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Library Facilities and Administration

Library Membership and Services

Library Collections

Library Facilities and Administration

Is ISEAS Library open to the public?

Yes, since 2013 the Library is open to the public who are interested in the studies of Southeast Asian region. There is no special permission required to access the library except a simple registration form to be filled up for the first time user.

Is there wireless internet access within the Library? If so, is this wireless service free?

Wireless internet access is provided free of charge to all ISEAS staff and visitors within the Institute’s premises, via Wireless@SGx. Users are advised to configure their devices for automatic login to Wireless@SGx. For more information on the setup, please click here .

What can I use the Library’s workstations for?

The Library workstations or computer terminals are available to all ISEAS staff and visitors to use for:  

  • Browsing, searching and accessing of the Library Collection (e.g., sealion.iseas.edu.sg) and Resources (e.g., e-journals, e-newspapers and databases);
  • Research/Educational purposes (e.g. browsing the internet for information; utilizing of programs available such as Word, Powerpoint, Excel and Adobe Reader)

Alternatively, you may also utilize your own electronic devices within ISEAS Library for the above purposes. You may bring an electrical plug along to connect your device to any unused power points in the Library. However, the Library will not be responsible for any appliance or circuit malfunctions that may cause damage to the devices that you have brought in.  

What are the rules on access and usage of the Library facilities?

  • Food and Drinks

There is water dispenser for users on the 2nd and 3rd floor of the Library. Food and soft drinks are not permitted in the reading area of the Library as any accidental spillage could attract pests that would harm the collections.

  • Handling original documents/photographs in the Library

The Library seeks the users’ cooperation to wear the gloves provided when handling original documents. This includes private papers and photographs/colour slides. This is to prevent fingerprints, body oil from fingers, sweat, etc. from being transferred onto the materials while handling them with one’s bare hands. Paper-based materials are sensitive to such materials as these materials can cause physical deterioration to the fabric structure and inks on the paper.

Library Membership and Services

How do I apply for the membership?

First-time users are required to fill up the online registration form here . They will also need to bring along one of the following items below for completion of their registration.

Singaporean/Permanent Resident

  • IC or Digital IC (via SingPass Mobile app)


  • Student Pass
  • Work passes
  • Long-term Visit Pass
  • Dependent Pass
  • Passport

Does the library membership have an annual fee?

No, becoming a member of the library is free of charge.

Why does the Library need to charge a refundable deposit of $200 for foreigners?

For loan of books outside the Library by external users, a refundable (subject to loan items returned without damages) security deposit of S$200 might be required according to the loan policy.

This is to cover the cost of repairing or replacing the borrowed books should the borrower lose or damage them. It also acts as a financial reminder for the borrower to take proper care when using the books.

Why does the Library not accept payment by Nets/Credit Cards/PayPal?

We do not have the facility to process payments via these methods due to the low volume of transactions and the need to pay a usage fee to the bank.

What happens if I have overdue books?

With effect from 2 January 2019, Library members may incur a late return charge of $0.10 per day, per overdue book. The fee will not be charged on days where the Library is closed. To avoid disruption to your borrowing and renewing privileges, we encourage Library members to return their borrowed books on time. Please login to your Library account on SEALion (Southeast Asian Library Integrated Online) catalogue to check your account status.

What happens if the title I have borrowed is lost or damaged?

Library members who fail to return or damaged the loaned titles shall pay a replacement fee. The fee is based on the actual cost of replacing the lost item or damaged item plus a S$30 administrative fee. Alternatively, the borrower may purchase the same item or a more recent edition to be given to the Library as a replacement and only pay the S$30 administrative fee.

The library reserves the rights to withdraw membership of users who misplace or damage loaned titles without proper accounting for such losses.

How do I renew my book?

Renewal of books can be made online via the SEALion catalogue.

To renew your loans, please follow the following steps:

Step 1. Go to My Account.

