Armed with an ever-ready smile whenever he’s at work, Mr Herman Rothman (commonly known to this ASK editor as “Mr Man”) is ever infecting all around him at work with his jovial and humorous character. In fact, one would be lucky enough to escape unscathed with his razor-sharp quick wit and “vicious” motor mouth… yet behind this facade is a man whom takes his work with utmost pride and responsibility. This ASK editor has the honour of interviewing him for this month’s Librarian interview for ASK blog. So friends, i present to you now the Public Libraries one and only “Mr Man”…
Editor: What is your previous occupation?
I was teaching in a private institution specialising in Malay Language. Well, honestly my life revolves around teaching THAT subject since 1998 at primary, secondary level and as a part-time tutor in NUS as well..
Editor: What made you change your previous profession to Librarianship?
I was really into books and programmes. NLB has a vast collection of good books. I feel that I can really contribute to the organisation in promoting our resources better. Moreover, I feel that the public needs to know more about us. This can be done through running of quality programmes for schools and public. Frankly speaking, when I wasn’t a librarian, I only know, probably, 20 percent of what Public Libraries have to offer!
Editor: How are you able to relate your previous work experiences in your current work?
Teach. I’m quite abreast with the needs of schools and students and I try to tailor our programmes to their needs. I am comfortable working with teachers and can relate well with teens. I’m very happy when teachers informed me that their students started to pick up books and read after attending my workshops!!
Editor: Any interesting encounters with patrons or gossips to share in your line of work so far?
I would prefer to share my personal reflections. Serve patrons without prejudice. Treat everyone with respect. There was an occasion where I was attending to a very young (probably teenagers) couple whose outfits can be associated with street gangs. The guy has a tattoo on his arm. What would you think? Negative? Nope, they were looking for religious babies’ names! Likely for their unborn child… I’m touched by their attitude. That incident emphasizes the meaning of the phrase ‘he is what he reads’ and ‘never judge a book by its cover’. Libraries and librarians help better people’s lives…
Editor: Any advice for people out there who are aspiring to be a Librarian?
You must have a strong passion for learning and sharing. Ambassadors of knowledge? I’m not up to that mark yet, but seriously, as long as you enjoy sharing information and promoting services with creativity, do consider this job.
Editor: If I could turn back the clock, I would …….
Study harder, do well in Maths and Science, take care of my eyes and fulfill my ambition to be a pilot.
If you have any enquiries or comments, please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will reply within 3 working days.
Posted by Mr Justin Tan
Adult & Young People’s Services