2022-23 saw a change of leadership with Dr. Gabi Wong taking the helm as Library Director in October 2022. Over the course of several months, with group brainstorming and discussions, the Library updated its mission and vision for the first time in over 10 years, and created a new set of strategic priorities in line with HKUST’s Strategic Plan 2021-28.
In 2022, the Library commissioned MTPC to design an official logo. Approved by the University in July 2022, it was officially launched in in the fall term.
The logo features the distinctive window wall of the HKUST Library, as viewed from both inside and outside, embodying the Library’s role as a gateway or window to the world: with the light of knowledge and insight pouring in and shining out.
The base, “LiB”, shows a solid foundation upon which wisdom and creativity are built. The center red spot references the Sundial on the piazza and the spirit of HKUST. The rich-color design also reflects the Library’s core values for diversity and excellence.
In February 2023, the Library launched the Digital Humanities Initiative website in partnership with the Division of the Humanities (https://digitalhumanities.hkust.edu.hk/), showcasing ongoing work on digital humanities projects and workshops. Its aim is to promote interdisciplinary research and exploration by combining traditional humanities methods with digital tools and technologies.
Since then, the DH Initiative has hosted several talks and open workshops, while the Digital Humanities Specialist, Dr. GUO Qiuzi, taught two courses in spring 2023, one for undergraduates and the other for postgraduates. The website also hosts resources and tools for the digital humanities.
Improved User Experience: SSO for Library Resources
On January 17th, 2023, the library Systems team implemented Single Sign-on (SSO) for the Library’s EZProxy service.
This has made accessing library journals, databases, ebooks, and other resources easier for patrons, by matching their usual login procedure. Even more convenient, if they are already logged into an HKUST services like email, they don’t need to sign-in again when accessing a library e-resource from off campus.
Every year, the Library shares usage statistics for its e-books, e-journals, and databases. We also regularly use the data on a title-by-title basis when making renewal decisions. But how do we generate the data? For over 20 years, library staff have worked with COUNTER (Counting Online Usage of Networked Electronic Resource) compliant vendors to measure e-Resources use in a consistent, credible and comparable way (count apples-to-apples; not apples-to-oranges).
Ensuring that the different systems “talk” to each other and the harvest the data is no small task. It is counted on the calendar year, and the 2022 data is now available. Science Direct (Elsevier) continues to be the top used e-resource at HKUST, followed by Wiley and Springer-Nature.
All 1st Years Students Experience InfoLit: Asynchronous CORE 1403 & Launch of CORE 140
2022-23 was the first year that the Year One students experienced information literacy classes embedded in their English language coursework.
CORE 1404 – Advanced Academic English for University Studies is a new course, targeting those students whose English proficiency from high school previously exempted them from Year One English classes. The Library’s collaboration with CLE teachers means that these students too now have been given a strong base in skills and knowledge to start researching using the Library’s subscribed resources.
CORE 1403 – Academic English for University Studies became an asynchronous module this year.
The majority of Year One students study CORE 1403, which has been a Library-Language Center Collaboration for over ten years.
1887 students joined this piloted asynchronous online workshop that had text and videos and two quizzes.
Example of feedback from on how the module may change their work habits: “I will try to search on more accurate and reliable search machines, such as Powersearch and EBSCOhost. Also, I will examine the sources’ and authors’ reliability and credibility to use it in my research or any production.”
In September 2022, we celebrated the launch of a book by the head of our Special Collections, Dr. Marco Caboara (four years in the making!). Called Regnum Chinae: The Printed Western Maps of China to 1735, the book reproduces and describes, for the first time, all the maps of China printed in Europe between 1584 and 1735.
At the same time, Library staff also created and launched its companion website, Mappa Sinicahttps://mappasinica.hkust.edu.hk/ms/ which shows how the different map-making traditions of Europe and China changed and influenced each other by telling the stories of maps and map makers.
