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PRDLA 2010 Meeting was Held in Shanghai

The Pacific Rim Digital Library Alliance (PRDLA) conference was held on 21-22 October in the Center for American Study of Fudan Universty. The conference was hosted by Fudan University. The theme of the conference was “Enabling Knowledge through Mass and Boutique Digitization: New Perspectives and Outlooks on 21st Library Services” consisted of four sessions, which are “Mass Digitization and Traditional Library Services”, “International Cooperation and Heritage Collection in the Digital Age”, “Accessing and Managing our Digital Content: Issues and Challenges”, andIncorporating the Digital Library into Outreach and Communication Programs”. More than forty participants attended the meeting and exchanged their ideas.

On Oct 20th, Zhu Qiang, Chair of the PRDLA Secretariat declare the commencement of the conference. Gui Yonghao, vice presidentof Fudan University, attended the conference and gave a welcoming speech. In his speech, he addressed that the digital information has become the primary information resources used in researches and many areas of education. Most academic libraries including Fudan University Library are experiencing a transition from traditional library to “hybrid” library. So it is critical that the libraries must work together to share resources to support academic activities more than ever. He looks forward to the continued expansion of the cooperation among PRDLA Members, and sharing expertise in library management. After Dr. Gui’s speech, Wu Jianzhong, Director of Shanghai Library, gave an opening keynote speech titled “A Transition to Hybrid Library: Practice in Shanghai Library”, in which he gave an introduction to the Shanghai Library services from developing aspects in depth and breadth. Moreover, he mentioned that the major challenge for us during the transitional period is how to promote the library services. Then Michael Keller, university librarian of Stanford University Library, delivered the presentation – “Grasping the nettle: projects, programs, and directions we might take as librarians to improve the experiences of our faculty and students”. He introduced Marrinan’s report on the future of Stanford library and new functions of the library including “alerts on faculty names and topics”, “customized reports algorithmically”, “teach and document discovery and research features by discipline”, “expand librarians’ roles to include academic technology”, etc.

The first session of the conference was discussed at 1:30 PM. Brian Flaherty, assistant university librarian of University of Auckland Library, gave the first presentation, the topic was “Movies, Maps, and Memories: Extending Our Collections, Refining Our Services”. In his presentation, he discussed the University of Auckland Library projects around capturing Maori TV, a geospatial portal for NZ government historical maps, and oral histories in the context of resource discovery in a mobile and web-scale world. Yiu Chuen Wan (co-author: Iris Chan, a special collections librarian of the University of Hong Kong Libraries), main library services team leader of Fung Ping Shan library of the University of Hong Kong Libraries introduced the University of Hong Kong Libraries’ achievements in creating a digital Hong Kong collection. His presentation took stock of the efforts made by the library in providing digital Hong Kong contents over the past fifteen years and also discussed on the problems and difficulties encountered in digitizing local collections. His presentation concluded with a look into the future, particularly suggestions to further enhance the collection. Eleanor Yuen, Head of the Asian Library at the University of British Columbia, made her speech titled “The digitization of Asian materials at UBC: A model for national and international collaborations”. She said that at the University of British Columbia Library, managing collections in a digital context is one of the five overarching strategic directions for the next five years. Three projects, namely the Canadian Historical Recognition Program (CHRP), the Korean Canadian Heritage Archives Project and the digitization of southern China clan association publications are featured to illustrate the model for national and international collaboration. At last, Beth Tillinghast, a librarian at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Library in Honolulu, Hawaii, share her ideas with us on preserving culture and knowledge through archiving web content.

The second session “International Cooperation and Heritage Collection in the Digital Age” was held on Oct 21st. Zhu Qiang first gave a brief introduction to the higher educational institution libraries in China, particularly on the strategies facing the digital age. After that, Celine Cheung, currently the Section Coordinator of Cataloguing Section of Run Run Shaw Library, City University of Hong Kong, introduced a Korean classics indexing project, which has been developed into a collaborative model – from departmental collaboration to international collaboration. Yao Xiaoxia, deputy general secretary of CALIS administrative center, introduced the achievement of CALIS, a public service system of “Project 211” in China and a Chinese Academic Library consortium at the same time. She mentioned that with a broad understanding of its members’ issues, the framework of CALIS has been constructed to allow easy interconnection and interoperability among academic libraries. At the same time, CALIS have developed different kinds of resources and services that definitely promote the opportunities in facilitating resource sharing among academic libraries..

In the discussion of the third session “Accessing and Managing our Digital Content: Issues and Challenges”, R. Bruce Miller, Founding University Librarian of University of California, Merced Library, introduced Next Generation Technical Services (NGTS), which is an initiative among the University of California Libraries to transform technical services to achieve significant cost and labor savings, to enhance and expand end user access to information resources, and to curate the complete life-cycle of digital information. He addressed that Innovative technical solutions offer the opportunity to be truly transformative, but such solutions also raise complex social, financial, and political issues. His presentation focused on outcomes and lessons learned. Thomas C. Leonard, University Librarian of University of California, Berkeley mentioned in his speech that more than 3 million books from the University of California have been digitized, but for non-English language imprints, they still have to wait. In his point of view, it is hard power (geopolitics and economics) and soft power (culture) that drives collections today. Then Hao qun (co-author: Chen Chaoqun, librarian working at the Fudan Faculty and alumna works room of Fudan University), Supervisor of the Foreign Teaching Materials Center of China Education Minister in Fudan University, introduced her investigation on recent researches and practices on “ Library e-book service” (2000-2010). She discussed on the contents of e-books, technical patterns, distribution and business models and other key factors as well as the impact caused by e-books to library collection, cataloging, management, service and training of personnel.

In the last session of the conference, a speech titled “Mass Digitization and Traditional Library Services” was given by Shi weihua, head of librarian’s office of Fudan University Library. She wished to assist libraries to make a wise choice in selecting discovery services for their best services. Gary E. Strong, University Librarian at UCLA, told us that the Charles E. Young Research Library at UCLA is undergoing renovation. A major feature of the transformed space will be a Research Commons for digital scholarship. Partnering with the Center for Digital Humanities, the library will be installing a cultural heritage laboratory with high end technology to accommodate interactive and creative use of technology and digital collections of the Library. His presentation discussed the philosophy behind the partnership, plans for the space in relation to the whole research library. Brian E. C. Schottlaender, University Librarian of University of California at San Diego, introduced the San Diego technology history archive, an initiative to document the development of the advanced technology communities in San Diego. Working with a third-party technology vendor, the UCSD Libraries have built a sophisticated Web-discovery and delivery platform for their archives. The topic included demonstrations of the platform’s audio and text search and play capabilities, interactive timelines, and corporate family tree structures.

Ingrid Parent, university librarian of University of British Columbia ended up the whole conference with the topic of “The Global Networked Digital Environment: How Libraries Shape the Digital Future”. She made a summary of the contents of the four sessions and made the conclusions that libraries shape the digital future. She called on librarians to demonstrate expertise and value in this evolving digital landscape.

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