Event Report | Retrace the 2023 Spring Book Fair

DKU Library held 2023 Book Fair on April 19-21, 2023, which was a great success. Following the principle of “You Select, We Collect”, the Library invited and encouraged all students, faculty, and staff members of the DKU community to attend the book fair and select titles for learning, teaching, and research. Library staff would review, purchase, and process the selected titles after the book fair.

Video credit: Lan Wei from Student Media Centre

During the book fair, DKU Library partnered with three publishing vendors: Librairie Avant-garde(先锋书店), CEPIEC(中国教育图书进出口有限公司)and CNPIEC(中国图书进出口有限公司). The three vendors brought about 7,000 newly published books on a variety of subject areas.

Additionally, the representatives of two other publishers Oxford University Press and Gengage Learning also brought lists of new books to the book fair for faculty and library staff to review and select. The Book Fair attracted more than 900 visitors in two days, and 433 visitors selected 3,367 books for the Library. The top five subject areas are sciences, social sciences, language and literature, political science, and education.

In addition to book selection, two events were held during the book fair: Guqin Concert with Physics Insights and U.S. Studies Faculty Book Talk.

Event One: Guqin Concert with Physics Insights

Guqin is a traditional Chinese musical instrument that remains an important part of Chinese culture. Guqin is a string instrument and played by plucking the strings with the fingers. It is known for its hauntingly beautiful sound. Interestingly, the sound of the guqin is closely tied to physics and acoustics principles.

Mr. Tongsheng Zhou plays classic Guqin music (Photo credit: Binxing Wu)

The Guqin concert was hosted by both a musician, Mr. Tongsheng Zhou, and a scientist, Professor Paul Stanley. Mr. Zhou is an inheritor of intangible cultural heritage from Suzhou and a Guqin expert. Professor Stanley is a senior lecturer of physics at DKU and also an amateur Guqin player. 

Professor Paul Stanley shares his insights on Guqin (Photo credit: Zhuying Guo)

During the concert, Mr. Zhou played a series of classic Guqin music while Professor Stanley provided explanations of physics and acoustics principles related to Guqin, such as string vibrations, resonance, and sound wave propagation. The event was a fascinating demonstration of a seamless intersection of music, culture, and physics. The two hosts offered a unique artistic-scientific event that was both entertaining and educational.

Event Two: U.S. Studies Faculty Book Talk

The U.S. Studies Faculty Book Talk was hosted by two DKU professors. Professor Stephanie Anderson, who teaches American Literature in DKU, introduced her newly published book, All This Thinking: The Correspondence of Bernadette Mayerand Clark Coolidge

The book explores the friendship as well as critical and creative thinking between two American poets Bernadette Mayer and Clark Coolidge, who have influenced and shaped post-World War II American poetry. The book talk was moderated by Professor Selina Lai Henderson, who also teaches American literature in DKU. The event concluded with a lively question and answer session between the audience and the speakers. 

Professor Stephanie Anderson and Professor Selina Lai Henderson’s Q & A session (Photo credit: Binxing Wu)

The Last Day Conference

On April 21, the Library also held a whole day conference that attracted over 60 library professionals from Suzhou area.

Group Photo of Film Screening and Discussion (Photo credit: Jiayi Wang)

The morning session featured Film Screening and Discussion: Mary Elizabeth Wood. Miss Mary Elizabeth Wood, also known as Wei Dihua in Chinese, was an American librarian but is a highly respected figure in the field of library and information science in China because she established the first modern Chinese public library and co-founded Boone Library School, the predecessor of School of Information, Wuhan University in early 20th century China. The documentary explores her philosophy and vision for public libraries and library professionals, as well as the challenges she faced in promoting their importance in Chinese society.

Audiences in the Film Screening (Photo credit: Jiayi Wang)

The screening was followed by a discussion led by Dr. Huanwen Cheng, the film advisor. Dr. Cheng is currently a tier-two professor at the School of Information Management, Sun Yat-sen University and a doctoral supervisor in the fields of library science and historical literature. He is a former University Librarian for a long time and Dean of the National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage and Cultural Development. He serves as an executive committee member of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and vice chairman of the Chinese Library Association. 

Dr. Huanwen Cheng presents his commentaries (Photo credit: Jiayi Wang)

This documentary is based on Dr. Cheng’s long-term research on Mary Elizabeth Wood. His insightful commentaries before and after the screening greatly enhanced the audience’s understanding and appreciation of Ms. Wood’s contributions to the development of library services in China.

Dr. Cheng delivers afternoon presentation (Photo credit: Ying Zhu)

The afternoon session was an invited talk by Professor Cheng on the Development trends of the university libraries. It raised an interesting discussion on the challenges and opportunities of the current university libraries in China.

Group photo of library staff

Thanks to everyone participating in the 8th Library Book Fair! We all library staff are hoping you enjoy this event.