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HCL's Harvard-Yenching Welcomes Exchange Librarian

The Harvard-Yenching Library has welcomed Yan Zhang, a serials librarian from Peking University Library in China, who is participating in a year-long exchange program initiated by James Cheng, the Harvard-Yenching librarian. Cheng created the program with the belief that by exchanging librarians and—ultimately—ideas with Peking University, both institutions would benefit. Harvard-Yenching will host three Peking University librarians, each for one year, while Harvard librarians will travel to Peking for shorter periods of time.

"Peking University Library is an outstanding academic facility. An exchange program allows librarians from both institutions to gain hands-on experience in a new environment and then bring back ideas to their home institution. Not everything will transfer, but I strongly believe that we can learn a lot from each other," said Cheng.

Zhang will spend the first few months working at Harvard-Yenching; she will then visit and work in other areas of the Harvard College Library. During her stay, Zhang will attend conferences and visit other academic libraries within the United States, furthering her understanding of American library practices. We hope to impart a well rounded view of academic libraries in the United States," said Cheng.

Sharon Li-shiuan Yang, head of the Serials Department, Harvard-Yenching Library, is serving as Zhang's mentor. Yang oversees Zhang's library work and is helping her to adjust to living in the United States. Zhang, noting that Harvard libraries are decentralized as are Peking's, observed that, at Harvard, the exchange of information among libraries is more developed. Having arrived as the Aleph conversion was in its final stages, Zhang said she is impressed by the extensive organization surrounding the project.

In the coming year, Li-shiuan Yang, head of the Harvard-Yenching's Serials Department, and Raymond Lum, librarian for the Western Languages Collection and Asian bibliographer, will be traveling to Peking University through this new exchange program.

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Last modified on Tuesday, July 23, 2002.