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September 2019

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Issue No. 113
September 2019

Library Develops Games for Fun, Learning, & Engagement

Humans love playing and games – they stimulate us, relax us, pass the time, allow us to socialize, let us enjoy “alone time”, and also help us learn.

In recent years, the Library has developed games for fun, learning, and engagement. We’ve created simple online games to help the HKUST community learn library and information skills like “Google Search Challenge” and “Citation Challenge”

Game MapIn 2017, the Library developed a game to encourage new students to physically explore the Library by following a trail of clues and solving simple
puzzles. Players got a ticket at the “Welcome Wall” and then played the game to be eligible to win a prize. In 2018, the Library developed an online version, allowing people to play the game and explore the Library on the web or with VR goggles.

If you’d like to play, visit about-us/user-engagement/explore-the-library-game/

In 2018-2019, HKUST Library gaming was taken to the next level through collaboration with a Computer Science and Engineering Final Year Project (CSE FYP) group. We partnered with three students, LAI Shiu Fung, MA Kin Lam, and WONG Pui Yee (advised by Dr. Ngok LAM) doing their FYP to create a game called OtherSide. They were among the 5 winners of CSE’s “Best FYP 2018-19”

OtherSide is an augmented reality (AR) roleplaying game (RPG) in which players battle monsters in an “alternate reality” in the Library on their phones.

Monsters appear at different locations in the Library. To defeat them you answer questions (about the Library, simple logic questions, etc.) quickly. The better and faster you fight, the more coins you earn to get strengthening potions and better weapons.

OtherSide will be rolled out on GooglePlay in October and the top 5 players by the end of the month will be eligible for a delicious prize.

We hope you will enjoy these gaming opportunities!

QA in Supporting Teaching and Learning (Part 1)

Each year schools and academic support units file a report to the Committee on Teaching and Learning Quality. For four consecutive years, the Library’s reports showing our services and practices have been identified as exemplary in supporting teaching and learning. Let us share with you our experiences. In the first part in this series we focus on the Quality Assurance mechanisms and processes.QA @ Hkust Logo

1. Strategic Planning and Implementation
The Library develops strategic goals in the Strategic Planning Day in June every year. We focus on reviews of the past year’s achievements and challenges; and on new initiatives. Each leader outlines these initiatives, major plans, and action plans with targets, deliverables, timelines, and measures of success. The plans also maps to the University’s strategic priorities. These processes are fruitful to create new ideas to serve students and obtain buy-in from library staff.

2. Surveys and Focus Groups
The Library conducts the large-scale services quality survey LibQUAL every four years, including this fall. The Library reviewed and followed up on all comments received from the Survey; including noise, inadequate seats, security issues, temperature control, ageing resources and computers, inadequate books, etc. Action plans were formulated and published on our Website and Newsletter to provide feedback to our users. We have introduced new services to further improve the learning environment.

To complement LibQUAL, we conduct smaller scale surveys and focus groups on demanding issues including Learning Commons, website, Document Supply Service, space, and collections in order to obtain timely feedback. These surveys provide useful inputs for us to make sustainable changes.

3. User Feedback
The Library collected online user feedback for library classes, events and talks.
• Feedback from the Exhibition Tours confirmed that tours led by students are not only interesting, but provide students’ with learning opportunities.
E-Discovery Week feedback showed 100% agreed they learnt of more library e-resources.
• Students in large music classes reported access denials to Naxos Music Library in one semester. We took immediate action and increased the number of concurrent users, leading to much higher usage.

4. Library Class Evaluation
The Library continues to evaluate sessions via online feedback forms, allowing instructors to immediately evaluate their teaching and student learning via one-minute paper and “muddiest point”. This allows them to improve teaching and also contact students to “close the loop”. Overall face-to-face session ratings from sampled mass LANG collaborations in 2018/19 averaged 81.87%. Feedback from CLE instructors was also very positive.

5. Benchmarking with Peer Institutions
The LibQUAL Survey 2015 allowed benchmarking with our peer institutions. HKUST Library did very well in meeting users’ expectations (7.01 out of 7.49 for Perceived Level of Services). We also prepared benchmarking statistics to compare ourselves in space, information literacy participation rate, e-resources download rate, etc.

These mechanisms identify issues and spotlight inadequate service areas. Issues identified are properly followed up. Action plans and solutions are formulated as appropriate. Feedback is provided to users through email, Library Website, newsletter, Facebook, etc.

LibFest HK 2019LibFest HK Logo

To foster a reading culture, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) has launched a year-round campaign Discover and Share – the Joy of Reading. As part of this, the Hong Kong Public Libraries will join hands with the eight JULAC Libraries and other partners in hosting the first library festival (LibFest HK) this fall. This collaborative effort will aim to encourage creativity and inspiration in the community through diverse talks and exhibitions.

