UH Manoa Library hosts visit from director of National Library of China

NLC renews commitment to book and staff exchange programs

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Apr 27, 2006

HONOLULU — The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Hamilton Library recently hosted a visit from Zhan Furui, director of the National Library of China (NLC), and three associates, to discuss its renewed commitment to continue the staff exchange program that began in 2000. The NLC also announced that Hamilton Library will be one of only 100 libraries worldwide included in its "Windows on China" program. Through the program, Hamilton Library‘s China collection will receive 100 books each year from the NLC.

"We are delighted by the visit and the agreements," said UH Mānoa University Librarian, Diane Perushek. "Inclusion in ʻWindows on China‘ will enable us to receive materials we might not have purchased on our own. Friendship and exchange with national libraries like the NLC are invaluable to Hamilton Library and to the research community we serve. They allow us to improve and expand the resources we offer to UH Mānoa students and faculty."

During their visit, the NLC representatives toured Hamilton Library with Kuang-tien Yao, UH Mānoa Library‘s China Specialist, and met with UH Mānoa interim Chancellor, Denise Konan.

"The delegation was very impressed with the equipment and staff expertise in our preservation department," said Yao. "Director Zhan seemed quite interested in bringing one of our conservation technicians to China to teach preservation techniques for books and other heritage materials."

As part of the staff exchange program, funded by Honolulu residents Edward and Peggy Eu, UH Mānoa and NLC librarians have the opportunity to visit and spend time learning about each other‘s library systems. The program began in 2000 when two NLC librarians visited Hamilton Library. The vice head of NLC‘s Computer Network Management Center, Li Shan, received technology and operations training at Hamilton Library for four months and assisted in network development and Chinese character display. NLC bibliographer and selector of western language materials, Shuofeng Zhu, also trained for three months and presented information about NLC resources and activities to UH Mānoa library staff.

In 2004, associate UH Mānoa librarian, Robert Schwarzwalder, spent two weeks in Beijing and observed NLC‘s online processing system, collection development and digital library projects. These visits set the foundation for an on-going relationship with the NLC. "We hope to collaborate on future digitization and other projects, particularly regarding the Chinese experience in Hawai‘i," said Schwarzwalder.

One of the NLC‘s goals for the 21st century is to build a comprehensive collection of materials about China from other countries. "The NLC is very interested in the experience of Chinese immigrants in Hawai‘i," said Perushek. "This is an area we specialize in and something unique for us to offer to our relationship."

Perushek hopes to sign a final agreement for book and personnel exchange during her visit to China in August. Zhan was eager to return to Hawai‘i for a special presentation of books to Hamilton Library as part of the UH Centennial celebration in Spring 2007.