In fall 2021, with the return to f2f teaching on campus, students surged in to use the Library as a collaboration, learning, and study space. After almost 18 months, it was great to see students back in the Library and excited to use it. Numbers matched pre-Covid levels.
With the 4th wave and the return to online-only learning in spring 2022, the Library remained open (albeit with reduced hours) and kept up all services, even able to offer extended hours during the spring semester final exams in May.
Library Hosts Therapy Dog Sessions for HKUST Students
To relive students from the stress of heavy assignments and grades, the Library teamed up with the Dean of Students office to bring some relaxation and joy via a therapy dog program. The Library hosted several sessions in fall 2021.
During the mingling sessions, students not only petted and cuddled the therapy dogs, they also learn about them from the handlers and the ways to build good relationships with dogs. At the same time, DSTO staff & students could casually chat with and get to know each other more. Good times were had by all and the Library hopes to have more sessions in 2022-23.
The Research Carrels Replacement Exercise finished. On LG3, the new carrels were ready by spring 2021 and the ones on LG4 a few months later. These 400+ new study carrels with modern and vibrant design were in high demand throughout exams and the Spring Term.
Sustainability efforts included recycling the hundreds of 30-year-old wooden study and computer carrels being replaced, with 54 metric tons diverted from the landfill.
Library Systems staff completed 54 projects in the year. The major focus was to further enhance workflow automation. Notable projects included the Financial Management System/Alma invoice payment integration, thesis processing and publishing, and workflow of processing accepted manuscripts for the SPD Institutional Repository. The results helped save many staff hours.
Especially noteworthy was how Systems added an Artwork Collection to the Rare and Special E-Zone by feeding metadata from Alma and linking it to the images of the artwork.
Proactive measures were taken to protect the safety of users amid the pandemic. Extensive and frequent furniture and signage shifts were required to accommodate changing social distancing requirements.
We modified the seat numbers and spacing as required by government and health regulations.
We kept study rooms in the Learning Commons open, while closing all other study rooms in the Library.
The G/F thermal sensing unit was ceiling mounted and another one added to the Learning Commons entrance. The less obtrusive ceiling mounts make a more pleasing and welcoming atmosphere at the entrances.
7 Library iTalks & 4 New Exhibitions (Hybrid & Online)
The Library hosted a variety of iTalks in 2020-21. Some were hybrid (live speaker presenting , plus Zoom) and others, Zoom only. Over 1,000 participants joined these talks. More than 96% (710/735) of survey respondents said they “strongly enjoyed” or “enjoyed” the events. Some were purely via Zoom and others were more hybrid: speaker + camera and Zoom.
September 24, 2020 – The “Population Problem” in Pacific Asia / Professor Stuart Gietel-Basten; 118 attendees
Library’s 1st Transformative Agreement – Cambridge University Press
The Library signed its first “publish & read” transformative agreement with the Cambridge University Press (CUP). Now, HKUST scholars can publish “gold open access” with 370 CUP journals, with the article processing charges waived.
Supports open access (OA) publishing by effectively removing paywall restrictions.
Raises the visibility and impact of HKUST’s research content.
No quota on the number of papers by HKUST authors that can enjoy the APC waiver.
Waiver is valid for papers with acceptance date between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2023.
Planning for the GZ Library was intense, including building design, moving books from CWB to GZ, preparing tenders, new purchases of print and e-resources, and recruitment of staff.
Library staff held frequent zoom meetings with KPF, the designers for the GZ library building. Library staff made plans to move duplicate or earlier editions of sci-tech and business books and journals to GZ and to buy 100,000 new e-books and ~50 databases.
HKUST Library staff also worked in the hiring process for new GZ Library staff and to prepare tenders for techinal systems.
More Rare & Antique Maps Enhance the Special Collections
In 2020-21, the Special Collections enlarged its collection with 216 maps, additional atlases, and books. The arrival of a restored ancient Chinese map, “Complete Geographical Map of the Everlasting Unified Qing Empire” (大清萬年一統地理全圖) further enriched the collection. Selected maps acquired in recent years have been digitized and uploaded to the Rare & Special eZone for online access by the global public.