Day 7 … already

I am a little sad because this morning I got excited about meeting the Aquisitions Librarian. Not that cataloguing rocks my world in any shape or form but I still haven’t done that bibliographic standards module yet. I keep putting it off because everyone I have spoken to says it is so difficult. I have bought the texts and got the readings but just haven’t signed up for it…
Today I am meeting Joyce from Aquisitions and she kindly asked if there was anything that I wanted to know. I mentioned RDA as I know we had to write an assignment about it. So very kindly she has sent me some links. She also mentioned a book that might help. Other materials I found include The Joint Steering Committe for RDA website, rdabrochureJanuary2010 , RDA objectives and Principles ,
Hopefully it might help me get a bit ahead of the game.
I am looking forward to the chat as I really know so little about this aspect of things.

Wow! Once again I am blown away by how much there is to do and how complex it is. 16 people work in the Aquisitions and Bibliographic Section. The average day sounds like lots of communicating and collaborating with departments and other library sections; checking book reviews, orders, payments and meetings with the other sections. Where possible they share purchasing with other institutions to decrease costs. (If only my organisation did this. We must all buy the award winners each year and many of us want the same subscriptions.) Bibliographic records are shared, rather than starting from scratch each time, whenever possible. this saves time and enables manpower to be utilised else where.

The amount of materials coming into the library is atonishing and they are processed on a priority basis. The INOPAC allows for users to request books that have not yet been fully processed and these are given first priority. The promise is that if a request for an ‘i’ material is made (in process), it will be with the user with 24 hours. This means that there are dedicated people who deal with this daily. Luckily the demand for this service is not too huge; usually no more than 10 per day. After that core course materials, new books and finally donations are processed. Obviously any of these could be prioritised due to a requestfrom a patron.

I felt that the main issue the section encounters is the materials donated. I have written a collection policy and put in the required paragraph on dealing with donataions however I do not deal with donations that run into the tens of thousands like they do here. The section is over run with donations many of which will be of no use to the library. Some of the donations must be kept because they are scholarly works or they may have been donated by someone of great importance. Unfortunately though much of it is not applicable to the setting and will not be wanted by the user.

Disposal is difficult. Some of the materials are donated to the local primary and kindergarten school but they can not be sent to a charity that will sell them. Sometimes they are sent to programs in China but I am unsure how they could possible dispose of the quantities I saw today. As this is my first time seeing anything like this I am unsure if this is normal.. if you have any experience I’d love to hear about it. Pictures to follow.

Donated CDs



Media and Systems Services

So I spent the afternoon with Francis from Media and Systems services. (MSS) He was at pains to tell me he had only been in this role for 3 months and that actually the name of the service is historical and outdated. This area has recently been streamlined and now has limited functions. In other libraries this is now known as Electronic Services and Francis felt that this would happen soon when reorganisation happens.
One of the services offered is the maintence of the Edvideo. This is the legal recording of curent affairs, documentaries and educational programs shown on TV within HK. Once recorded these are then streamed online to enable researchers to access them. The work for this is shared between all the HKall memebers. 2 universities record a particluar program, the second in case of mishaps. The service also has some cataloguing to do in connection to this.
Another role is the up keep of the online resources… subcriptions, licences, e-books, e journals and databases. There is some cross over here between aquistitions and MSS due to the nature of journal subscriptions. Some are bought as an online package whilst others are purchased individually. Aquisitions deal with individual titles whilst Media deals with the packages. It sounds incredibly complex and the communication that needs to take place appeares to be time consuming. This is another area Francis felt needed to be streamlined. I was interested to learn that publishers now sell their journal packages direct to the universities. This did not use to happen 10/15 years ago. They were always sold through an aggregator such as EBSCO host or Jstor. Now institutions can get very good deals but obviously all of these need to be brokered which is time consuming.
There are also many issues with online materials and most have strictly binding contracts written by lawyers. These contracts are often difficult to interpet, making decisions as to whether a journal/ article can be loaned through an inter library loan or copied in a particluar format, hard to make.
HKIEd is about to begin some Patron Driven Acquisitions. This works by securing in bulk e-books from the vendor. The library only pays for the books that are utilised. If the book is not used it is not paid for. Howevere in order to do this a limit on spending has to be in place as if demand is too high then budget issues can occur.

There is an e first policy in place. If possible the e-books are bought in perpetutity. Some are subscription based in particular those text that date very quickly, such as those concerning computing and modern technology.

