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Issue 4

June 2020

Editor’s Note

Chris Chan Profile

As we reach the end of what has been an extraordinary semester, it is an appropriate time to reflect and take stock. In our last issue, many articles focused on how the Library has adapted to provide access to collections and services in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has of course continued, with faculty and students making good use of our e-resources as they work and study from home. With the resumption of counter services at the Library in May, more of our services and facilities have become accessible. Nevertheless, we remain vigilant and are prepared to continue meeting the information needs of the HKBU community regardless of circumstances.

In this issue, the University Librarian highlights a recent publication featuring one of the Library’s many unique collections. This is a fine reminder of the role that libraries play in preserving local and regional culture. A copy of the book is available in our Popular Books Collection.

Also featured is a call for applications for our Student Assistant (SA) Programme. Apart from making significant contributions to the Library’s operations, our SAs benefit from the comprehensive training regimen devised by my colleagues in the Information Services Section. I strongly encourage students to apply and discover for themselves how dynamic and fulfilling work at a modern academic library can be.

I have also made a small contribution to this issue in the form of an update on our popular short story dispenser. After a successful collaboration with the Language Centre on their 15th Annual Short Story Competition, we are excited to share that the company behind the machine is planning an inter-university competition for later this year.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to Mr. Paul Lee (Associate Librarian, Public Services) who will retire at the end of July. A fulsome account of Paul’s myriad contributions to the Library and the University are provided in the University Librarian’s own tribute in this issue, so I will only add that I have personally benefited tremendously from Paul’s wisdom and guidance over many years. He will be sorely missed!

Enjoy the issue!

Chris Chan
Head of Information Services / Newsletter Editor

New publication features images from HKBU Library

One image of Macau
One of the images of Macau featured in the new publication

Bensai Publishing Co. in Japan has recently published Images of Macau: East-West Exchange and the Derwent Collection, which features one of the special collections in the Library. The editors for this new volume were Professor Toshihiko Kishi (Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University), Professor Cindy Yik-Yi Chu (HKBU Department of History), and Ms. Suk Mei Irene Wong (former Senior Assistant Librarian and Section Head of the HKBU Library Special Collections & Archives Section). The source material for the book is the Library’s Derwent Collection, an impressive compilation of 960 items of art works, postcards, publications, catalogues and archival materials with a primary focus on the history of Macau. The volume reproduces 158 images from the collection. These are accompanied by scholarly essays in both English and Japanese by Professors Kishi and Chu, Ms. Wong, Professor Mihoko Oka (University of Tokyo), and historian Ms. Graça Pacheco Jorge.

Mr. Brian Cuthberston, an art collector and retired journalist, assembled the Derwent Collection over the course of several years. In his contribution to the newly published volume, Mr. Cuthbertson describes the origins of his collection. He writes that “the main purpose of buying pictures was to provide illustrations for a series of articles being published by the overseas marketing arm of the Macau tourism authority” (p. 135). In addition to portraying the historical development of Macau, the collection also represents the history of art reproduction techniques, from copperplate engraving through lithography to photography. The Derwent Collection also includes a number of original artworks in pencil and paint. At the end of his essay, Mr. Cuthbertson also sheds light regarding the mystery of the collection’s name. “Why Derwent? I’m a bit of a sentimentalist, and it sounds right, so I named it, and a company or two, for the river on which I was born and grew up, in Hobart, Tasmania” (p. 145). Mr. Cuthbertson generously donated his collection to the HKBU Library in 2005.

Inquiries about the Derwent Collection may be sent to the Library’s Special Collections & Archives Section (

Ken Crilly
University Librarian

Student Assistant Programme: We are hiring!

We are hiring Student Assistants

Are you looking for an enriching, one- to two-year employment experience? Do you like working with people from different backgrounds, learning new things, and participating on a team? Here is an opportunity for you!

Each year, the Library recruits students for our Student Assistant Programme. Our Student Assistants make meaningful contributions to the Library’s daily operations and service delivery. The Programme is designed to be an experiential platform for our students to grow, learn, work and distinguish themselves.

Orientation, on-the-job training, hands-on experience with Library events, and free professional development from external trainers are provided for the whole person development of our Student Assistants! Furthermore, in addition to the hourly pay rate and the many opportunities to build themselves up, a letter of reference will also be provided by the Library on completion of satisfactory service.

