A S$9 million (US$5.3 million) project
transforms the way people in Nanyang
Technological University (NTU) of Singapore study with the introduction
of a 24-hour integrated digital library system that has access to an
international federation, the Networked Digital Library of Theses and
With this 24-hour digital library system, called Gateway to Electronic
Media Services (GEMS), users can access the NTU library directly from home
via a modem and a telephone line over the Internet. Through this single
access point and a common graphical user interface (GUI), users can also
tap a variety of information without having to access multiple sources and
For example, users can access networkable CD-ROMs, online databases,
audio-video resources, and OPAC from the library. For those who has access
to the SingaporeONE network, they can receive high quality audio and
Users can also check their examinations timetable, lecture notes, and
personalized information such as academic units accumulated through GEMS.
They are authenticated by a login name and a password.
Personalization is achieved with the incorporation of Selective
Dissemination of Information (SDI).
GEMS also pushes information to users. For example, a user can specify a
particular topic he is researching and be notified of the latest titles or
books available in the library.
Through GEMS, the NTU library is linked with NDLTD formed by 60 member
institutions worldwide including universities in Asia-Pacific, Europe, and
the US, as well as institutions such as United Nations Educational &
Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the National Library of
Thus students and teachers have easy access to databases from these
Another milestone achieved with GEMS is the electronic submission, storage,
and retrieval of thesis and scholarly publications in digital form. These
materials are made available to the worldwide community of NDLTD member
institutions over the Internet.
The aim of such a link to NDLTD is to build a global connection of research
materials, said Dr Lim Ee Peng, assistant professor of the Division of
Software Systems in the School of Applied Science in NTU.
He said NTU is the first institution in Singapore to link to NDLTD.
The digital library at NTU was developed by home-grown Adroit Innovations Pte Ltd. together
with NTU on Compaq hardware using Microsoft solutions.
“With this expertise, educational institutions overseas, such as in Hong
Kong and the USA, are now showing interest in the initiatives we have made
in Singapore,” said Lim Jui Khiang, managing director of Adroit Innovations.
“The digital library epitomizes Microsoft’s vision of creating and
organizational Digital Nervous System where relevant information is
available where it is needed,” said Saw Ken Wye, managing director of
Microsoft Singapore. “It is also a demonstration that learning no longer
needs to be limited by the usual barriers such as time, distance, and