Newsletter No. 174

2 No. 174 4th December 2000 CUHK Newsletter CUHK Team Wins Automobile Project Award A team from the Smart Materials and Structures Laboratory of the University's Department of Automation and Computer-Aided Engineering has won the Gold Award in the Best Automobile Project of the Year 2000 competition organized by the Institute of the Motor Industry Hong Kong ( I MI HK). The team members are Prof. Liao Wei Hsin and his two postgraduate students Mr. Lam Hiu-fung and Mr. Lai Chun-yu. The objective of the project was to develop novel car suspension systems to improve the passenger's comfort and safety. The C U HK team developed and implemented a car suspension system with a magneto-rheological fluid damper which was shown to substantially reduce the vertical acceleration of the main mass. The awards presentation ceremony took place on 26th October 2000 at the annual general meeting of the IMI. The team received a trophy as well as certificates for each of its members. New Book Research Centre for Translation e-mail: renditio website: http://ww The following book is sold at a 30 per cent discount to staff members at the University bookshop, John Fulton Centre. Renditions Nos. 53 & 54 (Spring & Autumn 2000) Special issue on Chinese Impressions of the West (c. 1840-1916) While interaction between China and the west was renewed in the early 19th century, it was not until the fiasco of the two Opium Wars (1840- 42 and 1856-60) that China was forced to reckon with the implications of Western military might. In the second half of the nineteenth century, how best to preserve China's nationhood became the general concern of the educated class as well as government officials. It was in this context that they started exploring the various aspects of Western civilization. This special issue presents the experience and observations of those who had journeyed to the West, as well as the impressions and opinions of those who had never been outside of China. Included are excerpts from petitions, diaries, and travelogues written by government officials, diplomats, dissidents, scholars, and students, as well as the depiction of westerners in popular journals and magazines. xii+280 pp, HK$130 InLovewithBooks-theNewUniversityLibrarian D r. Colin Storey, the new University Librarian, is engaged in a lifelong romance with books, and not surprisingly, since anyone wi th a lesser physical and emotional commitment would not have been able to remain in academic libraries f o r three decades. F r om his f i r st appo i n tment as deputy l i b r a r i an at Norwich City College in 1972, Dr. Storey has had experience wo r k i ng at f i ve libraries—four in the UK and one in Hong K o ng (the Hong Ko ng Po l y t echn ic University Library), and with each larger than the last. The Chinese University Library, his sixth, is very significant in his career, he said, as he is now 'the Librarian of an eminent university' and is able to 'make some impression in the world of university libraries'. Academic libraries are academic libraries, easily recognizable no matter where they are. Yet there are always some differences in each beyond the choice of c o l l e c t i on. Ha v i ng been se r i ous ly involved with libraries in both the UK and Hong Kong, Dr. Storey is well-qualified to comment on the differences between the two. ' In the UK, each senior member o f staff in a l i b r a ry has his/her own contacts, most of whom are people from institutions in the UK itself where they received their library education. One of the advantages of working in a library in Hong Kong is one finds staff members educated in the US, Australia, the UK , Canada, etc. who have t he ir own networks abroad. These international links are we ll worth exploiting for the benefit of the library,' he remarked. He a l so p o i n t ed out that academic libraries in Hong Kong continue to be, despite the economic downturn of the past years, quite we ll resourced as opposed to those in the UK which went through major funding cuts i n the 1980s. A n o t h er important difference is that there are only eight tertiary institutions in Hong Kong, and even fewer when Dr. Storey first j o i n ed the Hong K o ng Polytechnic University Library in 1988. The world of academic libraries here is very small compared to the U K , wh i ch boasts approximately a hundred such libraries. Hence it is much easier to know everyone i n the circle, and Dr. Storey h imse lf became the president of the Hong Kong Library Association three years after his arrival. Another obvious difference is, o f course, the presence o f a significant Chinese co l l ec t i on in Hong Kong 's university libraries. Dr. Storey obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Studies from the University of Leeds in 1970. The University o f Leeds established, in the mi