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February 2020

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Issue No. 115
February 2020

Our 1st Completely Online Workshop

HKUST Librarians have taught via blended learning for many years, using online videos and guides for self-paced learning, flipped classes, and to supplement live classes. But in fall 2019 we did something new: gave an online version to replace a face-to-face workshop.

When HKUST moved to online mode in November, we cancelled the remaining face-to-face RPg workshops. While many of the cancelled sessions will be offered in the Spring, we created an online version of one workshop – Academic Integrity & Intellectual Property (IDPO 6770 and PDEV 6770 A/B). It became an asynchronous online workshop on Canvas, named LIBIP 6770 and ran from November 29 until December 7.

LIBIP 6770 had three modules with video (instructor voice-over + PowerPoint) and matching PDFs of the PPT for students to view at their own pace. Students had to finish and pass three exercises built into the modules, which were free-text replies to check for understanding. The instructor then read through the responses, and commented and corrected as needed, as in the face-to-face sessions.

Collectively, the students and the instructor put in more time and effort into this online workshop. For the instructor, creating the content, uploading it onto Canvas, and grading, took many hours. The students needed to watch and read, and then write answers individually, instead of the verbal think- pair-share of a face-to-face class. In contrast, in the face-to-face session all the teaching and learning activities finish within 90 minutes.
• 105 Canvas invites were sent to students
• 74 accepted
• 36 completed satisfactorily and passed

Overall, it was good experience. The feedback showed comparable learning to the face-to-face version. One student feedback remark sums it up well: “It was really good, no problems detected”.


Library Participated in RAE 2020

The 6th Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) will be conducted in 2020. Through this Exercise, the University Grants Committee (UGC) assesses the performance of UGC-funded universities in three areas: research outputs, impact, and environments. The results will inform UGC in the allocation of part of the Research Portion of the Block Grant funding.


As we did for RAE 2014, the Library formed three teams in early 2019 to assist in preparing the research outputs and underpinning references of the impact cases for submission to UGC. They were the Fulltext Team, the Metadata Team, and the Copyright Team. 20 Library staff and 4 student helpers were involved. On May 22, the first batch of research outputs was ready for Library checking.

The process started with the Fulltext Team, which verified all research outputs met the UGC’s submission criteria, obtained fulltext if needed, and ensured the correct documents were in place. The Metadata Team then checked and input the necessary metadata as well as handling the submission of physical books. Finally, the Copyright Team completed the process by recording the copyright clearance results and types, and will follow up on subsequent payments in January 2021. Two rounds of final checking were done before submission to make sure all the documents and data were accurate.

UGC LogoOn December 30, 1,652 research outputs and 200 underpinning references were uploaded to UGC’s RAE Electronic System. Eighty physical copies of 20 book submissions were also sent to UGC on the same day. Of these research outputs, 1,436 (87%) were journal articles, others were books, conference papers, etc.

RAE 2020 brought new challenges to the teams, such as the complex panel-specific guidelines, extra workload caused by the underpinning references, and the unanticipated postponement of deadlines for new submissions and deletion. These challenges were overcome by being flexible and having strong team spirit. Effective communication among the teams and with the VPRDO RAE team are also vital for the successful completion of this important exercise.

Rooftop Cooling Tower Project

During this winter break, there was a lot of drilling and noise from the Library rooftop. This was the first, and noisiest, phase of the installation of a cooling tower system on the Library rooftop. Rooftop tiles needed to be removed, and the waterproof layer in the roof replaced with a new one, before retiling for installation of the cooling towers, water tanks, and piping and other works.

Library Rooftop WorksiteThe entire project will last for one year, until December2020.There will be periodic disruptions to Library operations during this period, especially during the summer. Once complete, these towers can handle the air conditioning load of the entire academic building, allowing the older seawater system to be shut down and restored. The new system is also expected to reduce the University’s electricity bill by a notable amount.

The Library has been working with FMO to ensure that the impact of this project can be kept to a minimum, and that several measures to reduce ongoing noise and vibration will be included. A similar installation has been running on the roof of the IAS building for several years.