Step 2. Enter your User ID and PIN and click List Charged Items.

Step 3. Click on Checkouts tab.

Step 4. You may choose items to renew by selecting the book(s) using the checkbox(es) or use the Renew all option to renew all books (see circled in red) and click Renew Selected Items.

Please note that your books will not be renewed if: a) Item is on hold for another member; b) Item is overdue; or c) Item has exceeded number of renewals allowed.

Please contact the ISEAS Library at libcir@iseas.edu.sg  if you encounter any problems accessing the database.

Can I photocopy library materials in the Library?

Library users are allowed to photocopy published materials found in the Library in accordance with the Singapore Copyright Act. For unpublished materials, such as private papers, conference documents and academic papers/thesis, the citation and copying of such materials (including digital scanning and capturing) is subjected to the respective deposit agreements.

How can I prevent Info Alerts from being delivered to junk mail?

The info alert issues provided by the Library are currently collated and delivered using a 3rd party software known as Constant Contact via their email platform. As your email provider may not recognise this email, the Info Alert may have been automatically redirected to your junk mail folder. To address the issue and to reduce such occurrences, issue and to reduce such occurrences, you may want to check your email to ensure that the domains @constantcontact.com and @iseas-edu.ccsend.com is added into your whitelist.

Library Collections

How does the Library decide what books to buy and what journals to subscribe?

The selection of Library materials is a joint effort by the librarians and researchers. Materials like books, journals, etc., in the Library are selected principally by librarians and finally endorsed by ISEAS researchers. Anyone may suggest materials to be considered for purchase, subjected to researchers’ and Library’s final approval. The librarians select books and journals in line with the research focus of ISEAS, while the researchers recommend materials based on their research needs.

How frequent does the Library acquire new materials?

The Library acquires books every month, whilst serial titles such as journals and newspapers are acquired annually to support research programmes, subject to researchers’ endorsement and Library’s final approval.

Is there a way that I could contribute to the Library collection?

Yes, you can help enrich our collections through a number of channels. We welcome users’ recommendations and assess each suggestion carefully. Recommendations and requests can be submitted online through our SEALion Catalogue or by visiting the Library in person.

The Library also accepts donations of books, theses, and other materials. We appreciate the generosity of our users, but unfortunately, we may not be able to accept everything. If you are interested in donating, please get in touch.

Should you have any other feedback which would help improve our collections, you can submit them via our online feedback form .

How soon can users see the new materials?

Majority book titles may take one month to arrive at the Library upon the confirmation of order. Some particular titles ordered from overseas may take two months or even longer. Ad-hoc book which stock is locally available will take three to five working days to receive upon users’ request. Please take note that it generally takes one week for the new books to be catalogued, processed and made ready for loan.

How long does it take for a book to be processed and ready for loan?

The Library implements a KPI of releasing 95% of newly acquired books on the shelves for consultation and loan within 14 working days. A corresponding info-alert highlighting newly arrival of such materials is also sent out to researchers and the Library members on a monthly basis.

What is the classification system used by the Library?

Like most research and academic libraries, the Library uses Library of Congress Classification (LCC) to assign call number for its library materials. Using this classification system, it provides the Library with relatively unlimited expansion of call number, not requiring whole-scale revision.

Where can I find e-publications and databases?

The Library subscribes to a variety of databases, e-journals and e-newspapers that are either accessible within ISEAS compounds or a specific Library workstation.

Once you have identified and complied with the access restrictions (i.e., within ISEAS premises, Library workstation or having ISEAS VPN access), you can access them through visiting the Library’s “Subscribed Resources ” webpage and clicking on each individual journal/newspaper/database hyperlink or by visiting SEALion  and clicking on the menu options “Databases” and “E-Journals and E-Newspapers”.

The “E-Journals and E-Newspapers” directs users to a one-search publication discovery platform that includes all ones the Library is subscribed to. A hyperlink to this platform is also available on the Library’s Subscribed Resources Page.

