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Issue 6

Nov 2020

Chris Chan Profile

Editor’s Note

While serving as editor of the Library’s Newsletter has always been one of my more enjoyable responsibilities, I had a particularly good time with this latest issue. As always I am grateful for the time and effort of my colleagues in producing these informative and insightful articles.

First up in this issue is an introduction to the Library’s collection of bookplates penned by Mr. Kendall Crilly, University Librarian. You may recall the exhibition last year featuring this collection, and recently some of the collection was even exhibited overseas. Our next article also features items from the Library’s art collections – two examples of Chinese Christian paintings. In her piece, Ms. Lolita Kwok notes how the artists have depicted biblical figures in traditional ancient Chinese clothing to interesting effect. Both our bookplates and the two paintings have been digitized by the Library for online viewing.

Our ongoing digitization efforts are the focus of the next article in the issue, with Ms. Rebekah Wong providing an overview of a recent digital project to make much of the personal archives of Mr. Augustine Mok Chiu-yu (莫昭如先生) available online. This includes issues of The 70’s Biweekly journal (70年代雙週刊) as well as other publications and documents. Important work has been done here to preserve the social, cultural, and political history of Hong Kong, as well as to provide easy access to it.

I believe that my colleague Ms. Pauline Lam and her team have also achieved something vitally important with their “2-min metrics” series of videos. As Pauline explains in her article, scholarly metrics such as impact factor and the h-index are hugely influential yet widely misunderstood. I am hopeful that these short videos will be effective in helping the scholarly community use metrics appropriately.

Ms. Ka Wai Lee has some tips to share about using our self-check service. As she notes, minimizing contact with others continues to be a paramount concern, and our self-check machines allows you to easily borrow books on your own.

Last but not least, I was pleased to see healthy participation in the Long Story Short Award. There were 16 submissions from HKBU students, and I encourage you to read them all and vote for your favourites. Details of how to do this are provided in the short piece that I have prepared.

I do hope that you enjoy the issue, and I wish everyone good health and happiness as we approach the festive season.

Chris Chan
Head of Information Services / Newsletter Editor

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An introduction to the HKBU Library Bookplates Collection

Among the many art collections in the HKBU Library is a collection of 220 bookplates, miniature art works that are known as Ex Libris. Historically used to identify a book’s owner, bookplates have evolved into unique, tiny art forms that are actively designed, collected, and traded by artists and enthusiasts. Hong Kong has a devoted group of bookplate collectors who formed the Hong Kong Ex-Libris Association (HKEA) in 1989. The Association has been generous in donating 90 bookplates to the Library. The Bookplates Collection has also grown through the efforts of Dr. Sarah Ng, until recently Research Assistant Professor in the HKBU Academy of Visual Arts. It is believed that the HKBU Library Bookplates Collection is unique among Hong Kong research libraries.

The Bookplates Collection was featured in the exhibition “Peregrination in Bookplates,” which was on display in the Library April – August, 2019 ( AVA collaborated with the Library on the exhibition, which also received strong support from the Centre for Innovative Service Learning. In addition to showcasing bookplates donated by members of the HKEA, the exhibition featured bookplates that were created by AVA students. Their works depict or re-interpret art and history in local community or local culture and heritage. In conjunction with the exhibition, the artist 倪又安 (Ni Yu’an) designed a new bookplate specifically for the HKBU Library. Press reaction to the exhibition was enthusiastic, with 9 newspaper reports and 2 TV media spots.

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Interest in the HKBU Library Bookplates Collection continues, including overseas. During October and November of this year, 59 of the Library’s bookplates travelled to Taichung, Taiwan. There they were featured in an exhibition titled “United in Bookplates” at the Providence University Art Center. The Bookplates Collection has been digitized and is available to researchers and interested parties worldwide via the Library website ( You can also find out more about bookplates through the Library’s digital project “A Disappearing Art: Bookplates and Hong Kong” (

Kendall Crilly
University Librarian

徐三春, 聖母神子, 1927
Link to source

What we can learn from Chinese Christian art

In this issue, I want to highlight two Chinese Christian art paintings in the Library collection. Of particular interest in these pieces is the depiction of major Biblical figures wearing ancient Chinese style clothing. In both paintings, the artists used traditional Chinese painting skills to help spread the message of God.