HKIEd had joined several consortiuums in order to ensure their students have a access to as many e-books as possible. They have joined with university libraries in HK, Taiwan and mainland China to give themselves more spending power and shared access. This has ensured access has increased by 20-30 000 items.

The Media department also deals with its own IR. ( Institutional Records.) As the call for open access has arisen, and questions concerning the use of public money to fund research that then gets printed in a profit making journal, IR has become common place in many institutions. Before a piece of research is published, when it is still in its print form, the institution from which the research developed is able to approach the publisher and request that they may ensure their students have access to the paper. Every piece of research needs to be checked with the publisher before the print version can be made available due to copyright issues that may arise. Publishers generally agree to this.
Collaboration between information sevice and media service is high. The information Service decide on the content ie workshops, library virtual tours, subject guidelines, but the Media service put it together. On top of all this they are also responsible for hardware such as computers and headphones.

What occured to me this afternoon is that the library is a much more complex place than I had anticipated. There needs to be very clear systems in place and communication needs to be efficient and effective if the user is going to get the best out of the service. Collaboration within the library and between different institutions needs to be high if the users are to be able to access wide range of appropriate resources effectively and efficiently. It made me question why we don’t do this as schools. Surely by creating consortiuums we would get more bang for our buck and increase our services to our students.

Day 5

HKIEdFinally the subject guides are finished! With that job out of the way I was left with a presentation on book talks and motivating readers and updating the ProQuest search guide. Looking at the guide I think Joey had done most of it. I looked it over and added a few bits about Boolean search terms but I think that is it. I’ll take another look on Monday just to double check.
The library tour that I was supposed to take part in was cancelled today but I believe there is a large group on Monday to take around. I will only playing a supporting role, thank goodness as I don’t really know enough about the place yet.

The most interesting part of today was meeting Belinda from lending services. Now most people think librarians are check out chicks but believe me after sitting for an hour with Belinda I was stunned at the amount of work involved.

Over 20 staff work in the lending service section alone. More are employed on a casual basis during times of high demand such as the lead up to exams or assignment time. There are over 50,000 items to reshelve monthly with 28,000 of those being returns. My jaw hit the floor on hearing that as I have around 25,000 to 30,000 items in total. Circulation is not really that simple either. There are book drop services, inter library loans, inter campus deliveries and other items borrowed through the JULAC card and the document delivery services.

This means lots of collaboration between other librarians. 40 libraries are part of the document delivery service and this is linked to a worldwide network that attempts to get a document within 24 hours! I wondered if there was now less demand for documents due to the amount that is offered online, however many Chinese journals do not have electronic copies and older journals may not yet have been digitalised. The document delivery service also is a useful tool when new courses start. The collection may be quite small in the new area and may not be able to grow fast enough. If this is the case the document delivery service becomes a very useful tool enabling patrons to access the information they need quickly and efficently. All deliveries have to be ready by a set time as the courier only comes once a day due to the Institutes location. (some 40 k out of town)

Facility management and displays are also a part of this departments work load.
As with many libraries space is an issue and stake management and maintenance can be challenging. recently the intown library relocated and this meant 50,000 more items have to be shelved. Withdrawal and weeding is complex. There are set policies and procedures to follow including meeting with the library collection developemnt committe re any withdrawals. This is then taken to faculty level and other libraries within HK are asked if they would like the materials. The finance office must also be involved as it is the disposing of materials. It is not an afternoon job!
Books that are damaged do not have a high priority. The preference is to buy another copy unless it can not be replaced. time constraints mean that there is time to spend on fixing texts. belinda said this was particluarly true of materials for the children as they disliked borrowing damaged items.
The reserve collection is also managed by Belinda and her team. This means changing the catalogue each time new material is added to the course list and ensuring that the online lists are accurate.
Displays, patron records, library cards, monetary transactions including fines and missing items, are also dealt with here.
Ibooking of study rooms and group discussion rooms are monitored but this has to be done manually as the software is unable to detect if the room is actually being used. if the room is not used a member of staff has to change the booking to allow others access.

Day 4


Today started the same as yesterday… subject guides! I am hoping to get them finished today.
This afternoon I attended an Information Workshop on plagiarism and citations.  Issues are that students do not have to attend. Therefore many sign up but few actually attend. Attendance at these are voluntary unless lecturers make it part of their course.
The style of teaching was obviously very different to my primary school experiences but the PowerPoint and materials were very thorough and well put together.
An interesting experience.

