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Careers in Academic Libraries Hong Kong Library Education and Career Forum 2007 Frederick Nesta University Librarian Lingnan University. The Academic Mission:. To serve the research and study needs of university students, faculty, and staff

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Careers in Academic Libraries

Hong Kong Library Education and Career Forum2007

Frederick Nesta

University Librarian

Lingnan University

the academic mission
The Academic Mission:

To serve the research and study needs of university students, faculty, and staff

Academic Library work is collegial, often involves work with committees within and outside of the library, including university committees and cross-university committees. You will be expected to work closely with colleagues within and outside your department.

Academic librarians are often expected to participate in scholarly activities, publishing articles and presenting papers at conferences


Masters degree in Library or Information Science necessary, additional subject masters or doctorate may be asked for

Varied, but language skills highly important, particularly English and Putonghua as students and faculty from the Mainland and abroad are increasing

Communication skills must be very good to excellent, both written and verbal

Team work very important

Good general knowledge

Specialist knowledge sometimes necessary, e.g., Science, Art, Music, Medicine, Law

Increasingly digital, high level of computer skills are necessary



Pay, allowances are good

Chance for advancement

Academic environment

Contact with students and faculty

Serve mature students and faculty

Very focused, research-level collections

Often at leading edge of innovation

  • Technical Services
    • Cataloguing
      • Monographs /Serials/non-book/AV
    • Acquisitions
      • Monographs /Serials/non-book/AV
      • Gift and Exchange
  • Systems Operations (Catalogue/Web/Databases/Management Systems/Hardware)
  • Electronic Resources (database selection/instruction/etc).
  • Collection Development (to insure quality and depth of collection)
  • Public Services
    • Reader Services/Access Services
    • Circulation
    • Audio/Visual Services
    • Inter-library Loans
    • Subject Librarians
    • Instructional Services
    • Web Design
  • Rare Books, Manuscripts, Special Collections
  • Archives
  • Administration
    • Human Resources Management
    • Advancement (fund raising)
    • Buildings/Purchasing/Accounting/etc.
    • Special Projects
ugc funded library staff in 2005 6
UGC-Funded Library Staff in 2005/6:

Total of 979 Staff

161 Professional Staff

756 Support Staff

62 Student Assistants

(Numbers are FTE: Full-Time Equivalent)

The Chinese University of Hong Kong - 12,052 Full Time Equivalent [FTE] students. University status 1963, founded by the merger of three existing colleges, the oldest dating from 1949
  • City University of Hong Kong - 13,119 FTE students. Founded as City Polytechnic, 1984, university status 1994
  • Hong Kong Baptist University - 4,942 FTE students. Founded 1956, university status 1994
  • The Hong Kong Institute of Education - 5,160 FTE students. Founded in 1994
  • The Hong Kong Polytechnic University - 13,185 FTE students. Founded in1937, university status 1994
  • Hong Kong University of Science and Technology - 6,689 FTE students. Founded in 1991
  • Lingnan University - 2,253 FTE students. Founded in Hong Kong in 1967 by alumni of Lingnan University, Guangzhou, founded in 1888. University status 1999
  • The University of Hong Kong -11,912 FTE students. Founded in 1912
the chinese university of hong kong
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • CUHK is a campus university founded in 1963, the 2nd oldest in Hong Kong, with the coming together of 3 Colleges: Chung Chi, New Asia and United.
  • Chinese University's name reflects the foundation policy of teaching in Chinese or English. CUHK’s mission is to emphasise Modernity based on Chinese Tradition in a collegiate system.
  • There will soon be at least 6 Colleges.
  • 7 libraries in the University Library System: a newly opened Law Library, 3 College libraries (including a multimedia library); Medical Library; Architecture Library; and, a main University Library building. - All libraries have been refurbished and modernised over the last 5 years.
  • There are 400+ public PCs, wireless LAN in all public areas, information commons, and a range of different study environments ranging from a Rare Book Room to single faculty study rooms to student discussion rooms and open-air balconies.
  • 2 million print, audio-visual and e-items split by subject across the 7 libraries, 30,000+ journal titles, 185 staff (including 29 professionals).
  • Special Collections include: Archives of 2 Chinese Nobel Prize-winners: C.N.Yang (Physics) and Gao Xingjian (Literature); Chinese Overseas Studies; Hong Kong Studies etc.
  • The DAO (Digital Access Online) system allows access to all major online vendor databases, VoD, as well as locally produced databases on modern Chinese drama, Hong Kong literature and others.
city university of hong kong
City University of Hong Kong
  • CityU is committed to providing quality higher education to its students. CityU strives to produce a new breed of graduates who will excel in their professions and possess a broad knowledge base to cope with the challenges of a changing world.
  • The educational philosophy of the University emphasizes whole person development so that students will receive ample opportunities to nurture both the “breadth” (analytical and problem-solving skills, knowledge of the world) and “depth” (subject knowledge and professional skills) of their minds.
  • The University has achieved phenomenal growth since its establishment in 1984. To date, it has a student population of 26,045 enrolled in over 145 programmes at the associate degree, undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
  • The Library was established in 1984 and was named Run Run Shaw Library in recognition of a generous donation by Sir Run Run Shaw in 1990. The Library has a collection of more than 850,000 volumes of books and 184,000 volumes of bound periodicals. It holds around 39,000 print and electronic serials titles and provides access to over 123,000 e-book titles.
hong kong baptist university
Hong Kong Baptist University
  • Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) is a publicly funded institution with a Christian education heritage. HKBU’s motto 篤信·力行 embraces the Christian and Confucian virtues of “Faith and Perseverance,” and reflects its commitment to human values and educating the “whole person” through intellectual, physical, and moral development.
  • In 2005, HKBU and Beijing Normal University opened the United International College (UIC) in Zhuhai, China, creating the first university jointly established by Mainland China and Hong Kong universities, and the first Mainland university with English as the language of instruction.
  • In 2004, HKBU established Hong Kong’s first Academy of Visual Arts The program includes studio arts, cultural education, and advanced art technologies.
  • The HKBU libraries hold more than 1 million volumes, a full range of electronic databases, and 60,000 e-books. The main library contains large English and Chinese collections and unique special collections such as the Archive on the History of Christianity in China.
  • HKBU’s other libraries are the Chinese Medicine Library in the School of Chinese Medicine, the Shek Mun Campus Library, and the European Documentation Centre.
  • HKBU emphasizes the role of its libraries as centres of continuous teaching and learning where librarians teach students the intricacies of information gathering, validating, and exposition.
  • HKBU libraries regularly invite librarians from Mainland China for residencies to observe local methods, participate in professional development activities, and share their expertise with HKBU librarians.
the hong kong institute of education
The Hong Kong Institute of Education
  • As a centre for teaching, learning and research in a university-level institution, the Library will be the leading technology based quality service provider in the Asia-Pacific Region, best known for its excellent information resources and the exploitation of all and any available resources in the area of education.
  • Two locations, campus and town centre
  • Sixty PCs installed with common application software are set up at each of the three e-Learning Centres

