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November 2018

Current Issue

Issue No. 110
November 2018

Asian Universities Alliance (AUA)

Gathering at Tsinghua University on Nov 1-2, 2018, 15 Library Directors of the Asian Universities Alliance (AUA) signed an agreement in forming a document delivery network. It is a deep collaboration between the 15 founding members of AUA to provide barrier-free document delivery and exchange service. Initiated by Tsinghua University in 2017, AUA is an Asia regional network organization. Its mission is to address regional and global challenges relating to higher education and economic, scientific and technological development.

Member institutions include:AUA Logo

  • Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
  • HK University of Science and Technology, H.K.
  • Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India
  • King Saud University, Saudi Arabia
  • National University of Singapore, Singapore
  • Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan
  • Peking University, China
  • Seoul National University, Republic of Korea
  • Tsinghua University, China
  • United Arab Emirates University, U.A.E.
  • Universitas Indonesia, Indonesia
  • University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • University of Malaya, Malaysia
  • The University of Tokyo, Japan
  • University of Yangon, Myanmar

HKUST Library Director, Diana Chan, shared on HKUST’s current trend in Document Supply Service and the HKALL Inter-library Loan Service in Hong Kong. Other directors also exchanged insights on their practices and user trends in their library services. Through this agreement, members could request journal articles and book chapters, in compliance with copyright laws and licensing agreements, be digitally transferred from one institution to another for their researchers. This effort facilitates access of educational and research resources, promotes regional cultural studies, and realizes the long-term cooperation among AUA members.

Since its inception, AUA has organized deep dive program, overseas educational programs, arts and sports events for students and collaborative research for faculty. The Asian Universities Alliance (AUA) Summit 2018 was held in Hainan, China from April 8-10, 2018.

Helping Shape JULAC’s New HKCAN

Lin Yutang name forms

As part of the JULAC Shared ILS (JSILS) implementation, HKUST Library joined HKCAN (Hong Kong Chinese Authority Name) last year and took a leading role in migrating the HKCAN dataset of over 310,000 records onto the JSILS platform.

The result is a refreshed source of authority data of Chinese/Japanese/Korean (CJK) names of persons, organizations, meetings, and titles; together with a pioneering Linked Open Data (LOD) triplestore. The dataset is now integrated with the cataloging workflow not just for libraries of the eight Hong Kong universities, but also the global community of Alma (the core system of JSILS). It is also openly available for querying and linking worldwide.

Just like GeoNames which provides a huge dataset of information about geographical names covering all countries, name authority data provides information of names of authors and titles found in library materials. It is an important data source to associate different forms of names of the same authors. Chinese names are complex, with various romanization, traditional/simplified/variant characters, nicknames, “English” names with initials, etc. HKCAN specializes in handling these CJK names.

The Library developed programs to synchronize the HKCAN content with data from the Library of Congress, merging HKUST’s 58,827 Chinese authority records to it and automating data clean up. We also led discussions with the JSILS vendor to establish the HKCAN infrastructure within Alma’s ‘zones’, and to trigger their software development to improve multilingual authority control workflow.
HKCCAN infrastructure

While establishing the new HKCAN infrastructure, the Library pioneered HKCAN as a Linked Data source, so this valuable dataset can be consumed not just by catalogers, but by machines in the era of semantic web and big data.

For a preview of the HKCAN Linked Data Service, visit

Spotlight: Consortial Savings

“Buy 2 get 1 free,” this marketing slogan never loses its magical appeal. Imagine libraries as buyers of collection resources. One library needs Database A; two other libraries also need Database A. Publishers as sellers can often offer a steep discount when the three libraries pull their purchasing power together and jointly subscribe to the same product at the same time.

Consortial SavingsConsortiall is an active UGC-funded libraries’ working group that strives to strike the best deals in terms of pricing and contract terms while purchasing scholarly content. The visible fruits of its operation since 1999 are the millions of dollars saved as a result of consortial bargaining.

The working group takes a snapshot of the savings generated every other year by comparing the list and consortial prices of each product. The chart shows the savings impact in the year 2009 to 2015 for HKUST Library.

The savings value was almost doubled in 6 years’ time while the discount percentage was even across all years. The 2017 snapshot taking is well in progress and UST savings are expected to climb to HKD 7 million! As the figures reveal, inflation is a perennial problem faced by libraries worldwide. Consortial buying is a key measure to counter inflation.