d - 60s, a Depa r tment o f Chinese Studies focussing on modern Chinese studies. Before that, those who wanted to pursue Chinese studies had to go to the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, and London to read classical Chinese. Dr. Storey, who studied Latin, Greek, and ancient history for his A-levels, wanted a change and modern Chinese seemed a good alternative. He had o r i g i na l ly intended to spend his third year in the Leeds course at Fudan Un i ve r s i ty in Shanghai, but when he arrived at Leeds ill 1966, Fudan had closed down due to the Cultural Revolution. Hence, due to circumstances beyond his control, Dr. Storey did all his Chinese learning away from China, except, perhaps, for some Cantonese which he picked up during his 12 years in Hong Kong. He also has a Master of Philosophy from the University o f East Anglia for his thesis on policy oscillation in Shanghai during the late 1950s, and a Ph.D. from the Department o f History o f the University o f Hong Kong on the political history of academic libraries in the PRC. Does the knowledge of Chinese required of a librarian at the University Library System pose any real challenge to Dr. Storey? 'Chinese w i l l always be a challenge,' he said w i th a laugh. 'Besides, I consider my se lf a historian of modem Chinese politics and society rather than a linguist. ’ As mentioned earlier, what makes this new appointment special to Dr. Storey is that he has freer rein to do what he wants. Like any new manager, he w i ll review the organizational structures first to see i f they are operating in the best possible way to serve library users. 'One o f my strengths is management and organization. Initially, I focus attention upon the library's organization to ensure that it parallels and responds proactively to what the faculty members need. I ' m an open person who believes in open management. Hopefully, my staff w i l l become even more open than before and be ready to offer even more assistance to users whenever they come in or contact us,' said Dr. Storey. Another of his plans has to do with the advent of information technology. 'A major challenge to libraries, faculty, and s t uden ts is the sheer amo u nt o f information available now on the web in full text or abstract. We have a duty to assimilate, quantify, and evaluate its quality for use in scholarly research, and to assist faculty and students to access and filter such information,' he pointed out. Information technology also means that library managers like Dr. Storey himself have to manage a virtual and a print-based library at the same time. The challenges i n v o l v ed are qu i te cons i de r ab l e, one o f w h i ch is the copyright issue. A n individual library may gain access to a full-text journal database for the use of its students and s t a ff and f or a l i m i t ed number o f simultaneous accesses, thereby shutting out anyone who is not a member of that institution. This means that all the other libraries w i ll have to buy the same thing, or, in other words, to duplicate resources for copyright reasons. Another challenge lies in the use of copyrighted material in the library. Dr. Storey quoted an example abroad in wh i ch a research student downloaded the whole text of years of every single issue of one scholarly journal at a library which had bought access to this particular journal from its publisher. The p u b l i s h er n o t ed t h is a l mo st immediately from its computer logs and withdrew the service. In Hong Kong, the ordinance governing copyright matters was revised in 1997, as a result of which a licensing authority has been established. So these days, copy r i ght issues are something libraries are pa r t i cu l a r ly concerned about. Over the next 18 months to two years, a large part of Dr. Storey's job w i ll be to f o l l ow up on space allocation reviews across the six libraries o f the University Library System. As a matter of fact, several decisions had been made by the University even before Dr. Storey arrived, e.g. more floors in the Tin Ka Ping Bu i l d i ng w i l l be assigned to the library. Space is important but not the most important issue, in Dr. Storey's eyes. 'The days have gone when a library could claim to be a "very good library" simply because it is larger and has more books than the next library down the street. I never believed it my s e lf anyway. A library should be judged by its services and the exploitation of its stock for the benefit of users, not by the number o f vo l umes it has space to house,' he commented. Dr. Storey, who now lives on campus, has a huge collection o f books about China back in the UK. He is the father of two children: a boy at university in the UK and a girl studying at Sha Tin College. Besides reading and collecting books, he also plays blues guitar. Piera Chen