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

  • Established in 1937, PolyU has the largest number of UGC students.
  • The library vision is to be a leading academic library delivering world-class client-centred information resources and services.
  • The Library has a dynamic team of 23 library professionals serving over 50,000 active users.
  • Key areas of excellence:
  • 1. We are a well-used and functional library that admits 2.8 million users yearly.
  • 2. The Library has over 2 million items, and provides the largest number of seats (3,588) among UGC libraries for our users.
  • 3. We are committed to user empowerment by vigorously providing library workshops and online information literacy programs to users.
  • 4. We contribute to the library profession by providing training opportunities and consultancy services to Mainland libraries and local students.
  • Library Homepage:
hong kong university of science technology
Hong Kong University of Science & Technology
  • Established in 1991, HKUST is a research university and the only one to offer an all-PhD faculty in Hong Kong.
  • The University's mission is to advance learning and knowledge through teaching and research, particularlyin science and technology.
  • It offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs, including 25 PhD programs.
  • HKUST has a student population of over 8,800 and a faculty of over 450.
  • In only 15 years, HKUST has catapulted itself into the ranks of the world’s best universities.
  • It is ranked 58th among the world’s top universities, and 17th in technology, by the Times [London] this year.
  • Its full-time MBA program has been ranked by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) as No. 1 in Asiaand Australasia.   Its Executive MBA program was ranked no. 2 in the world by the Financial Times in 2005.
lingnan university
Lingnan University
  • The only liberal arts university in the region
  • In keeping with its liberal arts tradition, values its small size (it is the smallest of the Hong Kong universities), residential atmosphere, and student-oriented faculty.
  • Three-quarters of Lingnan’s undergraduate students live on campus.
  • Lingnan has a full-time faculty of 183, many of whom are also active scholars and affiliated with several research centres on campus
  • The Library has over 426,000 volumes, 3,100 print serials, 174 databases & electronic access to over 40,000 journals and newspapers.
  • There are ten professional librarians, a support staff of 26, and numerous student assistants
the university of hong kong
The University of Hong Kong
  • The University of Hong Kong’s Libraries seeks to sustain and enhance the University’s excellence as an institution of higher learning, as a pre-eminent international university in Asia, and to provide outstanding teaching and world-class research support collections and services so as to produce well-rounded graduates with lifelong abilities to provide leadership within the societies they serve.
  • The University of Hong Kong Libraries was established in 1912. The Main Library comprises an all-rounded collection of materials in the arts, humanities, architecture, social sciences, and science and technology, giving vital support to the teaching and research of the university.
  • Additional libraries are the Fung Ping Shan Chinese Library, Music Library, Education Library, Dental, Medial, and Law libraries
  • Print collection of 2.3 million volumes
  • A leader in digitization projects, including China Through Western Eyes.
  • HKU Libraries recently added their One Millionth E-Book, a valuable 1798 edition of George Staunton'sAn Authentic Account of an Embassy fromthe King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China.
other academic libraries
Other Academic Libraries
  • Open University
  • Academy of Performing Arts
  • Shue Yan University
  • Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education
how to find a job
How to find a job?
  • HKLA Website:
  • University Websites
  • Be willing to start at a lower level to gain experience
  • Be flexible
  • Be willing to take chances
resume tips
Resume Tips
  • Keep it simple
  • List work experience with most recent job first
  • List education with highest degree first
  • Explain any gaps
  • Do not include photos, transcripts, or testimonial letters
  • Cover letter must address job description

Frederick Nesta

University Librarian

Lingnan University

department of information studies
Department of Information Studies
  • Information and Library Studies Single Honours (BSc Econ)
  • Distance Learners
  • Health Information Management (MSC Econ / Diploma)
  • Management of Libraries and Information Services (MSc Econ / Diploma)
  • Archive Administration (MSc Econ / Diploma)
  • Information & Library Studies (MSc Econ / Diploma)
  • Records Management (MSc Econ / Diploma/Certificate)
  • MPhil and PhD full and part time research
  • Cost approx. £4,300 = $66,000, not including residency costs