Libraries Host Chinese Librarians – OHIO University Libraries

Libraries Host Chinese Librarians

Wu Changhong (left) and Sun Bo, librarians from Northeast Normal University in China, will be visiting Alden Library for 12 weeks as part of a revived librarian exchange program. (Photos courtesy of Wu Changhong and Sun Bo)
Wu Changhong (left) and Sun Bo, librarians from Northeast Normal University in China, will be visiting Alden Library for 12 weeks as part of a revived librarian exchange program. (Photos courtesy of Wu Changhong and Sun Bo)

For Sun Bo and Wu Changhong, visiting OHIO Libraries is not just an opportunity to see a new part of the world, but they will also be able to conduct research.

OHIO Libraries continues to build its longstanding relationship with libraries in China by welcoming the two librarians from Northeast Normal University (NENU) in Changchun, China to Alden Library for 12 weeks. NENU, which has over 24,000 students, is located in Northeast China and is under direct administration by China’s Ministry of Education. Changchun has a population of over 7 million people and is surrounded by rivers and lakes.

Sun Bo and Wu Changhong will be coming to OHIO on Oct. 10 and working with librarians and conducting research at Alden Library.

Sun Bo has been working at NENU for almost 15 years and is an associate research librarian. Her responsibilities there include digital resources development, document delivery and interlibrary loans. She plans to conduct her own research while at OHIO and hopes to learn more about the Libraries’ operations.

“Things that I want to learn include the current issues and trends of subject services, library resources development and construction, and the model of digital resources acquisition,” she said.

Sun Bo is also familiar with her university from a student’s perspective, having earned a master’s and a bachelor’s degree in library science from NENU.

Wu Changhong started at NENU in 2014 and has a variety of responsibilities there.

“I am mainly responsible for international exchange and cooperation, including conference organization, and librarian exchange and training,” she said.

While at OHIO, Wu Changhong will be conducting comparative research on academic libraries in the United States and China, special collections, publicity, and librarian training programs. She earned her master’s degree in foreign linguistics and her bachelor’s degree in history and culture, both from NENU.

Their visit is not the first time the University has collaborated with an institution in China. In 1909, OHIO recruited its first students from China, and in 1978, the Chinese Education Delegation visited the University. This marked the opening of China to U.S. education, and OHIO was the only campus in the Midwest where the delegation made an official visit, according to “A Conversation About Ohio University and the Presidency, 1975-1994” by Charles J. Ping.

The international librarian internship program began in 1979, according to “The Sage in the Cathedral of Books” by Yang Yang. Hwa-Wei Lee, dean emeritus of libraries, established the program with funding support from several sources, including the United Nations Development Programme and UNESCO. The program began on a smaller scale and then expanded after about two years. From 1981 to 1999, about 150 Chinese librarians, along with over 40 librarians from other countries such as Malaysia and Taiwan, visited OHIO for the internship program.

The program was offered twice a year, and each session lasted three months. The library interns attended a week-long orientation covering cataloging, technical processing, and computer application, among other topics. The librarian was then assigned to a library-specific department based on their specialization at their home library, and some would rotate between departments as well.

The revival of the exchange program will allow the Libraries to expand its international focus while providing librarians from different countries the opportunity to learn from each other.