The creator of the painting on the right, Xu Sanchun, was a railway worker baptised as a Christian in the mid-1920s. He was trained as a traditional Chinese painter and produced many Christian art works in the traditional way. In this painting, he depicted Mary and Baby Jesus in Chinese style. While the chair Mary sat on informs us about Chinese culture, the partition in the background showing the sun and waves is more reminiscent of the Japanese style. Adaptations like these are believed to foster closer ties and promote Christianity in China.

田奉京, 最後晚餐 , 2001
Link to source

The second painting on the left is a digital object scanned by the Library’s Special Collections and Archives from the holdings of Studium Biblicum O.F.M. (思高聖經學會). This organisation is a religious body dedicated to the translation of Bibles into Chinese. Among the manuscripts and church publications are works by an artist called Tian Fengjing. She used Chinese paintings to depict Bible stories to particularly interesting effect. Tian was a retired secondary school art teacher from Jilin, Northeast China. Born into a Catholic family, she started drawing Bible figures in the late 1990s. In this painting, she depicted Jesus and his apostles wearing traditional clothes at the Last Supper. Feel free to explore more from her Picture book of the Bible  (聖經圖譜全集) in both black and white and colour.

Lolita Kwok
Head of Metadata and Cataloguing Services

HKBU reveals restored materials on the 70’s Syndicate in Hong Kong

A collaborative project between Dr. Jessica Yeung (Department of Translation, Interpreting and Intercultural Studies) and the University Library, “The 70’s Biweekly and People’s Theatre” website has digitized a major part of the personal archives of Mr. Augustine Mok Chiu-yu (莫昭如先生) representing the work of himself and his friends, practitioners of The 1970’s Syndicate and Asian People’s Theatre (民眾戲劇). 

The 70’s Syndicate was a group of young Hong Kong social activists that influenced the cultural, social and political activism scene in Hong Kong starting in the late 1960s. Although they aligned themselves ideologically with the left, there were internal differences in their adopted theoretical stances. They were best known for The 70’s Biweekly journal (70年代雙週刊) which they published, but their methods of engaging in social action were in fact quite varied. Besides publishing journals, they also organized and participated in protests and film screenings, translated and published books, built international and local activist networks, and ran a bookshop. This project has archived some of these publications and other documents such as personal letters and notes, minutes of meetings, etc., in order to provide a comprehensive view of their activism.

After the syndicate disbanded in the late 1970s, Augustine Mok Chiu-yu continued his activism through the creative practice of theatre. Some members of The 70’s Syndicate remained close collaborators with him, and Mok also engaged in new collaborations with practitioners of the Asian People’s Theatre. His works are celebrated for their anti-colonial, anti-nationalist and internationalist vision of social justice and equality.

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This archive is constructed to facilitate research on Hong Kong cultural activism from the 1970s onward. Some books published by The 70’s Syndicate and their fraternal organizations are stored in the HKBU Library. These materials have formed the basis of the book Hong Kong’s Third Way: Mok Chiu-yu’s Anarchist People’s Theatre (in Chinese), which is also available in the HKBU Library collection.

Visit the English version of the website here:

Rebekah Wong
Head of Digital and Multimedia Services

Bite-size Research Metrics: 2-MIN METRICS animated series launched!

After many months of hard work, the Library’s 2-min metrics animated series was finally launched at the Digital Scholarship Symposium in October. A project of the Library’s Scholarly Communications Team, these short and succinct 2-min videos aim to present an overview of the most popular metric tools to improve understanding and facilitate appropriate and effective use. They also explain how each metric is calculated, where they can be found, and some best practices.

