wireless technology to the campus network, ensuring that library users are linked to the Digital Library from anywhere in the library premises and also by remote means and dialup.
After the renovations, the library is now accessible to the physically-disadvantaged with the provision of a lift for the handicapped. There are upgraded research and computer facilities for faculty staff at the Faculty Resource Room. Purpose-built study carrels are provided for research students. Computer facilities for students have also been expanded at the basement level. The library now has a specially-designed Audio-Visual Viewing Room on the second storey.
The visit also showcased the use of RFID (Radio-Frequency-Identification) at the library. The NUS Libraries are to date the largest academic institution in the world to have installed the 3M RFID system.
During the library tour, the Chief Justice signed the library's Visitors Book. Miss Jill Quah , the Director of Library & Information Resources, then presented the Chief Justice with a honorary library membership card. The evening's programme ended with a sumptuous dinner at the NUSS Guild House, hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Ong Tiong Tat.
The C J Koh Law Library is privileged and honoured to be the beneficiary of Mr. Koh's generous donation. An additional sum of $500,000 and a further $30,000 were also donated to enhance the library's book collection. Mr. Koh was a gentleman lawyer who inspired great loyalty among his clients, so much so that they would refuse to see any other lawyer when they needed legal advice.
During his retirement, he was an avid self-taught artist painting as many as 400 oil paintings. The official opening of the library also saw the launch of the C J Koh Online Gallery www.lib.nus.edu.sg/cjkoh/intro.html which displays his paintings online. The library also houses a gallery with selected paintings, which are rotated periodically to showcase Mr. Koh's works.
As Mr. Ong Tiong Tat says, "Mr. Koh was a thrifty person. He had entrusted all his savings to me. Both of us believe in the importance of education. To me, the most honourable thing to do with his estate and to honour him is to invest in education. As Mr. Koh had been a lawyer and a magistrate, it is most appropriate to contribute to the Law Library."
This donation has allowed the C J Koh Law Library to take its place among the premier law libraries in the world, with its collection of over 54,000 unique titles and more than 173,000 volumes in various formats, both print and electronic. Its 4,475 periodical titles and more than 2,019 current subscriptions further enhance this valuable and growing collection. This puts the C J Koh Law Library in an excellent position to enable the Faculty of Law staff, students and alumni to keep abreast of legal developments locally and globally.
Created on 15/7/2002 © National University of Singapore Libraries
Contents July 2002