Recruitment for the Programme has now begun. Here’s your chance to stand out from the crowd! Check here for details of the eligibility requirements and application procedure:

We look forward to welcoming you to the HKBU Library Student Assistant Programme!

Angela Wong
Information Services Librarian

Celebrating the winners of the 15th English Short Story Writing Competition

English Short Story Writing Competition Exhibition begins 16 June
The exhibition will begin on 16 June and run for one month

The Language Centre at HKBU has organized an annual short story competition for many years. For the 2019 competition, they have for the first time partnered with the Library to make use of our short story dispenser system to collect and publish the winning entries. Apart from being added for printing from the dispenser in the Main Library, all of the winners can be read online via the companion website. See the competition results page for links to all of the stories.

The winners of the competition will be further celebrated through an exhibition in the Main Library that will run for one month starting from 16 June.

Missed the opportunity to participate this time around? Apart from next year’s competition, we can now share that Short Édition (the maker of our dispenser) will be organizing an international contest open only to students at universities with on-campus dispensers (most are in the United States – we are still the only university in Asia that has one). This will be your chance to have your short story, poem, or creative non-fiction published and made available from over 300 dispensers worldwide! Stay tuned for details.

Chris Chan
Head of Information Services

Paul Lee: A personal appreciation upon his retirement

Mr. Paul Lee in the Main Library's Academic Commons surrounded by the furniture he helped to secure for the Library
Mr. Paul Lee pictured in the Main Library’s Academic Commons

Mr. Paul Lee, the Library’s Associate Librarian for Public Services, has announced that he will retire from his position at the end of July of this year. Paul is well-known to many throughout the HKBU community, due to his extensive collaborations with the Estates Office, the Finance Office, the Personnel Office, and other administrative and academic units too numerous to count.

Paul began his library career in Hong Kong in 1993 as an Assistant Librarian at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. In 1997 he joined the staff of the Hong Kong Baptist University Library as an Assistant Librarian and Supervisor in the Library’s User Education and Special Collection Section. Later Supervisor and Section Head of the reorganized Reference and User Education Section, in 2006 Paul assumed his current role of Associate Librarian. Today he oversees our sections devoted to Information Services, Circulation & Interlibrary Loan, and Digital & Multimedia Services; our Chinese Medicine and Shek Mun Campus branch libraries; as well as the Library’s involvement in the European Documentation Centre.

Paul is an essential member of the Library’s senior management team, and in his many roles he serves as a superb ambassador for both the HKBU Library and the University generally. For many years he has organized the Library’s involvement in annual events such as Infoday, Principals’ Day, and Parents’ Day. He also has led a number of Library renovation and improvement projects. Paul worked closely with colleagues from the School of Continuing Education, the College of International Education, Estates Office, and the Library to established our branch library at the Shek Mun Campus, which opened in 2006. More recently, he guided the renovation that created the Academic Commons on Levels 2 and 3 of the Main Library. All of the wonderful furniture on Level 2 was Paul’s selection. Paul is at all times committed to improving the experience of our Library users. Just one example is his work to increase both the number and quality of seats and study spaces in the Main Library and the Chinese Medicine Library.

As if he were not already doing enough, for eighteen months in 2015-2016 Paul served as the Acting University Librarian, prior to my arrival in Hong Kong. It was in my position as a new library director in a new university in a new city on a new continent that I quickly came to appreciate all that Paul does for the Library. With his trademark patience and understatement he introduced me to the cultures of the HKBU Library and campus. He has offered valuable advice, historical perspective, and unfailing good cheer. Paul is truly the first “go-to” person for so many of us in the Library, at the University, and in the larger community, and this pays tribute to his expertise, his kindness, and his generosity. We are sorry to see Paul leave the Library, but at the same time we are excited for him as he begins the next chapter in his life.

Ken Crilly
University Librarian

A 14-day Challenge: A quote a day keeps the blues away

In the second half of April, the Library launched a social media campaign called “A quote a day keeps the blues away” to try and lift community members’ spirits amid the global fight against the pandemic. 14 quotes were selected and shared across our social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter). Connect with us to stay up to date with the Library!

Last updated: 29 June 2020