Linked Data @ HKUST Library

The Library implemented a Knowledge Card in the library catalog PowerSearch ( to provide users with enriched information about people, organizations, events and topics mentioned in the retrieved records. The Card, if available, is displayed at the bottom of the record page. This is made possible by querying the Linked Open Data source known as WikiData, which is a huge knowledge base freely provided by the same organization that also hosts Wikipedia.
Knowledge Card

The Library has been active in the bibliographic linked data field and has developed a Bibliographic Linked Data Platform ( to assist librarians to learn about the bibliographic linked data formats (such as BIBFRAME) which will gradually become the mainstream for cataloging/indexing of library materials. The Knowledge Card is a part of this bigger project.

What is Linked Data? In the traditional Web, content is represented in the form of text strings which are difficult for machines to understand. Semantic Web technology advocates breaking up a string into things. For example, the string “Alice loves HKUST” can be broken up into three things/concepts, i.e. Alice (a person), love (a topic), and HKUST (an organization). Things are then addressed by distinguishable identifiers in the form (called URI) that looks like a URL. Datasets represented in this approach can be inter-linked forming a machine-friendly environment that facilitates information discovery and exploration, thus the term Linked Data.

My Favorite Lectures @ HKUST: A New Series of Inspiring Talks

Knowledge CardA good lecture can give us new knowledge; a great lecture can show us new ways to see the world and inspire us to explore new paths in our lives. Great lectures are always delivered by passionate lecturers; and at HKUST passionate lecturers can be found in all Schools!

The Library has initiated a new series, My Favorite Lectures @ HKUST, which showcases great lectures conducted by our passionate teachers. Most speakers in the series are recipeints of the Michael G. Gale Medal for Distinguished Teaching ( Every year, the Medal is awarded to a member of the academic staff who exemplifies the high quality of teaching and learning that the University offers and promotes. The award was set up in 1994 to commemorate our late Founding Council Member, Mr Michael G Gale, for his distinguished service and outstanding contributions to the development of the University.

The kick-off lecture of the series was conducted by Professor Michelle Yik of the Division of Social Science on October 9, on the topic Do Chinese Have Romantic Love? In her lecture, students were led to explore different perspectives of romantic love, and learned how to discuss critically the relationship between love and culture.

In November we will have the second lecture, to be delivered by Professor King Chow with the topic Life is a Deterministic Process. Three more lectures will be organized in the Spring term.

These lectures will not only inspire HKUST students; they will be used in an open online course (MOOC), in which these passionate and inspiring speakers would share their teaching philosophy illustrated in the lectures.

Library Book Talks

Booktalk Dr Lobo Louie

On September 26, Dr Lobo Louie (雷雄德博士) gave a powerful yet entertaining talk titled 運動科學是與非 (Fact and Fiction in Sports Sciences).  It attracted over 190 enthusiastic attendees.  The audience was greatly enriched by Dr Louie’s vivid explanation on some common exercise misconceptions.  A post-event survey was sent, with a response rate of 70% and was overwhelmingly positive: 95% reported that they strongly enjoyed or enjoyed the talk; and 97% rated it excellent or good.

Another book talk will be held on November 20.  Reporter Ms Jophy Sin Lai Ting (冼麗婷) will talk on her book 《見字如見人》(CT203.C5 X525 2017).

Book Cover 見字如見人

This book is a collection of Jophy’s interviews over the years.  In her Write House, she invited Chris Patten (彭定康) and Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) as her guests.  She chatted with Wang Gungwu (王賡武) and Ambrose King (金耀基), listened to Wong Yick-kam (黃亦鑑) and Cheng Chi-kong (鄭志剛), and shared with Hsien-yung Pai (白先勇) and Liu Yichang  (劉以鬯).  She also reported on the despair of a concentration camp survivor, the consolation of the Japanese mother whose son was beheaded by ISIS, and the sadness of the forgotten Hainan comfort women.

The Cantonese talk will be a conversation between Jophy and her fan, Dr Sarah Luk, a professional psychologist at CUHK.  Jophy will explain why she chose these people for interviews, how she wrote about them, what she discovered from them, and how she views the role of reporters in Hong Kong.

Jophy studied Comparative Literature at HKU and worked for Apple Daily for many years as a local news reporter.  Writing the Hong Kong news column allowed her to interview and write about people from all walks of life.  In order to focus on writing, she left Apple Daily in 2016 although she remains a special correspondent for them.

We look forward to seeing you at this engaging talk!

Evaluating Roving Service

The Library has initiated a Roving Service since September 2016.  It is a new model in which, instead of serving users at a service counter, library staff move around the library to locate users in need or with questions and offer them proactive and timely assistance in using or finding library materials.  Last year, 6,037 transactions were made during 197 roving days – 80% of them with students.

