HKBU Library wins ALA innovative international library projects award for Chinese Medicine digital project

HKBU Library won the 2012 ALA Presidential Citations for Innovative International Library Projects Award from the American Library Association (ALA) for its Chinese Medicine Digital Project. This year, the HKBU Library is one of four libraries in the world and also the sole university library to have been chosen by the selection panel for the award.

The ALA press release states: “While the (Chinese Medicine) databases were designed to improve teaching methods and effective use of these plants and herbs, making this information available for free via the Internet has historic and limitless benefits for medical providers and researchers across the globe.”

The Chinese Medicine Digital Project comprises the Medicinal Plants Images Database and the Chinese Medicine Specimen Database. These two databases were the result of the joint effort of the School of Chinese Medicine and the Library to promote Chinese medicine and to enhance the ways in which learning, teaching and research can be made easier and more accessible.

The Medicinal Plants Images Database consists of more than 1,000 medicinal plants presented in the form of images with detailed descriptions in both Chinese and English. The Chinese Medicine Specimen Database was established to promote awareness of the variety, authenticity and effective use of Chinese Medicine. Both databases are bilingual (in Chinese and English) and can be accessed free of cost by anyone anywhere in the world. Statistics show that in the past year since June of 2011, the Medicinal Plant Images Database alone has received over 80,000 visits from 132 countries/regions around world and over 600,000 pages have been viewed.

Professor Albert Chan, President and Vice Chancellor, said: “HKBU is very pleased to have received this internationally renowned award from the ALA, the largest and oldest library association in the world. This award demonstrates the outstanding collaborative work of our librarians working with faculty members in support of the mission of our University. The Chinese Medicine Databases will no doubt serve to support scholars and researchers in Hong Kong as well as other parts of the world in their teaching and research in the area of Chinese medicine.”

Professor Lu Aiping, Dean of School of Chinese Medicine, said: “We will continue to work with the Library to support our teaching and research and to promote open access to information related to Chinese medicine to the world.”

Mr. Li Haipeng, University Librarian, said: “We are very proud to have received this prestigious international award which recognises the outstanding work we are doing. More importantly, as a library, we are always striving for excellence in supporting the University in learning, teaching and research through innovative projects.”

Established in 2007, the ALA award aims to recognise innovative contributions to international librarianship. This year’s award presentation ceremony will take place at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California, on 25 June. For more information about the award, please go to the ALA website at:








(From left) Mr. Li Haipeng, University Librarian; Ms. Lisa Song, Assistant Librarian; Mr. Li Yiu-on, Senior Assistant Librarian; and Professor Zhao Zhongzhen, Associate Dean of School of Chinese Medicine demonstrate the award-winning Chinese Medicine Digital Project
(左起) 圖書館館長李海鵬先生、助理館長宋麗女士、高級助理館長李耀安先生和中醫藥學院副院長趙中振教授展示獲獎的中醫藥數字化項目


Dr. Chen Hubiao, Associate Professor of the School of Chinese Medicine, provided information and photos for the two Chinese Medicine databases