If the noise on any given day bothers you, ear plugs are available in a bowl at the Circulation Counter. Please be understanding during this period as the University works on these improvements.

Ebook Collection Spotlights

EBSCO Faculty Select

Textbook affordability is a key issue for students. EBSCO Faculty Select is an exciting new tool for faculty members to discover quality alternatives to traditional textbooks. On a single platform, faculty can search across a large amount of Open Educational Resources (OER) as well as a huge catalog of DRM-free ebooks from top academic publishers for course adoption.

OER refers to digital educational materials that anyone can use freely and legally. Adopters can freely adapt and distribute OER content to meet local teaching purposes. Currently, Faculty Select aggregates over 12,000 OER titles from Open Textbook Network, SUNY Open Textbooks, BC Open Textbooks, and OAPEN Library.

Unlike OER, DRM-free ebooks are not free in the monetary sense. It literally means a book that can be downloaded in its entirety for reading or printing. When an interesting title is identified, faculty can submit a purchase request to a Library contact for review and purchase. Normally, it takes about a week for an ebook to be made available via PowerSearch. Try out this new service and send us feedback. Access from the Library home page ( -> Databases -> Faculty Select.

Electronic Book Approval Plan

The Library has been building its book collection via an approval plan with a major book supplier. Under this arrangement, the Library receives the latest published books that meet our pre- determined subject profile. The profile is inspected periodically to ensure its continual relevance. In the past, all approval books are delivered in print format.

As users are more and more accustomed to ebooks, and to alleviate shelving congestion, the Library will switch parts of its approval plan to e-format from the new year. The initial phase is to switch science and engineering books from print to electronic. Other subjects will remain in print until we learn more about user satisfaction and budget implications.

“The World on Paper” – HKUST Rare Maps on Loan to Maritime Museum

1841 map of Hong Kong by Belcher

1841 map of Hong Kong by Belcher

On December 18 the Hong Kong Maritime Museum opened the map exhibition “The World on Paper: From Square to Sphericity”. HKUST Library co-organized the exhibition, and lent it 11 maps from our Rare and Special Collections.

Through a mix of Chinese and Western rare maps and books, the exhibition aims to show the evolution of Chinese navigation and cartography, to explore the changes in China’s world view and scientific knowledge, and to explain cultural exchanges between China and foreign countries during the early modernization period (19th to 20th centuries).

1493 map of World by Schedel

1493 map of World by Schedel

The exhibits include around 80 rare maps and charts, and 50 books from the late Qing and early Republican eras, as well as many cartographic tools and instruments. To supplement some invaluable Chinese maps from the Song to the Qing, including an astonishing 17th century map of Ming China, coming from local collectors, our library contributed some of its most valuable Western items, such as a 1493 map of the world by Schedel and an 1841 map of Hong Kong by Belcher. The latter is the earliest survey map of Hong Kong, known as the Black Diamond for its distinctive color and shape.

陳秀用印集存 seal黄牧甫印存 二册本 seal

Seals & Photos : Spring Exhibitions

Glimpses into the Past: Chinese Seals and Seal Impression Catalogues through the Dynasties

Jointly organised with the Division of Humanities, the Library will stage a special exhibition on Chinese seals and seal impression catalogues in the Ko Pui Shuen Special Collections Gallery. The exhibits are from the private collections of Mr. Lam Cheung- chung, who has specialised in seal study for 40+ years and has one of the largest collections of Chinese seals and seal impression catalogues in China.

The exhibition is part of a series of events to support HUMA 1660 “Introduction to Chinese Art” taught by Prof. Flora Fu. Other activities include a talk and a workshop for students and staff to appreciate the art of seals.

