||Japanese Studies for the 21st Century: the Public Services Perspective
Yasuko Makino, Princeton
||Serve the People: COntemporary Chinese Studies for the 21st Century
Annie Chang, UC Berkeley
||Bridge to the Community : USC Korean Heritage Library Experience
Ken Klein, Joy Kim. University of Southern California
||East Asian Law Research at the Unviersity of Washington : Web pages for China, Taiwan, Japan and Korea
Rob Britt, UW
|Questions & Answers
Japanese Studies for the 21st Century: the Public Services Perspective (Yasuko Makino, Princeton)
There was a great increase in the size, scale and scope of Japanese studies in the past decade. Japanese studies have become more and more interdisciplinary and the specialization broadened. The users of Japanese collections have increased and diversified.
When it becomes clear that the larger institutions alone cannot service all the needs, smaller institutions will have to get together and hire Japanese librarians under consortial arrangement to serve clientele in different institutions.
The new information technology has given all of us unprecedented equal chance to be world-class libraries. With the technology available to all, the hierarchies between various sizes and types of libraries have broken down, and this will continue to be more so in the 21st century.
Still, there are many challenges facing Japanese studies collections of the future: dramatic increase in volume and variety of formats; high costs of acquiring needed information; the difficulty of maintaining acquisition levels given financial restrictions; and responding to broadened user demands.
Public Services librarians have to function as good consultants and judges. To do this effectively, we have to be trained in subjects as well as information retrieval to navigate through the broad electronic information landscape. We need to renew our commitment to resource sharing, not only library materials, reference services, facilities and human resources as well consortial use/subscription to ever-increasing expensive online databases, electronic journals, and periodical indexes, etc.
We must train ourselves to have the insight to foresee the direction the field is heading and to prepare for it. We must find ways to accomplish this goal through cooperation both national and international by working as a team. Committed librarians with clear visions of their goals and a thorough understanding of the needs of the Japanese library field can create a good and desirable future. The future of Japanese studies collections depends on how effectively we cooperate and use limited resources, both materials and human, to the maximum with the help of advancing technology.
Established in late 1950s, Center for Chinese Studies Library currently has 80,000 titles of contemporary Chinese studies materials in social sciences. In recent years, CCSL has focused on collecting important officially-sponsored publications such as Wenshiziliao (Historical and Literary Materials), Xindifangzhi (New Local Gazetteers), and Zhongguo gongchandang zuzhishi ziliao (Chinese Communist Party Organizational Histories).
Libraries need to build up specialized collections within the framework of cooperative collection development and acquisition policies, and a commitment to "hands-on" public service. Some suggestions are offered for cooperation:
Automated tools cannot replace human contact. Public service, namely "serve the people", is always the first priority in CCSL.Bridge to the Community: USC Korean Heritage Library Experience (Ken Klein, Joy Kim, U. of Southern Calif.)
Friends of the Korean Heritage Library played an integral role in establishing the Korean Heritage Library at USC. The founding board of directors consisted of 20 members, all first generation immigrants, mostly professionals or businessmen. In order for the group to have a wider community appeal, the Bylaws required that the top leadership consist of two co-chairs: a USC alumnus and a non-alumnus.
Because of the cultural nature of the library and the role they played in the origin of it, the Korean Friends considered it their own, so they were highly motivated to support it. The Friends energetically organized fundraising events and through them generated about 100 newspaper articles and TV reports, raising the Korean Heritage Library's profile in the Korean community as well as within the University.
The most significant contribution from the Friends was by accident. One alumnus touched by their enthusiasm and impressed by the fact that such a library and such a support group existed at USC mobilized influential alumni in Korea and formed a parallel support organization. To date, that foundation has given more than all other donors put together.
Cultivating such a support group requires a lot of work, not by one person, but by a team of several people, each with different roles to play. Some members of the group will seek rewards, which enhance their prestige, for their work. Association with high level University officials is a symbol of their social status. It is essential that a high profile official be directly involved. They also need someone whom they can approach comfortably, someone within the University who would serve as their first contact point and as a communication channel between the Friends and the University.
Most fundraising events require an enormous amount of logistical and clerical work: writing, printing, mailing, making reservations, arranging caterers, press relations, and ordering the plaques. The support from development office is very important.
To start a support group for the first time, you have to set clear boundaries as to the division of the work between the friends, development staff, and yourself early on. It is important to let them understand what kind of support they can and cannot expect from the University and you.
Having a large sum of endowments to supply generous acquisitions funds year after year made all the hard work worthwhile.
East Asian Law Research at the University of Washington: Web pages for China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea (Rob Britt, UW)
Rob Britt, Japanese Specialist in the Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library, has been in his current position for 13 years responsible for reference, collection development, and cataloging. He introduced the Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, and Korean legal research guides produced by him and Bill McCloy.