Since the Roving Service has been running for more than a year, it was time to evaluate its effectiveness and modify the service model if necessary.  A survey was conducted from mid-February to early March.  A total of 147 filled questionnaires were received.  The result was encouraging – 99% agreed that the Roving Service was helpful.Roving Service Survey

To collect users’ in-depth opinions and suggestions about the Roving Service, three Focus Groups with students were held in April.  Participants were genuinely engaged and shared their in-need experiences in the Library, how they were helped by rovers and what they expected.

After collecting users’ suggestions, the Library decided to modify the roving service model, extending the service time by one more hour from 12-5pm; expanding the rover’s role to perform patrol duty when they are walking around to address noise and seat hogging issues; adding fixed spots on LG3 and LG4 so that users can find the rover if needed; setting up a mobile station with prominent signage on LG3 and LG4 to improve the users’ awareness of the service; and continuing to adopt a demand-driven model of adjusting the service schedule.

Fall Library Exhibitions

My Heart is Flying: Paintings by Chen Keng

Chen Keng Exhibition TourOpened on September 12, this exhibition features 50 oil paintings by renowned Chinese artist Mr Chen Keng.  With a theme on “Flying”, the paintings were specially created for HKUST under an artist-in-residence program organized by the Library and the CFA.

“This timely exhibition at HKUST provides us with the most beautiful illustrations for one of the greatest achievement of humankind and highlights the ideal of our University in the new era: contributing to the humankind through ceaseless innovation and creativity.” – President Prof Shyy has best described Mr Chen’s exhibits.

In September and October, Mr Chen conducted 3 guided tours and 4 workshops for students and staff.  They were all met with overwhelming responses.

The workshops covered 4 different topics: The Development of Western Painting, Fun with Western Painting, The Composition of Western Painting, and The Charm of Western Painting.  About 110 participants took part, including 9 students from Hong Chi Morninghope School.  These students with special education needs were extremely happy with what they have achieved in class, and were deeply grateful to HKUST for providing them with this unusual learning opportunity.

The exhibition runs until February 20, 2019.  You may also view the works and leave feedback at

Three Years and Eight Months: Hong Kong during the Japanese Occupation

Exhibition-Three Years and Eight MonthsOpened on October 4, this exhibition in the 1/F Ko Pui Shuen Gallery covers the history of Hong Kong from December 1941 to August 1945, while under Japanese Occupation.

Most of the exhibits are borrowed from Mr Cheng Po Hung (鄭寶鴻), a collector and an Expert Advisor of the Hong Kong Museum of History and the Hong Kong Heritage Museum.  Photos, documents, and artifacts reflecting people’s daily lives are on display.  These include Japanese military notes, utility bills, postcards, lottery tickets, etc.

There are also exhibits illustrating incidents of anti-Japanese resistance from the local community.  They are reproductions of documents from the East River Column History Research Association (東江縱隊歷史研究會).

The exhibition runs through March 2019.  Guided tours and talks will be organized.  Visit the exhibition website ( to sign up if you are interested.

The IMCoS 2018 Symposium

On Saturday October 20, the Library hosted the final day of the 36th IMCoS (International Map Collectors Society) Symposium.

IMCoS 2018 attendees at HKUSTIMCoS has people of all ages who love antique and vintage maps, including collectors, dealers, librarians, academics, and just plain enthusiasts.  They live in many different countries and the society has organized events in all five continents through its network of international representatives.

The 36th IMCoS International Symposium was split between two major Asian cities: October 14-17 in Manila, and 19-20 in Hong Kong.  In Hong Kong, it was co-hosted by the Hong Kong Maritime Museum and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Library.

Around 50 IMCoS members and local map lovers visited our Special Collection of Antique Maps of China (  They also listened to a presentation by Dr Marco Caboara, the Library’s Digital Scholarship and Archives Manager, concerning the past, present and future of HKUST’s map collection.

Our guests were introduced to some unique items in our collection of Western printed maps of China and Asia, which is counted among the largest of its kind in East Asia.  They showed appreciation, offered comments, and made suggestions to increase the collection’s outreach and expand its coverage.

Our large wall map of the Chinese coast of Fujian and Taiwan ( and our copy of the earliest Western printed map of China (the only other one being at the Jesuit Archives in Rome) ( were particularly admired by the expert visitors.

The Library’s active participation in such an important cartographic symposium literally put our collection on the international map.

Large wall map of the Chinese coast of Fujian and Taiwan

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last modified 06 November 2018