Beibei’s Library tours

by Jing Liu ~ July 5th, 2006. Filed under: Experience.

I just came back from my vacation a while ago. Because my parents came from China to visit me, I took them to quite a few places since this is their first trip to Canada. During our trip, I also visited a few local libraries: Kelowna public library, Banff public Library, Squamish public library, Montreal Public Library (I forget which branch it was), Blacker-Wood Library of Biology at McGill University, North York Central of Toronto Public Library, Mid-Manhattan library and Donnell Library centre of New York Public library, and East Asian Library at Columbia University.

It was a fun and interesting trip. But too bad I missed the Research Library of NYPL at 5th Ave & 42nd Street because I didn’t know it is close on Mondays. The building is very nice though, and it reminds me the movie The Day after Tomorrow.

I am not going to introduce each library I went, you can easily find information on their websites. I just want to share the experience with two Chinese librarians I met in New York.

In a sunny morning, I went to East Asian Library at Columbia University. The first thing caught my eyes is magazine HOW, which is a Chinese magazine about fashion, cosmetic and trendy stuff, doesn’t seem like fit in such a serious academic environment. I was also impressed after I found out I can use both traditional and simplified characters to search their catalogue. I decided to meet their Chinese librarian. After 20 minutes wait while I enjoyed HOW, I met Chengzhi Wang, the Chinese Studies Librarian. He is very nice and immediately reminds me my professors in the university back in China. We had very nice chat, from housing price in NYC to career path. I really appreciate that he can spare 40 minutes with me during his busy day (not because he gave me a souvenir at the end) . I have learned a lot from him.

In the other afternoon, I went to Donnell Library after I visited MoMA. The reason I went there is I was told by a librarian in Mid-Manhattan Library that this library is the only one in their system collects Chinese materials. After I went in the library, (BTW, I was very surprised that there were security checks in both libraries), the Chinese Librarian spotted me and pointed me to a direction right away “Romance is over there”…Er….I don’t read Romance….(maybe it’s time to get new outfits to change my image)

I browsed their collection. It is smaller than I expected, maybe this has something to do with their demographic numbers. Finally I grabbed a chance to introduce myself to the Chinese Librarian, Hung-Yun Chang. We spent about half hour to discuss issues on collection development, programming, staffing and etc. It was a very informative talk. I also appreciate that Mr. Chang shared his over 20 years experience with me. (Yes, Mr. Chang, everybody in the library calls him Mr. Chang).

Apparently, both librarians know Jing well, they both asked me to say hi to Jing. I guess it is hard to find somebody in this field who doesn’t know Jing. It’s really great that we have Jing here, such a great librarian and mentor.

2 Responses to Beibei’s Library tours

  1.   Jing

    Beibei is very professional, spending her own vacation time learning about other libraries. Chengzhi and Mr. Chang are both decent gentlemen, scholars and dedicated librarians who must be really happy to meet a new and diligent librarian from the west coast.

    I miss the Big Apple and its libraries.

  2.   Linda

    The “Romance is over there” part is very FUNNY, BeiBei. Don’t change your outfit or your fashion sense. You may help us establish the new trendy look of modern librarians.

    He may have taken you as a teenager. It’s a compliment!

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