In this Issue
We were absolutely spoiled for choice when putting together the articles for this issue of the Newsletter! I am grateful as always to my colleagues for reporting on their latest activities in spite of their busy schedules. Specific thanks are due this time to Ka Wai LEE (Circulation and Interlibrary Loan Librarian), Joyce Tang (Shek Mun Campus Librarian), and Maggie Wong (Information Services Librarian) for their contributions.
Our first article serves as a great reminder about a core Library service – Interlibrary Loan. Recently we helped Dr. David Schley of the Department of History access some rare microfilms. Most HKBU staff and students are eligible to use this free service, so keep it in mind for your future research projects.
Next is good news for our alumni – you can now apply for your graduate library service package online! We hope that you enjoy the convenience.
This issue also sees two updates from Shek Mun Campus Library (SMCL). First is the acquisition of new furniture to make the spaces there an even more comfortable place to study. The second piece reports on the reclassification of the collections at SMCL to Library of Congress classification. Following this reclassification, the English and Chinese collections are now interfiled, making browsing the collection more convenient.
The Library has helped to organize the annual Intellectual Property Forum for some time, and this year was no exception. This two-day virtual event was well-received by participants, and we are looking forward to next year’s event.
Finally, we round off this Newsletter with details of the Library website’s recent Gold Award in the Web Accessibility Recognition Scheme. It is crucially important that all members of the University community can access our information, regardless of whether or not they have disabilities. Given the role of our website as a portal to the Library’s rich collection of e-resources, we knew that it was essential for it to be accessible. I am very proud of the initiative and teamwork shown by Library colleagues in our successful application.
Enjoy the issue!
Deputy University Librarian / Newsletter Editor
Interlibrary Loan – More than just books and articles!
A common misperception is that Interlibrary Loan (ILL) requests are restricted to books and journal articles. A recent interesting request from Dr. David Schley of the Department of History shows that we can go far beyond these limits. Dr. Schley is working on a project examining the history of traffic in New York City (NYC) before the automobile. For this original research, he needed access to microfilms from the NYC Municipal Archives.
The Library’s ILL service was able to borrow these microfilms from the Archives on Dr. Schley’s behalf, and persistence was the key to success. Dr. Schley’s first request was received in November 2019, just prior to the pandemic. The Archives intermittently suspended their operations as a result, and flight cancellations also affected our capacity to borrow from overseas. Our ILL team regularly checked on the Archives’ service arrangements, and liaised with Archives staff on the progress and delivery of the requested microfilms. After more than a year of continuous and tactful communication with the Archives, two batches of requested microfilms were at last delivered into our hands.
The microfilms cover a wide array of government documents, providing records of the NY City Council’s day-to-day operations, as well as complex regulations relating to the mobility of people and vehicles. They reveal how worsening traffic problems increased tensions among NYC’s stakeholders: pedestrians against carriage drivers; residents against street vendors; locals against immigrants.
Dr. Schley plans to travel to New York for further on-site research at the NY Public Libraries and the Municipal Archives. His research will eventually be published as a book entitled Gridlocked. The Library would like to bring more exciting reference materials to the University community. For any full-text work that you cannot find in our collections or online – like dissertations, theses, Chinese classics, maps, etc., in either e-version or physical copy, you can check with us by submitting an ILL request. Library staff will utilize their expertise and connections to try and obtain the item for you. This could involve a loan request to the international resource-sharing community, direct contact with the author, or a treasure hunt through university library catalogues around the world. We will make every effort to obtain the item that you need!
Ka Wai LEE
Circulation and Interlibrary Loan Librarian
Graduate Service Package – Online applications now available!
With effect from 1 June 2021, HKBU graduates (locally awarded) are able to submit online applications for Graduate Service Packages. Online payment options (credit card / WeChat Pay) are also available, meaning that the whole process can be completed without visiting the Library or mailing in the application form and payment. Applicants still have the option to pay in person after online submission of the application form.
Additionally, the new online system will automatically send email reminders for renewals, payments, etc., as a convenient value-added service.
We hope that the online application service will enhance service convenience, particularly for those alumni not in Hong Kong.
Finally, a quick tip for using this enhanced service – if you fall into either of the categories below, you should select “New Application” (not “Renewal”) when making an application in the new system:
- Your current Service Package has expired.
- You are applying for a new Service Package different from your current plan.
Ka Wai LEE
Circulation and Interlibrary Loan Librarian
New study carrels now available in SMCL
72 new study carrels were installed in Shek Mun Campus Library in April 2021, replacing the old study desks to provide an even better environment to support your studies.
The new study carrels are arranged in the silent zone alongside the glass wall of the Library, taking advantage of natural light and greenery outside to create an uplifting environment where you can comfortably spend a long time. Each individual study space is equipped with a personal light and also power sockets for charging your devices, allowing you to read and study for as long as you need.
We have observed increased usage of this space, indicating that users are happy with the new setting. Feel free to send us your comments and suggestions for future improvement.
Shek Mun Campus Librarian
Library of Congress Classification for SMCL collections
After considerable effort, we are pleased to announce that Library of Congress Classification (LCC) has been applied to the entire book collection at Shek Mun Campus Library. Other material types (e.g. DVDs) will follow suit in July 2021.
