Newsletter No. 56 (July 2010)

News from the Japanese Collection at the University of Melbourne

Michelle Hall
Japanese Librarian
The University of Melbourne Library


1. Academic Librarian 2: Singing in the Rain
Conference held at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, March 11-12.

I was delighted to be able to represent the library and indeed ALIM (www.alim.monash.org) at the ALSR conference in Hong Kong. I gave a paper entitled "Collaboration and Cooperation in Asian Library Resource Collections", where I introduced the background of the ALIM (Asian Libraries in Melbourne) group in Melbourne and discussed our current project, an international benchmarking project. After the conference I put in some hard work and the resulting paper was accepted for publication in the journal “Library Management.” I must thank my colleagues at both Melbourne and Monash for their valuable input in the re-writing and polishing stages.

As this was my first visit to Hong Kong, I also made plans to visit some of the libraries there. I visited Mr Ho at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (where the next AL conference will be held in three years); also Dr Wan at the University of Hong Kong library. As part of the conference we had a tour of the HK Polytechnic library as well. It seems that the problems we face are world-wide – no space for more shelving, students using online resources in preference to print resources, dwindling budgets. I had many invitations from librarians I met at the conference to go and visit their collections, but my time was already fully scheduled. I do look forward to going back and visiting the other libraries soon.

I was able to meet up with an academic staff member from Melbourne who is now teaching at HKU. He said he loves it so much, and the library so well-resourced, that he would like to stay on.


Hong Kong University’s main library, and a very conveniently located Starbucks. Apparently library management wanted to put the Starbucks inside the library, but the librarian Dr Wan objected. (photo: Michelle Hall)



The entrance to the Chung Chi College Elisabeth Luce Moore Library, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.  This library, like the others I visited in Hong Kong, require students and staff to use their borrowing card to access the collection. (photo: Michelle Hall)

This study centre is in the library at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. It is accessible 24 hours a day (except during Force 2 typhoons!). Students can get into the room from outside using their borrowing card when the library is closed.  (photo: Michelle Hall)


2. Asian Studies Association of Australia
Conference held at Adelaide University, July 5-8.

Following on from the ASAA 2008 Melbourne conference, we arranged to have a table in the vendor area of Bonython Hall where morning and afternoon tea and lunch were held. Librarians from the NLA and ANU attended, as well as me representing Melbourne (and Monash via ALIM). We were also delighted to have Mr Andrew Gosling, former head of Asian Collections at the NLA, join us. We staffed the table during breaks and lunch, and there was considerable interest in our offerings. It was another very good way to let people (especially from universities where there are no Asia specialists) know that we are here and we can offer assistance.

The five librarians also went to Adelaide a day early to take part in the Postgraduate Workshop.  It was a great way to contact a big group of students and to describe our collections and what we can do to help them. There were also very useful presentations about how to get published, and how to balance work and life while studying for a PhD.

The conference itself was very well organised as have been previous conference at Adelaide. The bulk of papers seemed to focus on China and India, with some Southeast Asian work. There was not as much on Japan, but that was a good thing because I was then able to attend more sessions.

3. Collection management
Japanese e-books via EBSCO

Here at Melbourne we are trying to find ways to expend our budget while not requiring more shelf space, so e-books would seem the logical way to go. During April-May we had trial access to NetLibrary, available through EBSCO.  Staff members were impressed with the high degree of useability, and ease of finding information and incorporating it into their research.  I intend to go forward with acquiring what I can through this means, and will report back in a future issue of the Newsletter.



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