This year the Library did lots of collection grooming & moving with several projects. Some were large and will carry a big impact, such as shifting all new books in every academic area on the approval plan to e-preferred. This means that the number of print books the Library adds continues to shrink, while the e-books grow, so available shelf space will last longer (or can even be reduced).
Others were small but timely, such as removing over 1,000 volumes and floppy discs of outdated computer books from the collection.
At the same time, the Library moved some of its collections to make more space for other purposes. The biggest effort in this area was moving the microform collection to LG4, to make way for a new study pod area on LG1, optimizing this high-use space for solo and small group use.
The Library launched new self-service “Tech Item Kiosk” in Spring 2023. The Kiosk provided headphones, adapters, charging cables, HDMI cables, and more for loan. It allowed users to borrow and return them at any time when Learning Commons opened. The usage statistics of Spring 2023 had 80% increase, comparing with the previous figures. We expect more users will enjoy it in the coming year.
With the end of Covid-19 restriction in spring 2023, the Library re-launched snack break to support students during final exams. Over 1,000 students joined their fellow peers to enjoy an assortment of snacks and drinks in the LC Refreshment Zone.
According to HKUST’s Sustainability Office, the Library’s efforts to save energy, such as installing light sensors to control the lights in the LG3 bookshelf area and in the stairwells off of Lift B have succeededwith a 6% drop in energy use this year.
This year the Library also helped with sustainability work on campus by re-using transferred furniture and providing more new recycling bins.
The former Information Instruction and Collection Services (IICS) and Research Support Service (RSS) restructured to become the new Research Learning Support.
Planning for the functional and physical moves started in fall 2022 and was successfully completed in January 2023. The members of the new unit brainstormed the new Missions and Goals and finalized them in fall 2022.
The Library’s 2020-21 Annual Report on Teaching and Learning had two practices cited as “exemplary”.
1. The Library hired three students to run the Library’s Instagram (IG) account for 6 weeks.
Students worked out the topics with the Library, researched on the materials and posted relevant information to the IG (focused mainly on the Music and Costumes Exhibition and library services and projects). The results included:
Student helpers got involved with the Library’s activities and shared new knowledge with their friends
Learning new skills for their personal development.
Raised the Library’s IG profile, making its activities and resources more relevant to HKUST students as a whole.
2. Library staff utilizes E-Resources Usage Reports to make well-informed renewal decisions (e.g., cancelling seldom used titles).
This replaced manual data collection process of previous years.
The automation was done by setting up a SUSHI harvesting function in Alma, the integrated Library System.
All SUSHI-compliant publishers now auto-feed usage reports to Alma, saving substantial staff time and effort. (LIB Report)
This year, the Library’s Resource Management section implemented 4 more packages of e-resources to auto-load for users to discover via PowerSearch. This means that library patrons can find e-journals and e-books more quickly.
It also helps the Library’s staff reduce time spent on things a machine can do, leaving them free to enhance the user experience in other ways.
In the face of the continued pandemic, Library instruction continued online. This year attendance grew again It was 14% higher than 2020/21 and 36% higher than 4 years ago. Part of it can be attributed to the increase in the variety and number of research support workshops for PG education (92 sessions to 3,613 attendees). Another possible reason is that students may find it sometimes more convenient to attend an online library workshop than to come in.
In April 2022, the Library launched DMPTool@HKUST, a data management plan (DMP) writing platform at HKUST, which uses an open-source platform developed by the University of California Curation Center. Research Support Services in the Library gave two workshops this spring on how to use it and created the DMP Library Guide for self-learning. As of June 2022, over 70 HKUST people have signed up and created over 90 plan.
E-Discovery Week Went Completely Online for the First Time
E-Discovery Week came back in 2022 for the first time since the pandemic, as a completely virtual (online) event. Held Feb. 14-18, 2022, it reached 613 HKUST students and staff across 16 workshops and the “E-Discovery Challenge”.