The Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mrs Betty Fung, and the Director of the National Library of China (NLC), Mr Zhou Heping, signed a "Co-operation Agreement on the Development of a Digital Library in the Hong Kong Public Libraries" today (April 2) to further strengthen cultural exchange and collaboration on digital library development between Hong Kong and the Mainland.
Speaking at the signing ceremony at the Hong Kong Central Library (HKCL), Mrs Fung said that in 2011 the NLC presented its invaluable rare books and special collections in an exhibition held at the HKCL and showcased the NLC's achievements in the conservation and restoration of cultural relics. The exhibition was well received by Hong Kong people. The Hong Kong Public Libraries (HKPL) has maintained a close relationship with the NLC and the signing of the co-operation agreement on digital library development would further enhance the cultural exchange and collaboration between the two libraries, she said.
Mrs Fung added that the NLC would provide various digitised rare ancient books, local gazetteers, rubbings of ancient bronze and stone carvings, new year pictures and exhibition resources to the Multimedia Information System (MMIS) of the HKPL. Local people would have more channels to better understand rare ancient books and appreciate the profundity of Chinese culture through the HKPL's webpage.
The NLC is the largest centre for Chinese publications and documents in the world with many collections including rare ancient books, oracle bones from the ruins of Yin, Dunhuang documents, and rubbings of ancient bronze and stone carvings. Recently, the NLC has been actively engaged in the nationwide Digital Library Promotion Project, which aims at providing more diverse and comprehensive digital library services to citizens across the nation.
The HKPL has devoted efforts to providing comprehensive library services and strengthening its facilities and collections with a view to meeting the public's needs in pursuit of knowledge, information, lifelong learning and research. The MMIS is the digital library system developed by the HKPL to provide an interactive platform for the access to digital resources such as audio-video materials and digitised old Hong Kong newspapers, maps, manuscripts, posters and photos, as well as online databases on diverse topics. The HKPL is in the process of upgrading the MMIS to introduce new technologies, and members of the public can access the new MMIS through mobile devices.
Upon the completion of the major upgrade of the MMIS at the end of this year, digitised ancient rare books provided by the NLC will be integrated into the MMIS with enhanced technologies and functionalities, enabling local readers to enjoy the digital resources through a new thematic website entitled "Rare Books and Special Collections from the National Library of China".
Ends/Tuesday, April 2, 2013
The Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mrs Betty Fung (left), today (April 2) signed a co-operation agreement on the development of a digital library in the Hong Kong Public Libraries with the Director of the National Library of China, Mr Zhou Heping (right).
Mrs Fung (centre), poses for a photo with Mr Zhou (fifth right). The Deputy Director of the International Cooperation Division, Ms Ma Jing (fourth right); the Deputy Director of the Department for Digital Resource and Service, Ms Lv Shuping (third right); the Chief Engineer of the Information and Network Department, Mr Wang Lechun (second right); and the Vice Director of the Ancient Books Library, Mr Xie Dongrong (first right) from the National Library of China (NLC) also attended the co-operation agreement's signing ceremony. The NLC delegation also exchanged views on co-operation and the development of a digital library in the Hong Kong Public Libraries with the Chairman of the Public Libraries Advisory Committee, Professor John Leong (fifth left), and the Vice-Chairman, Mr Cheung Chi-kong (fourth left); the Deputy Director (Culture) of Leisure and Cultural Services, Ms Cynthia Liu (third left); the Assistant Director of Leisure and Cultural Services (Libraries and Development), Mr Lee Yuk-man (second left), and the Chief Librarian of Hong Kong Central Library, Ms Rochelle Lau (first left).