How the Library Prepared for the New Academic Structure?

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With double cohorts of students, we expect to see expanded demands and more requests on library services and facilities. For example, a diversified and expanding liberal arts curriculum will give rise to higher expectations on library collections. Younger students may require more instructions and assistance in the attainment of information literacy. There will also be more demands for study space, individual rooms and  Library Collaborative Workrooms. In addition, we expect to see more requests for PC, IT and other equipment. When more students are in campus residence, they probably will prefer the Library to open longer as well.

To meet the needs of the 334 curriculum changes, the Library has undertaken several initiatives to actively prepare for the new academic year.

 

Regarding the Library Collections:

The number of print volumes in the Library is now close to 500,000. Between 2011 and 2012, major acquisitions of e-books were made to meet the expanded curriculum needs and to improve access for our users. Over 756,000 titles of Chinese and English e-books had been added to the collection. We also joined an inter-regional e-book consortium, which enables us to cross-access e-books acquired by other members of the consortium. In other words, our book collection has more than doubled compared to one year ago.

We have also added several important databases including:

  • Archives Unbound
    • Correspondence from German Concentration Camps and Prisons
    • Japanese-American Relocation Camp Newspapers: Perspectives on Day-to-Day Life
    • Policing the Shanghai International Settlement, 1894-1945
  • Arts & Humanities Citation Index and Social Sciences Citation Index
  • Chinamaxx Digital Libraries 中文集献
  • Chinese classic ancient books database 中國基本古籍庫
  • DACHENG Database大成老舊刊全文數據庫
  • Ebook Library
  • MyiLibrary Inter-regional Consortium (IRC3)
  • Oxford Journals: the Humanities Archive
  • Periodicals Archive Online (Historical Studies Collection)
  • Project MUSE UPCC (University Press Content Consortium) Book Collection
  • The First World War: Personal Experiences

The Library also re-organized its Reserve Collection so that students will be able to access required or recommended books put on reserve by teaching staff simply by approaching the circulation counter. Reserve articles are now accessible online.

However, given the fact that some younger students are attending the University, category III AV materials will be kept in close shelves to comply with the legal restrictions.

 

Regarding Library Space:

The Library has been making more efficient use of its space. Improvements are done in the following areas:

  • Students can now use their ID cards to enter the Library and reserved group study rooms.
  • By moving the Reserve Collection from the 1/F Reading Room to behind Circulation Counter, we have added more study space and computer workstations in the 1/F reading room.
  • More seats and study space have also been added. In fact, in the new academic year, more than 600 seats, 10 individual rooms and 8 Library Collaborative Workrooms are now available for use.

In the library surveys, we found a great deal of dissatisfaction with the new room booking system. We are actively working with the ITSC to see if there is anything they can do to improve the software and user interface of the room booking system.

 

Regarding Equipment & Facilities:

Between 2010 and 2012, we have added nearly 50 PCs on different floors of the Library. Many network printers and photocopiers are also added. More information is available at: http://www.library.ln.edu.hk/facilities/library-public-pcs-software

In addition, the Library is actively working with responsible units on the possibility of reducing double-sided printing charges for the sake of the environment and to lower students' burden on the printing fee.

 

Regarding Opening Hours:

Starting from October 8th, the Library will extend its hours to close at mid-night, Monday to Thursday. We shall continue to open 93 hours per week and add more hours during the examination period. Due to manpower constraints, we do not have a near-term plan to extend the opening hours beyond mid-night. After the Library closes, students are encouraged to make use of the 24-hour integrated lab (MB412) for private studies and access library resources online.

 

Regarding Reference & Information Literacy:

A new real-time Chat Reference service was launched in January 2012. In-depth Research Consultation Service will start in September. A First Year Initiatives Librarian is reporting for duty in September 2012. This new professional staff will be responsible for researching the information seeking behavior and conducting study to ascertain the information needs of first year students. She will manage pre-tests on information literacy and develop workshops to address students’ library research needs. These are part of the planned activities to improve library’s overall information literacy instruction, with particular attention for the first year students. Possible new services for younger aged students may include chat rooms and services related to using social networking software.

 

In addition to the above efforts, the Library is paying special attention to improve access to library resources on and off campus.

We have done a complete revamp of the Library Website this summer. 1-Search, a Google-like new search engine that allows our students and faculty to search across major library databases and our online catalogue, is implemented. This new library resources discovery tool will provide our users a more efficient way to find library materials for their learning, teaching and research.

To enhance the discovery of related works from the Library’s print collection, we developed a virtual bookshelf feature for the online catalogue to display cover images and link records of closely related titles in call number order.

The Library also developed the University’s first mobile App for iOS devices. Branded as “LU Library2Go!”, the App provides online catalogue search functions, new additions to the Library collections, Library news, opening hours, and Library contact information.

Unmediated inter-library article delivery service was extended to all undergraduate students from March 2012. This service allows students to request materials from all over the world, frequently with 24 hours turn-around time.