National Library Board: Building Social Capital
Set in 2013, Elaine Ng, CEO of the National Library Board of Singapore (NLB), has to ensure the library remains relevant in the new knowledge economy. The goals of the library have changed from providing convenience and accessibility to information to building social capital and facilitating knowledge sharing under the auspices of the Ministry of Information and the Arts. Additionally, new mediums have become available to access information and people can now access information remotely. NLB has also added more depth and breadth to its book collection to meet the specific needs of niche groups such as young professionals and the business community.
As a knowledge leader, NLB is taking the lead in environmental sustainability as they partnered with various organisations in conservation efforts. Their partnership with City Development Limited went a step further in creating the world’s first green library for children, My Tree House. It was constructed using sustainable materials and was stocked with literature on environmentalism. The collaboration resulted in an on-going effort to educate the young in environmental sustainability.
This case can be used to help students understand concepts related to social capital and the knowledge economy, analyse the benefits of public private partnerships and discuss the social, environmental and economic issues from a company’s perspective as it engages in sustainable practices.
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