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Views on technology and libraries

Visit with School of Information Science and Technology, East China Normal University

On Friday we visited faculty of the School of Information Science and Technology, East China Normal University as well as several staff of the University Library.

Established in 2001, the School of Information Science and Technology Institute includes the departments of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Technology and the Communication Engineering and Computer Center.

Within the research academy of engineering, they focus on establishing a science research and teaching system in the field of information and technology; forming a graduate education base; becoming a research link from basic theory; software and hardware design; application to product development; building an interdisciplinary group network, including new material; functional devices; communication and information; computer software; chip design; and complex systems.

This was the largest group we’ve met during the delegation, with seven members from the Library and another three from the School. I personally got the most relevant to my areas of interest with this meeting out of any of the delegation meetings.

The session started with an overview of the Library, after we finished introductions and some general discussion of the delegation’s areas of interest. The Library is a large one, with 143 staff, collections in excess of 4 million printed volumes, 1.3 million e-books, 1 million e-dissertations, and a suite of sophisticated web-based services spanning their III Millennium ILS, a federated search system, citation linking, and significant resource discovery and digitization programs.

I learned definitively that there is no credentialing system in place for those professionals who work in academic (and other) libraries in China, and that orientation to the profession and practices of library work is highly localized, with each library being responsible for this following a new hire. A Director of the Systems Division for the Library attended this meeting, and so I established a contact that I can follow up with for more information on the staff in his Division. Generally speaking, the Division there and in Systems divisions in libraries hires staff trained in computer science, information technology and information management.

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Filed under: librarianship, travel reports

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