Books are useful tools to learn everything people want, regardless of physical distance. Despite the gap of time or place that they were written, books effectively affect people and provide various types of experiences. The best place to meet books is surely at the library, and Korea University (KU) has three big libraries on the Seoul Campus, including the Liberal Arts and Humanities Campus and the Science and Engineering Campus. At the beginning of the second semester of this year, the KU library held an international meeting for four days in which many famous university libraries participated in to forge partnerships.
From September 1 to 4, KU library held an annual conference of Pacific Rim Research Libraries Alliance (PRRLA). PRRLA is the community of libraries and research institutions of primary universities around North America and the Asia-Pacific regions. Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley (U.C. Berkeley), and Peking University are also a part in this community, and KU joined in this association in 2016. U.C. Berkeley held this conference last year, and KU followed this to open the meeting this year.
The main theme of this conference was “Transforming our libraries through partnership and collaboration.” About 60 people from 34 universities in nine countries participated in this event, including the United States (U.S.), China, Japan, Australia, and Canada. It took place in several places within KU, including the Centennial Memorial Samsung Hall, the Crimson Lounge of Media Hall, and the CJ Creator Library (CCL) in the Central Plaza of the Liberal Arts and Humanities Campus. By convening the conference in diverse places inside the campus, students could be more engaged in this huge international event.
▲ PRRLA Conference held in KU. Provided by Korea University Library
According to an interview with Jo Kyungeun, who works at Library Planning and Administration team in Main Library of KU, there were notable reasons why KU held this conference among the various universities all over the world. One of them was because KU won the prize called the “Karl Lo Award” last year, which is awarded to a certain library’s notable research and outstanding development among the universities.
Furthermore, KU was recognized for its several advanced researches including Scholarly Information Curation Service (SICS), which is run by the KU library. The SICS system of the KU library is run by data curation technology, which is one of the information curation systems. It collects diverse knowledge from the other majors and fields of studies by its own and provides information to the library users. Getting credit for this system, KU was able to get the prize from PRRLA last year and also hold this year’s meeting on campus.
From the second day to the third day, the conference was held in several conference halls in KU including CCL, having the presentation during the conference. In addition, on the fourth day, the last day of the conference, participants went out of KU and visited the National Hanguel Museum as optional tours. This could offer an essential experience to other universities to learn about traditional Korean culture.
The conference could increase the popularity of the KU library in the international field, helping KU gain a higher reputation globally. Through this conference, KU could be recognized by other universities in the world that it is capable to run this huge event by its successful ending. This could be a chance for KU to get another opportunity to be acknowledged in the global society, giving students more connections to overseas experience.