Research impact metrics, such as the Journal Impact Factor and the h-index, have become standard benchmarking tools not only for assessing academic performance, but also supporting tenure and grant funding decisions. However, there is surprisingly limited understanding of how to use these tools effectively and appropriately. Criticisms include quantification, oversimplification, exploitation and unethical use, resulting in confusion and wide-spread misuse. The series is aimed at helping scholars avoid common pitfalls and empower them to critically assess and effectively use these metrics tools.

Six episodes have been completed so far. Special thanks to the support of the SC Team, and to Jennifer Gu from Information Services and Jeff Lo from the Chinese Medicine Library who contributed much during the early stages of the project. Isaac Tai who left the Library recently played an instrumental role in the production of the series. His good humour, creativity, and resourcefulness as demonstrated in this project are still sorely missed. Sincere thanks are also due to the following faculty members who offered their generous support. Their names appear next to the episode where their works are showcased:

  • EPS 01 Overview
  • EPS 02 Citation Counts | Dr. Kevin LO Tek Sheng, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography
  • EPS 03 Field-weighted Citation Impact | Prof Kara CHAN Ka Wah, Associate Dean and Professor, Department of Communication Studies
  • EPS 04 Altmetrics | Prof Christy M. K. CHEUNG, Professor, Department of Finance & Decision Sciences
  • EPS 05 h-index | Prof Jonathan WONG Woon Chung, Professor & Head, Department of Biology
  • EPS 06 Journal Impact Factor

Watch the 2-MIN METRICS series on the Library’s DMSS YouTube channel here.
For further reading, visit the Research Impact Guide.

Pauline Lam
Scholarly Communications Librarian

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Self-check service: Top 5 tips

As the pandemic continues, it’s important for everyone to practice social distancing wherever possible as a health protection measure. The Library’s self-check service is one way that you can minimize your contact with others. Our self-check station is conveniently located near the entrance of the Main Library.

Here are our top 5 tips to keep in mind when using the service:

  1. Use your SSOid to login. For non-current students/staff, your login is your library card’s barcode.
  2. Process only one item at a time.
  3. Upon successful checkout:
    – A receipt will be sent to you via email.
    – Don’t forget to log out!
  4. The following types of library materials cannot be used with the self-check machine:
    – Multimedia items (e.g. DVDs)
    – Books with accompanying multimedia items
    – Music scores
  5. If the User Services Counter is closed and you encounter any problems using the machine, please seek assistance from the duty security guard.

For more guidance, check out our service introduction video for a quick demo!

Ka Wai LEE
Head of Circulation and Interlibrary Loan

Long Story Short Award: Vote for your favourites now!

As previously announced, HKBU students were the only ones in Asia eligible to participate in the short story competition organized by the vendor of the Library’s short story machine. The deadline has now passed, and we are happy to share that 16 entries were submitted by HKBU students. These can all be read online, and you can vote for your favourites by creating a free Short Edition account:

Short Fiction

The First Word of the World | Aster Yan Cheng
The Shore | Hoi Yat LEUNG
I, Public Enemy | Jeremy Ng
Belittling Love | Anmol DHAWAN
The Stage | Linglin Yang


Summer Fling | Wing Yi Lam
Two Ways to Attempt the Murder | Aster Yan Cheng
What a lovely family | KA YAN YEUNG
Sestina: Mareylamine | Hoi Yat LEUNG
Looking for a path | Pui Yu Ng
My Bathroom Rhapsody | Hei Ting Fung
A Tree | Jessa Alfajardo
Shining With The Moon | Anmol DHAWAN

Creative Nonfiction

Be Death an Option Because It Is Not | Aster Yan Cheng
Lovebird – The story of me and orange-faced peach faced lovebird – Mic | Hei Ting Fung
Illegal Work | Pui Yu Ng

Initial public voting will be open until 2 December. Once the finalists are chosen, public votes will be reset to zero, and a new round of voting will last until 17 December. The Library will be sure to announce if any HKBU stories make it to the finals!

Chris Chan
Head of Information Services

Last updated: 01 December 2020