From November 2 to 4, 2023, Duke Kunshan University (DKU) Library successfully hosted the three-day 2023 Sino-Foreign Joint Venture University Library Annual Conference, bringing together more than 130 library and information professionals in the new stand-alone library building.
Besides distinguished colleagues from 10 Sino-foreign joint venture university libraries, there were special guests from seven other academic libraries and eight generous sponsors. Themed as “New Horizons, Unwavering Mission,” this conference provided a mutual platform to explore the latest trends in the academic library landscape. The conference consisted of a campus and library tour at DKU, a whole-day academic meeting, and a half-day visit to the Taicang Campus of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University.
In the whole-day meeting on November 3, Dr. (Helen) Hong Xu, University Librarian of Duke Kunshan University, opened the conference with a warm welcome to all the attendees. “Libraries are not static entities,” she said, highlighting the dynamic nature of librarianship. With the rich agenda, Dr. Xu believed the insights shared in the conference will facilitate the exploration of new horizons of librarianship.
The opening was followed by the distinguished presence of Dr. Yaolin Liu, Chancellor of Duke Kunshan University, who extended a heartfelt welcome to all attendees and shared significant achievements of DKU over the past decade. Coinciding with the 10th anniversary celebration of DKU and the completion of Phase 2 campus, Dr. Liu remarked that “this conference is an especially momentous occasion for us.”
This conference is also privileged to have Dr. Ruhua Huang, Associate University Librarian of Wuhan University Library and a professor of the School of Information Management at Wuhan University, and Ms. Hua Nie, Chair of the Expert Committee of the Chinese Alliance for Library Service Platform (CALSP) and a research librarian at the Peking University Library, presenting in the opening remarks. They shared their expectations in fostering the exploration of library new frontiers.
During this conference, Dr. Xin Bi, Director of the Centre for Knowledge and Information at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, delivered a keynote speech addressing the transformative impact of technology on students’ learning behaviors and shared XJTLU’s practices in proactively adapting to the challenges. Another keynote speaker, Dr. Xi Zhu, Associate Professor at the School of Science and Engineering of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, participated in the conference remotely and discussed the influence of artificial intelligence on the publishing process of academic journals.
Among the 17 contributors who presented their research and experience surrounding four different themes of academic library practices, three librarians from DKU Library actively engaged in the conference and presented their professional findings.
Dr. Andrew Lee, Research and Instruction Librarian, shared the experience of incorporating library workshops into a university teaching program in the presentation “Spearheading Research Expertise: Research Literacy Series Workshop,” emphasizing the indispensable role of research literacy in the academic sphere.
Mengjie Zou, Research and Instruction Librarian, contributed to the conference by sharing her expertise in managing copyright issues. Through two compelling case studies in DKU, she illuminated effective practices and strategies for addressing copyright challenges, providing attendees with practical solutions to navigate complex legal frameworks.
Zhejun Ma, Acquisition and Metadata Librarian, presented a detailed review of cataloging a large amount of collections in the newly opened library. She elucidated the cataloging process by analyzing the problems found in the past practices, aiming to adjust cataloging practices to suit the new library building.
In addition to the theme talks, there were two poster sessions with five poster presenters sharing their insights from daily practices. Cai Yan, Library Assistant for Research and Instruction Support of DKU Library, shared her experiences of professional development for junior library staff.
The conference this year also featured a novel panel discussion titled “From Novice to Expert: Strategies for Advancing Your Career in Librarianship” to offer guidance to young professionals. This lively discussion was moderated by Foster Zhang, Director of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou) Library; Xueying Cheng, Systems Librarian of DKU Library was invited as one of the panelists to share her valuable experience.
The conference concluded as Dr. (Helen) Hong Xu shared a short recap video highlighting key moments from the conference. Dr. Xu extended her heartfelt gratitude to all attendees for their active and meaningful participation in ensuring the resounding success of the conference.