|Databases in library
available to students
Upon UM's 20th anniversary celebration,
the library stepped into her 20th year as well, having
developed from a library with only 20,000 books and 100
seats in 1982 to one with 400 seats and a collection of
160,000 books. In the past 20 years, the library has changed
its location for several times, in the process of which
it set up the Ancient Books Room, Macao References Room,
Audio-Video Centre and Archives Centre. It is making an
effort to enlarge its online database and promote its computerized
services in a comprehensive manner, building a university
library in line with international standards, characterized
by both a humanistic atmosphere and advanced technology.
The library was first located in K
C Wong Building. In 1987 it was moved to Ho Yin Centre to
accommodate more students. To meet the demand for its book
and seating capacity, a new library was built near the Sports
Complex in September 1999, and it was named "University of Macau International Library". Covering an area of 15,000m2, it can provide the most comprehensive services and the most advanced equipments. Up to now it holds the biggest collection of books in Macao: 160,000 volumes of catalogued books, among them 60,000 of the Chinese language, 80,000 English, 10,000 Portuguese and over 3,000 kinds of printed periodicals. Besides, there are a large number of CD-ROMs, online databases and Audio-Video materials in the library. Prof Charles Yen, the Librarian, said that a large collection of books could no longer serve as the sole standard of a good library in the Information Age. In his opinion, the most important thing for a library now is the profound knowledge of its staff, which enables the readers to make efficient use of the library, and enables the staff to provide timely relevant materials from both the local library and other libraries across the world. "The library is only a door to all the library collections worldwide. Through this channel you can acquire any information needed," Prof Yen, who majored in Library and Information Management during college in the US, quoted a series of brand-new management notions of balancing "the right of propriety" and "the right of access" in
In the summer 2000, Prof Yen, with 36 years of experience in library management, was invited to UM from the US to take up the post of the first librarian of the library. Taking into account the management ideas in American libraries, Prof Yen believed that the reader's efficient use of library materials depends on newly developed technology, computerized services and a qualified professional staff. In his views, with the help of the library staff, readers could search or download from the Internet any material they needed, like books, periodicals or newspapers, so as to meet their demand for certain kinds of information or knowledge. This blueprint coincided with the objective of building a computerized library proposed by UM leadership.
Hence, the library began to develop computerized equipments and services. For example, it established an online database, digitalized all the classic works worldwide written before 1920, purchased new equipments, added more Internet interfaces and provided broadband Internet service. All the measures have achieved considerable effects. By June 2002, the library has subscribed 16,000 electronic journals and 200 CD-ROMs and online databases, and the online database of the library has received over 80,000 visits. The newly-founded Group of Reference and Library Education, together with the Centre of English Writing highlighted the library's function of service.
After the upgrading of software facilities,
the library has been continuously adding new hardware facilities
and various types of services to the place. Prof Yen said
that, because UM students' homes were close to the school,
they preferred to study at home. So the library followed
the designing of some foreign libraries to create a comfortable
atmosphere for students to attract them from their homes
into the library, with the intention to cultivate a good
style of studying and favourable temperament in an implicit
way. Besides the common layouts of libraries including
Open Catalogue, References, Periodical, Multi-media, Macau
References Room and Ancient Books Room, the library established
an area for light reading on the second floor, which provided
comfortable sofas for students to read, rest and chat.
Not far from this area was a Library Cafe for students
to eat food or watch television, and on the ground floor
exquisite bookstores and restaurants could be found. Such
a layout made it possible for both students and teachers "to
peruse, excurse and relax" right
in the library. Many students found that it was such a
good place for discussing and communicating with each other
that they were even reluctant to leave.
Prof Charles Yen,
present, the library was well-equipped with both "software
and hardware". This year, along with other four administrative
units, it will join the ISO9000 quality management activity
on campus to improve its procedures of management. Prof Yen
said that, besides the further development of computerization,
the objective of the library also included increasing the
number of books and multimedia online materials in certain
fields of study to meet the need of newly-opened courses
like Gaming Management, Traditional Chinese Medicine and
Psychology. Through more efforts on personnel training, the
library could offer excellent services and strengthen students'
awareness of information so as to highlight "Quality
and Value". The motto on the wall of the library's entrance
hall was adapted from Dr Sun Yat Sen's famous quotation --- "To
make the best possible use of men, places, material and information".
It could be regarded as both Prof Yen's strategy for the
future development of the library and a common goal cherished
by him and all his colleagues.