Can ISEAS affiliated researchers access subscribed online databases when they are outside ISEAS Library?

The Library subscribed databases are IP based. As ISEAS does not implement proxy service, users can only access them when connecting ISEAS’ network or with ISEAS VPN enabled.

How to build my own permanent booklist in SEALion? (Login required)

To be able to refer to some library titles frequently, building your own booklist in SEALion makes this task easier and faster.

Step 1: Go to the online catalogue SEALion. Login via My Account at the top right of the screen and proceed to click on My List.

Step 2: Click on the + icon to create a new list.  In the Add List pop up, assign it a name, and click create to add a new list.

Step 3: Start a search to find titles and click the check box as needed.Step 4: Click on the drop-down list and select Add to My Lists for the items to include in the list of your choice (if there are multiple lists)..

Step 5: Additionally, users can move individual titles by pressing the dotted icon and move into previously saved lists. The List could also be rearranged manually.

Step 6: You can remove some of the items in your booklist by selecting the check box by the titles to be removed and clicking Deleted Selected from Select an Action.

Step 7: From the permanent list page, you can choose to view the list online, print the list, or e-mail the list to an address you specify using the actions from Select an Action.

How to build my own temporary booklist in SEALion? (Login not required)

To be able to export a list of titles you are interested in borrowing or referring to, building your own booklist in SEALion makes this task easier and faster.

Step 1: Go to the online catalogue SEALion .

Step 2: Start a search to find titles.

Step 3: On the search results page or individual record of each title, from Select an Action, click Add to my List and the titles will be automatically added to the temporary list to be included in the list. Marked items can be unmarked by clicking Remove.

Search results

You can check the box beside the drop-down bar to select all titles.

Individual record

Step 4: When you are done shortlisting titles, click on My List that is found near the top of the page.

Step 5: You can remove some of the items in your booklist by selecting the check box by the titles to be removed and clicking Delete Selected. To clear the list, check the box beside the drop-down list to select all.

Step 6: Proceed to Arrange By that is found on the right side of the window. You can rearrange the titles according to their titles or date of publication. If you would like to manually move each title, you can do so by pressing and holding to the grid beside the check box and move the title through the list.

Step 7: You can choose to print the list, or e-mail the list to an address you specify.

Why are some materials not on open shelves? Can they not be brought up into open space for easier access?

As part of the shelf programming and space constrains, books that are least used as well as those titles the Library has multiple copies are transferred to the Closed Stacks. Books from Closed Stacks could be readily retrieved by Library staff. Collections such as private papers, antiquarian titles and other multimedia titles are also stored in special rooms.

How does the Library keep its collection safe and protected against misplacement and loss?

Since 2013, the Library has conducted its annual stocktaking on a rotating schedule to make sure special collections of antiquarian and unique materials being checked on a regular basis.

In addition, the Library entrance and exit are controlled by electronic detection system. Access to secure storage areas and the cases of special exhibit materials are restricted to the Library staff only with the usage record.

How do I access NewsLink?

Newslink covers a wide range of archived newspapers under the SPH group such as The Straits Times, The Business Times, The New Paper, Tabla, Berita Harian, and Lianhe Zaobao. The English and Chinese archive start from August 1989 and January 1994 respectively. The archived news has a time delay in uploading of up to 3 calendar days.

You may access Newslink with the steps shown below.

Please note that access to NewsLink is strictly confined to ISEAS research staff via Intranet. Concurrent excessive downloading/accessing of articles may also cause the access to be temporarily suspended.

Step 1: Log into the staff intranet . Please request the password from the IT department if it is forgotten.

Step 2: After successfully logging in, hover over the Library label in the menu and click on the NewsLink hyperlink.

Step 3: Click on the “Access Newslink” button to open the database.

Please contact the Library at libcir@iseas.edu.sg  if you encounter any problems accessing the database.