3 April 2013

Academic Libraries Today: Our Future is Now

By Peter Sidorko, University Librarian, The University of Hong Kong

Celebrating 100 Years:

the University of Hong Kong Libraries’ Centenary Anniversary Conference

In 1911, the University of Hong Kong (HKU) was founded. In 1912, the University enrolled its first students. Now, 100 years after these events, the University has celebrated its achievements through two years of activities that have been diverse and inclusive. In celebrating this 100 year landmark, the University of Hong Kong Libraries hosted an international conference on November 8, 2012 that served to highlight these 100 years of achievements by both the University and its Libraries, as well as to set a vision for the Libraries’ next century of ambition.

Keynote address by Dr. Ingrid Parent, IFLA President
Keynote address by Dr. Ingrid Parent, IFLA President, on “Leveraging the Digital Age: 21st Century Libraries in a Global Context

”With the theme, “Academic Libraries Today: Our Future is Now”, the conference brought together library leaders and senior information professionals from around the world to celebrate, to postulate and to share best practices from some of the world’s greatest academic and research libraries. Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Tsui Lap-Chee, opened the conference by welcoming guests and outlining the history and successes of the University and its Libraries while also stressing the uncertainty of the future in an information-rich world.

More than 260 attendees from mainland China, Macau, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Canada, Italy and from a great diversity of libraries in Hong Kong listened attentively to the keynote speech by IFLA President and University of British Columbia Librarian, Dr Ingrid Parent. Dr Parent set the tone for the day’s events by discussing the changes in academic libraries in recent years, the likely trends in collections, services and infrastructures and the great opportunities that libraries, and indeed librarians, must seize in order to remain relevant and successful.

The remaining papers dealt with areas of innovation and new practices in academic libraries including recent developments in mainland China; the academic library as a publisher; future directions for collection development; open access and open data; the research and learning cycle; academic library trends in Hong Kong, and the commercialisation of special librarycollections. Most of the presentations are available from the conference website.

The occasion also marked the 80th anniversary of the Fung Ping Shan Library, the University’s East Asian Library and HKU’s first dedicated and purpose-built library. Fung Ping Shan was a man of great integrity who treasured education and his Chinese heritage. Together, these passions drove him to fund the establishment of the Fung Ping Shan Library in 1932. To mark the occasion, we launched the latest of the Libraries’ publications, Fung Ping Shan: the Man, his Life and his Library, written by Cornelia (Nelly) Lichauco.

260 attendees from 12 countries and regions participated at the Conference

Asia and Oceania, Conferences, Hong Kong

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