Dr. Huajing Maske, director of the UK Confucius Institute and executive director of the Office of China Initiatives; Mary Beth Thomson, senior associate dean of Collections, Digital Scholarship and Technical Services at William T. Young Library; and Stephen Wrinn, former director of the University Press of Kentucky, met with representatives of each press and library to discuss opportunities for collaboration.
“The CI has been the leader on campus in establishing the partnerships with China, and the connections of the CI facilitate forging new relationships or expanding current ones,” Maske said. “We’ve worked with 13 colleges out of 16 in the past five years. Working with the Library and the University Press is our latest attempt to try to find ways to work with the Chinese libraries and increase availability of research resources to our students, faculty and partners.”
Maske said many Chinese scholars are able to read English-language publications. However, not all Western scholars can read Chinese-language publications. Therefore, Maske said she wanted University Press of Kentucky to be involved and facilitate the work in both languages.
Maske explained that after visiting different libraries, the team found that what is most beneficial to UK are books about Chinese tradition, art, indigenous art and folk culture. “We have not touched upon scientific areas yet but I’m hoping our Library will continue their communications with Chinese libraries,” Maske said.
Maske said that because UK has many college-specific libraries besides the William T. Young Library, every college could benefit from these partnerships.
“So many connections and contacts were made and so many ideas surfaced in different meetings,” Maske said. “Things we all took back to discuss with our teams. If they continue their connections with these new partners, we can achieve a campus-wide collaboration with China.”