Antique Map Thumbnail
HKUST Library is delighted to be one of the partnering organizations in the LibFest HK exhibition. Two extraordinary maps Secunda etas mundi and Chinae, olim sinarum regionis, nova description from the Antique Maps of China Collection ( will be showcased. This collection covers most major printed maps of China by European cartographers from the 16th to 19th centuries, vividly recording the long history of cross-cultural exchanges between China and the West.

LibFest HK will be held at the Exhibition Gallery of Hong Kong Central Library from October 24 to November 6.

Data Driven Decision Making for Adjusting Library Support

Increasingly, the Library is working to respond to users’ needs to optimize users’ satisfaction. One challenge is to accommodate students’ high demand for study space. It can be difficult to determine when demand will be high, especially as our midterm exams covers a long and indefinite period. To address the challenge, the Library will use data analytics to take actions to satisfy users’ need.

Data being filtered The Library has adopted “data driven decision making” to use the daily headcount numbers as a triggering threshold to adjust library support. Once the number of daily headcount reaches the threshold for two consecutive days, the Library will implement in-depth patrolling to clear books and other personal belongings left unattended on study carrels for more than 30 minutes, reducing seat hogging.

The daily headcount can also trigger us to extend the Learning Commons to all of LG1 on Saturday and Sunday during non-exam and non-study-break periods – providing more 24-hour study space. The data will also help trigger when to open on those public holidays on which the Library or Learning Commons was originally scheduled to be closed.

Adopting data driven decision making for adjusting library support enables the Library to respond to users’ need in a more flexible and perceptive way. Actions triggered by data foster the Library to provide timely and appropriate support to users. In future, we will continue to apply evidence-based data to support our decisions to respond authentically and rationally to merging users needs and challenges.

Collection Spotlight : Journals and Databases

JSTOR Journals: Arts & Sciences IV, VI, IX, X: Four more collections are added to JSTOR giving expanded coverage of 560 archival journals in various disciplines. The most 3-5 years is not available.

China Academic Journals Full-Text Database: Series I: The Electronic Technology & Information Science series from 2011 is now available.

Web of Science. China Science Citation Database: Provides bibliographic information and citations to articles in the core science and engineering journals published in Mainland China from 1989.

BBC Landmark Video Collection logo BBC Landmark Video collection: Provides HD views of many world-renowned BBC series of the natural world, including Blue Planet, Life, Frozen Planet, Planet Earth, Africa, Nature’s Great Events, etc.

大學數字圖書館國際合作計劃 (China Academic Digital Associative Library, CADAL) 為 一涵蓋重要學科的文獻資源體系,其數據庫的文獻總量已逾250萬件,主要來自國內外研究型大學圖書館館藏,包括圖書(古籍、民國、現代和英文圖書)、期刊、學位論文、地方志、僑批、滿鐵文獻,以及音視頻資料等。受版權保護的文獻,免費註冊即可借閱;無版權的文獻則可自由閱覽。所有文獻都不可全文下載。

Microforms Replacement: The following resources, originally in microform, are now available online:

ProQuest Historical Newspapers. New York Times with Index: Users can cross-search this archive from 1851 with other ProQuest databases.
申報 Shen Bao: Provides complete digitized version of Shen Bao (Shanghai edition) from 1872-1949. With the 1938 Hankou and 1938-1939 HK editions.
人民日報 People’s Daily 1946-2011 and 光明日報 Guanming Daily 1949-2017: Users can search the content by various fields and save the articles in PDF.
Making of the Modern World: Part I: The Goldsmiths’-Kress Library of Economic Literature,1450-1850: Provides 12 million pages of rare books and 19th century serials.
China: Records of the U.S. Department of State 1930-1949: The digital archives of the U.S. State Department relating to the internal affairs of China from the turbulent years of 1930 to 1949.

Library iTalk Series

Professor Roel SterckxThis year’s iTalk series will be kicked off by an academic seminar jointly organized with the Division of Humanities. Professor Roel Sterckx, a distinguished scholar of the philosophy and technology of ancient China, will speak on Figurative Language and Technology in Early China. Held on September 16, Professor Christian Daniels will be be the moderator.

Prof. Sterckx is the Joseph Needham Professor of Chinese History, Science and Civilisation at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Clare College. He is the author and editor of several books including The Animal and the Daemon in Early China; Chinese Thought From Confucius to Cook Ding; Food, Sacrifice, and Sagehood in Early China; etc.