Yi–Aurora Photography Exhibition of Anthony Yau

AuroraThe G/F Ping Yuan and Kinmay W Tang Gallery will feature a special photo exhibition on the Aurora by our alumnus, Mr. Anthony Yau. Anthony is a well-known professional photographer, multi-media designer, and artist specializing in polar and landscape photography. He has visited the four poles (Antarctica, North Pole, Mt. Everest and the lowest point in China) and led over 20 photographic tours to Alaska, the Arctic Circle, Iceland, Northern Europe and Tasmania to photograph the Aurora and landscape there. He is the founder of Locus Studio Co. Ltd. and Photoclassroom, Chief Course Director of Sony Style Studio, and Visiting Lecturer of HK Polytechnic University. Anthony has received numerous photography awards and exhibits widely.

Titled “Yi”, this exhibition will strike viewers with the finest photos and videos Anthony has captured over the years. Anthony sees Yi (易) as the soul of the Aurora. The form and shape of the Aurora are ever-changing and unpredictable. Change is the eternal rule of Aurora. Viewers will be able to see and feel the beauty and magic of the Aurora through the breath-taking exhibits.

This exhibition is jointly organized by the Library and the Media Technology and Publishing Center.


Photographs by Jin Shouxian

In the Learning Commons we are displaying 38 stunning photos of Western China by Mr. Jin Shouxian. These are gifts from Mr. Jin, who held two exhibitions in our Library in 2002 and 2013.

Once a photo-journalist for the Southwest Economic Daily in China, Mr. Jin specializes in depicting humanity, and in documentary and landscape photography.

Survey Results : LibQUAL+® 2019

Our big thanks to those of you who responded to our LibQUAL+® Survey! Prizes were presented to winners of the lucky draw at a ceremony on December 11. 3,578 valid surveys were received, the highest number on record!

LibQUALlogoThe Survey measures three dimensions of service quality: Affect of Service, Library as Place, and Information Control. Respondents were asked to rate 22 core and 2 local questions for these dimensions:

• Minimum level of service they find acceptable
• Desired level of service they would like to receive
• Perceived level of service they are provided

The Library achieved 7.11 for Perceived Level of Service, which is the highest compared to scores in previous surveys.

The Survey received 1,435 qualitative comments. Over 25% of these comments are praises, and the rest are combined suggestions with appreciations and constructive remarks.
• “The best place to stay in UST.”
• “Our library is the best!”
•“服務良好、環境非常舒適,可以讓我專心溫習、 資源豐富、職員亦很友善,樂意詳細回答我的問 題,活動種類繁多,可以讓我找到興趣,又能學習 新的東西”

We are now analyzing the responses. More details of our follow-up actions will be reported on the Library Website and in the next issue.


這學年圖書館與學生輔導中心合作舉辦三場生 死教育講座。講者伍桂麟先生是英國註冊遺 體防腐師、香港生死學協會會長、香港中文大學醫 學院解剖室經理、「無言老師」遺體捐贈計劃發起 人和2019年香港十大傑出青年。伍先在不同媒體致 力推動探究『生』命教育、『老』年規劃、『病』 者照顧、『死』後安排四大議題,希望公眾學懂「 從死看生 · 活好當下」。

第一場講座「無言老師的生死學問」,參加的同 事同學有以下回響:

•『死亡』的話題,是一般人的忌諱,而『生死 教育』亦不容易成為一門真正的『教育』。然而, 伍桂麟先生分享的「無言老師」內容,不是單單推 動遺體捐贈計劃,而是令人反思生命的價值,鼓勵 人重尋生命的軌跡。死亡,不是化作一縷輕煙,而 是有重量的。

•伍先生對這課題有很深入的理解,對生命的 尊重,對家屬的感受,很富同理心;這份理解,把 遺體捐贈的主要障阻慢慢消除,得到現時「供應充 足」的成果, 真是一項偉績!

第二場講座「生死之約」,伍先生以2016年在 中文大學發起的小白花行動,分享如何修補從死亡 而來的傷痛,並帶來小白花,讓我們戴上與哀傷的 人同行。出席者都表示「小白花」行動能幫助大家 正面渡過難關。

講座反應熱烈,大家可往圖書館網頁( 觀看講座錄影。第三場講 座將於3月6日舉行,請留意公告,並踴躍報名。

Life and Death Talk


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last modified 14 February 2020