Day 2

A little bit different from my own!

A little bit different from my own!

A busy day in the library today. Initially I started the day working on the Alert Service; ensuring that the academic staff were linked to their research interests. This is then going to be used to set up RSS feeds to provide them with the most up to date research. Not the most interesting of jobs but it takes pressure off the Library Staff who are obviously busy.

I then met the Head Librarian. We had about an hour meeting in which he gave me some background on the library and then shared some of his future plans. There are about 60 staff in the library including contracted in workers. The library provides for around 6000 fulltime students and 1000 PT. There are also 2 schools nearby that have access; a primary school and a kindergarten. The children from these schools use the library weekly and are allowed access with their parents after school. It really feels like this library is at the heart of its community.

I was then lead through the marketing startegies used by the library including blogs, the development of mobile apps to access the catalogue, Facebook pages linked by RSS feed to the blog and other more traditional methods. (posters, bags, displays and stickers) Chung shared some YouTube clips that other libraries use to help answer those frequently asked questions and in particular familaisation or orientation at the beginning of the academic term. This is not yet in place here yet but they are hoping to develop it in the future. All of this got me thinking about my library and the possibilities. Much of what they are doing could be scaled down to our library in order to make it more forward thinking, relevant and engaging.

The afternoon consisted of finishing the Alert Services profiles and then starting updating the subject guides. Unfortunately, as I don’t have full access to the website I can not edit on line but I can start to notify the libaraians of items that are out of date and need changing.

Library Services

Library services are as you would expect from an academic library very extensive.
CIRCULATION COLLECTION. Print collections include; books, conference proceedings, papers and dissertaions. In English, Chinese and other foreign languages.

Central teaching resources collection.
Contains juvenile literature and teaching materials, teaching plans, curriculum guides as well as primary and secondary text books from Hk, China, Taiwan and Singapore.

Taiwanese Children’s Literature Special Collection.

Reserve Collection
Reading materials or media reserved by academic staff of specific programmes and modules. Students have access to this collection for 7 days.

Reference collection
Materials supports quick fact finding and indepth research. Ie; dictionaries, atlases, biographies, indexes, encyclopaedias and alamnacs. Not for loan.

Series Collection
3,000 print journals. Use for inside the library only.

Newspaper Collection.
Over 30 local and overseas newpapers available. Only for use in the library.

DVDs, CDs, computer software, cartographic materials, microfroms and teaching packages plus kits to support learning and classroom activities. ie films documentaries, TV series, classical and popular music, posters, kits, games and story sacks.

Remote access available via the library website.

More than 160 reference, citation, full text or image electronic databases. Most can be accessed remotely by students and staff 24hours a day.

More than 30000 e-journals with full text and searchable interface. these include; JSTOR, SAGE journals Online, ScienceDirect, Cambridge Journals etc etc etc

Online reference tools such as Britannica online, Credo Refernce, Oxford English Dictionary.

Online access to 1000 newspapers from HK, China, Taiwan and overseas.

Subscribes to over 90000 e-books

Local TV programmes (EdVideo)
All staff and students can access edVideo remotely.It is a video on demand service which features education related and current affairs nprogrammes from local TV stations.


Net Languages
Online platform provides courses in English.

Powerspeak languages
Offers courses in Spanish, French, German, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean and ESL for Chinese and Spanish.

HKIEd Research Repository.
Online database of the output of all academic and research staff of the Institute including journal articles, book chapters, conference presentations and other papers. A knowledge management resource of the institute.

HK education Bibliographic database
Annotated online database of all published research literature relating to education and research in HK. Covers material since 1946.

Web based bibliographic management tool. Enables the user to create their own personal database of references.

Citation Linker, EdLINK and bX Article recommendation service
Ciatation linker used to check the availablity of full text articles online. bX article recommendation service acts like Amazon when recommending books. It recommends other articles based on what is being requested.

Article Alert
An alert service based on selected catagories of educational related subjects generated from Academic Search Primer.

Research Evaluation Tools and Academic Journal Lists
A web page developed as a tool to identify influential journal titles in different disciplines.

Publication Information and Journal Contribution Guidelines.
Provides publication information and jouranl conrtibution guidelines for research publication purposes.