Early China’s masters of philosophy frequently use metaphors and analogies to formulate their philosophical arguments. Often readers regard these as purely literary devices. In this talk, Prof. Sterckx will suggest a different approach and argue that figurative language in China belonged to the normal register of tools used to analyse and describe the world, including technical knowledge. He will start from the premise that the technical and the philosophical are not necessarily mutually exclusive and will show that metaphors are revealing not only for their symbolical or referential potential but also as a source of technical and social information.

Researcher Workshops: New Topics, Sharper Focus

Researchers’ workflow is not only about lab work, field work, and brain work. Throughout a research cycle – from exploring literature and information sources, managing data and field notes, academic writing and publishing, to tidying one’s research profile – there are a lot of details to take care of. These can be daunting for most scholars, especially for novice researchers.

To support you, the Library organizes various workshops and seminars. Many HKUST researchers and PGs may remember attending our sessions on copyrights, data discovery, and journal submission. In this new academic year, the Library has reorganized our workshop repertoire with a stronger yet more diversified framework. Starting this Fall, our Researchers’ Series is composed of four themes:

Upcoming Events • Copyright
• Authorship
• Data
• Impact

You can find popular topics including academic integrity and copyrights (in the Copyright Theme) and publisher seminars (Authorship). New workshops will be offered in various areas, including 
data management plans (Data) and researchers’ metrics (Impact). Full descriptions are at Many of these workshops are qualified for PDC hours.

Differing from Researchers’ Series, My Favorite Lectures @HKUST features inspiring professors whose teaching has been recognized by prestigious awards such as the Michael G. Gale Medal for Distinguished Teaching. This year, we will continue to work with outstanding lecturers for a new run of mind-opening, thought-provoking lectures.

Fall Exhibitions

From The Consoling Lotus to The Red Plum: The Legend of Tong Tik-sang’s Creative Career (解語 • 紅梅: 唐滌生創作傳奇) will be a special exhibition to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the death of master TONG Tik-sang (1917-1959), hailed as the greatest and most influential playwright in the history of Cantonese opera.

Based on the book The Legend of Tong Tik-sang’s Creative Career by Professor CHAN Sau Yan, this exhibition gives a glimpse into Tong Tik-sang’s creative career, from his first Cantonese opera The Consoling Lotus of Jiangcheng to his last work The Reincarnation of the Red Plum. The exhibition will display Tong’s original drawings, calligraphies, manuscripts, etc. It will also include videos featuring Tong’s Cantonese opera productions.

This exhibition is a part of the University’s “Cantonese Opera Education Enrichment Project”, jointly organized with Center for the Arts and Division of Humanities. The project includes a credit-based program and workshops for undergraduates as well as talks/demonstrations and performances by staff, students and professionals. Through these activities we hope to enhance University members’ knowledge and interest of this valuable cultural heritage.

President Professor Wei SHYY will open the exhibition on September 19 at 4:30 p.m. Please join us for a sensational and fun time.

In the Ko Pui Shuen Gallery on 1/F, the exhibition on The City of Victoria – Old Maps and Photos of Hong Kong (漫遊維多利亞城- 香港舊地圖及照片展覽) will continue in the fall semester. Through a selection of historical photographs and maps, the exhibition reveals the everyday life of early Hong Kong and its local scenery during this period of time.

More information about the exhibition can be found at

Improved Library Systems

3D Modeling Scanner3D Scanning – In addition to its 3D Printing Service, the Library has now installed a 3D scanner in the G/F Modeling Space. Students and staff can use it to scan 3D objects for their design projects, or to have them scanned and printed in one go.

Book Scanner – Some books are difficult to scan using a flatbed document scanner. For this, a dedicated book scanner is now available in the Information Commons. The scanner allows you to flip pages easily and can flatten curve distortion and convert scans to plain text for word processing.

New Computers in E-Learning Classrooms – You may notice a great improvement in the overall performance of computers in the two E-Learning Classrooms. This is due to a computer replacement project, in response to user feedback. The classrooms now have seventy-six new iMac and Windows computers, equipped with much faster hard disks and better processors, and a much faster boot-up.

New Arrivals Website – The Library recently enhanced the New Arrivals website ( to include newly acquired e-books, in addition to browsing the Library’s new printed books, DVDs, and streaming videos. Take time to discover and read new e-books via this website.

Bibliographic Linked Data – The Library has recently established a triplestore ( to store records from the Library Catalog as Linked Open Data (LOD). This dataset can serve as a test bed for researchers of the semantic web. Students who are interested in proposing a topic on linked data, SPARQL, and ontologies for their Final Year Project may find a use case with this LOD – contact

Another result of the Library’s bibliographic linked data initiatives is the project on Discovery with Knowledge Cards (, which showcases the deployment of URIs in linked data to enrich information discovery.

Book Scanner Book Scanner @ Information Commons
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last modified 04 September 2019