Previously separate classification schemes were used for Chinese and English library materials. Now with LCC applied to all titles, books on similar subjects are interfiled regardless of language. This will increase efficiency when browsing the shelves for material on a topic. It may also spark interest in exploring the immediate neighborhood of an item of interest, where books on similar subjects will be found. LCC is also in use by other UGC-funded libraries in Hong Kong. Users will not have to switch to a different system if they need to access different university libraries.
During the project, library materials were removed from shelves for manual end-processing procedures and were relocated to new locations with new LCC call numbers. I would like to thank all library users for their understanding and patience during the large scale book-shifting exercise.
We hope that you will welcome the convenience and utility of the new classification scheme. Updated signage, a new floor plan, and a topic guide on understanding call numbers are available to help you adapt to the changes.
A shift to LCC for the collections at the Main Library is also in progress! If you have difficulty accessing library materials, our staff are more than happy to offer assistance.
Last but not least, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to everyone that contributed to the project, especially SMCL staff, the Metadata and Cataloguing team, and the Collection Management and Development team, for their support throughout the project. Without them, this would not have been possible.
Shek Mun Campus Librarian
Recap of & takeaways from the 2021 Intellectual Property Forum
The Library and the Knowledge Transfer Office (KTO) continued our collaboration on this year’s Intellectual Property (IP) Forum, with the Intellectual Property Department (IPD) of the Government of the HKSAR as a co-organizer. The 2021 IP Forum was again held virtually, but was expanded into a 2-day event (19-20 April) with a total of nine IP experts invited to share their experiences and tips on copyright and patent protection.
The event attracted over 210 faculty members, students, librarians, administrators, and research staff from Hong Kong higher education institutions, as well as entrepreneurs from various industries and startups. The post-event survey revealed a broadly favorable response and many participants indicated that the event was very informative. The event kicked off with an introduction to Hong Kong and China copyright and patent law, supplemented with selected cases of Hong Kong Internet piracy traps that the general public should avoid. The second day focused on copyright issues related to teaching and learning activities, followed by a highly interactive Q&A session. The day ended with tips and strategies on biotech- and ICT-based patent filings.
My major takeaway from this event is that we need to provide as much data as possible to increase our chance of obtaining a patent. For educators, a useful tip was that intellectual property rights are not infringed if copyrighted materials are used in examinations (see Section 41(3) of the Copyright Ordinance).
If you missed the event or would like to review the forum recordings, please go to the Library’s HKBUtube platform. These videos are open to the public. You may also learn more about Hong Kong copyright from the Copyright Classroom series on YouTube created by Prof. Alice Lee, law professor from the University of Hong Kong and a longtime supporter of HKBU’s IP Forum.
Information Services Librarian
Library website recognised with 2020-2021 WARS Gold Award 無障礙網頁金獎
The Library website received a Gold Award in the 2020-2021 Web Accessibility Recognition Scheme (WARS)! This means the Library website meets all 24 criteria of the Scheme. I interviewed two library colleagues instrumental to this achievement – Gary Wong (Systems) and Gordon Cheung (Information Services) – to learn about their journey to getting the award and ask what advice they have for applicants.
Why did the Library decide to apply for WARS?
Gary made the suggestion to apply for WARS as his previous workplace had done so. As the Library had decided to do a major website revamp, it was simply good timing, as Gordon put it, to take the opportunity to have the new website meet the WARS criteria. It was also fortuitous in terms of support, as the Library took advantage of the expertise and experience of the vendor engaged for the website revamp.
What was the application process?
The Library submitted the WARS application after the website revamp was completed. The Scheme organizers then scanned the Library website and returned a list of items that needed to be fixed. There were two main rounds of feedback and the organizer also invited users with special needs to test the website directly. Gary and Gordon shared that meeting all of the criteria was a time-consuming task, especially for first-time applicants who need to ensure each criterion has been met.
What was the most challenging criterion to meet?
The criteria weren’t necessarily challenging, but Gordon described one of them as tricky to detect for regular users. The criterion is to “Provide sufficient colour contrast”, and the specific requirement is that “Visual presentation of text and images of text has a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1”. Most people may not pay much attention to a website’s background and text colours as long as the text is readable. However, colour contrast may greatly impact the ability of users with colour vision deficiencies to read text on screen. Gordon spent some time checking the contrast ratio for pages and elements using tools such as Colour Contrast Check and adjusting the colors slightly to meet the criterion without losing the overall aesthetic of the site.
What are your major takeaways and advice for others who want to apply for WARS?
When working with websites, especially public websites, Gary now pays more attention to elements that may affect users with special needs. For Gordon, teamwork played a major role in solving problems to meet the WARS criteria. For organizations who plan to apply for WARS, Gary suggested making good use of online tools to assess the current state of their website and fix obvious problems before applying, or simply keep the WARS criteria in mind when planning a website revamp.
Last but not least, the WARS project was led by Jennifer Gu, our former Information Services Librarian. She is dearly missed, and we would like to thank her for her efforts in leading the team to achieve this award for the Library website.
Information Services Librarian
Last updated: 17 June 2021