February 22, 2024

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How Hong Kong libraries are embracing emerging technologies

According to a recent report, more than 31 per cent of Hongkongers haven’t read a book in at least a year. This finding was revealed in a survey carried out by the Hong Kong Publishing Professional Society, which questioned 2,063 of the city’s residents.

Those who said they are regular online readers often look at news and commentaries, or browse their social media feed when they read on the internet. Only 12 per cent of these respondents said they read electronic books (e-books).

Another survey, the 2016 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study, found that while Hong Kong primary school pupils ranked third in terms of their reading comprehension of out 50 countries and state regions, only 36 per cent of these children said they liked reading very much – ranking them only 33rd in that category.

These numbers are perturbing – particularly for libraries; if fewer people are reading, the future librarians of the region?

Historically, libraries were instituted to provide free information and promote reading.

Libraries afford the public access to paper records and printed books for all forms of reading – business, pleasure or academic research.

In order to adeptly organise books, libraries have used the Dewey Decimal Classification System since 1876.

However, emerging technologies, along with the internet, smartphones and e-reading devices, are now changing the way we consume media, and how – and if – we read.

To keep up with the times, libraries must house both paper and digital records.

A 21st-century library needs to provide access to a wealth of online information, digital libraries and other information resources, including media players.

Ultimately, the aim is to build a reading culture in Hong Kong; reading should ideally become an everyday habit for each citizen, according to the chief librarian of the special duties unit at Hong Kong Public.

The internet and digital transformation now underway might seem to some people to be an obstacle to reading, but Lee believes the web can be a tool to boost reading if used in the right way.

E-books, for example, can be used to pique the interest of reluctant young readers, while reading online often enhances the experience for elderly people by allowing them to enlarge the font size of text so it is easier to read.

Hong Kong’s public libraries currently cater to e-reading demand with a database of 290,000 e-books and they also have a vast array of electronic resources to help library users with research or personal and professional work.

Users can log onto their library accounts from anywhere to access the resources online, or read the information using a library workstation.

To further encourage e-reading, it was noted that a campaign will launch in January 2019 to give members of the public access to 40 e-books in Chinese without having to log in, as they do now.

Creating campaigns such as this, and coordinating in-library events and programmes, has always been part of a librarian’s role, but these parts of the job may grow in importance as reading rates fall in Hong Kong and around the world.

The chief librarian also needs to identify potential collaborators, such as different government departments, community centres and non-governmental organisations.

It is hoped that libraries can partner with like-minded partners to build a reading culture in Hong Kong. She noted that working with partners enables the sharing of resources, networks and marketing platforms.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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