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FOCUS . The University of Hong Kong Libraries

New Series. Vol. 8, No. 3, Mar 2009









Most librarians became such because they liked reading and thought that they would get to read books if they took a job in a library. Nearly all of them, after getting their first job, soon found that they were too busy helping others to do any personal reading during the work day. Librarians who decided to become administrators, discovered moreover that their jobs were all about money: defending what they have and getting more of it. While idealistically this shouldn’t be the case, the fact is, librarians always find themselves lodged between information hungry readers and money hungry publishers.
The situation here at the University during my nearly eight years has been complex in this respect: The shortage in educational funding in the wake of the financial problems produced by 9/11, bird flu, and now our all encompassing world economic melt-down, plus the price increases mandated by STM (science, technology and medicine) publishers have required Libraries to daily squeeze publishers and vendors for all dollars and cents possible, to press the faculties to cancel print journals in favor of electronic journals and to never ask for more than one copy of any books, and to shrink library staff costs whenever possible. On the other hand it must be said that the University has allowed us great latitude in the use of carry over funds, grants and donations and has give us a lot of encouragement and support in efforts to raise more funds on our own.
Recently, History Professor Pricilla Roberts presented a Centennial Library Plan designed to help the Libraries with its financial difficulties. Basically, she makes three recommendations:

  1. Annually increase the Library Resources (materials) Fund (LRF) by seven to nine percent.

  2. Provide a one-time 25 percent increase to the LRF base budget.

  3. Provide $100 million dollars in one time funds to purchase materials typically owned by libraries associated with top 20 research universities.

Her plan was reviewed at a recent Senate Library Committee meeting. She justified this proposal in terms of the needs of the humanities and the social sciences. The response from members of the committee was that the plan was good but it was needed to benefit the needs of all ten faculties in the University.

Of course asking for all of this in the face of all the financial problems faced by our nation, city and university probably sounds ridiculous. Yet, the reality is the price of research materials over the past decade have continued to rise by six to eight percent annually and the size of our LRF budget is just a bit below that enjoyed by the University of Tennessee in the US and what competitors in Australia like the universities of Queensland, New South Wales, and Sydney are spending. Still, it must be admitted that all the other university libraries in Hong Kong would like to enjoy our level of poverty, but the purpose of this essay is to provide support to the recommendations made by Professor Roberts. To meet the needs of our information hungry students and staff we need more support.

One of the “hot” new issues in higher education is to talk about the degree to which universities are involved in KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER, that is, making contributions to the well being of the communities which provide universities with their support. This is one of our University’s strategic directions: Partnering with society and serving the community. The British Library recently made the case for the role of Libraries in this process by noting that a library is a “cathedral of knowledge transfer.” Certainly this is the case for a library like ours which facilitates both the transfer of externally obtained knowledge to our students and researchers AND the transfer of knowledge generated by our own students and staff to the world via the Libraries-supported Knowledge Hub. I hope the entire University community will support the needs of the Libraries in the coming triennial budget.


19th Century British Pamphlets freely available through 30 June 2009
HKU users will have free access to 19th Century British Pamphlets, created by Research Libraries UK (RLUK), until the end of June. The 19th Century British Pamphlets Project is funded by the JISC Digitisation Programme, which has received £22 million funding from the Higher Education Funding Councils for England and Wales to make available a wide range of heritage and scholarly resources of national importance. The project aims to provide online access through JSTOR to the most significant British pamphlets from the 19th century held in UK research libraries.

Pamphlets are in general difficult to locate and access even though they are very valuable to research in a wide range of disciplines. They were an important means of public debate in the 19th century and windows into the key political, social, technological, and environmental issues of their day. This project has captured as much as possible from a number of smaller collections associated with individuals or families. These include the Earl Grey Pamphlets Collection from Durham University, Knowsley Pamphlet Collection from the University of Liverpool, and the Hume Tracts from University College London. It also includes collections associated with organizations such as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Collection from the University of Manchester, and pamphlets drawn from larger collections from the University of Bristol and the London School of Economics and Political Science. There will be regular releases of additional material during the trial period. You can access 19th Century British Pamphlets through the HKUL Trial page at

More Chinese e-resources: reference works, yearbooks, newspapers, citation database
Library users will be pleased to learn that the library has recently acquired a range of Chinese e-resources from China National Knowledge Infrastructure (Tsinghua-Tongfang CNKI/Eastview) and Beijing Founder Apabi Technology Ltd. (Peking University Founder Group), two leading providers of digital publishing technology for Chinese materials.
The acquisitions will provide users desk-top access to about 2,000 reference works, including over 180 Chinese and Chinese-English dictionaries, about 1,200 specialty dictionaries, and many encyclopedias and illustrated compendia. Also made available are nine key Chinese newspapers from the Apabi e-news database [数字报纸库]; the China Yearbook Full-text Database, which comprises about 9,000 volumes of yearbooks spanning the humanities, social sciences, and sciences; and the China Citation Database, which provides up-to-date information on the most cited journals and other citation bibliometrics based on CNKI databases. You can access these resources through the following Dragon records:

China Reference Works Online


China Yearbook Full-text Database


Chinese Citation Database


Apabi e-news


Apabi Reference DB



From the Film Rack: The World’s Fastest Indian
Fans or non fans, almost every movie buff cannot forget Hopkins sterllar performance in Hannibal and Silence of the Lambs. Liver, fava beans and Chianti will never be taste the same.
Hopkins is once again unforgettable in this poignant true story of Burt Munro, a New Zealand legend who spent decades perfecting his classic 1920 Indian motorcycle. At age 68, he risked everything, including his own life, taking the bike to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, the Mecca for bikers, to break the world speed record. Characterization has never been difficult for Hopkins but in this film, he was faced with a challenge, to adopt the New Zealand accent. Could he channel Burt in a Southern accent?

Take a short break here and watch and

The story”

The film is based on the life long obsession of Herbert J 'Burt' Munro, a feisty pensioner who repeatedly broke the world land-speed record in the 60s on his modified 600 cc “Indian Scout “ when he first bought when he was 21. Burt’s refuses to see out his days in his shed of a house, he decided to prove to himself and the world just what his beloved Indian could do. His journey begins in his native Invercargill (“I spell it with one ‘l’ to save ink” Burt says) where his neighbor’s kid, Tom helps him get his Indian Scout ready for the big trip to America. Burt mows the lawn with a petrol can and makes his own high speed frictionless tyres by shaving the tyre treads bald with his neighbour’s carving knife (smuggled by Tom from his mum’s kitchen). A bunch of young bikers in his town even raised some dollars for this respectable old man whom they raced against. He booked his “cheap boarding kitchen crew” passage for the United States with the goal of breaking the world's land speed record at Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats. As Munro made his way across America to Utah, he met cheating a taxi driver, widow who needs some loving and he made a handful of “friends” along the way who supports his dream and Fernando a car dealer who offered to help him. However, when he finally arrived at Bonneville, Munro was told his machine was unsafe to participate in the time trials, and -- far worse -- he was too old to ride. It took some intervention from a revered and ranking American driver, Jim Moffett before Munro was given his chance to ride the famous Salt Flats. When he is finally on the Salt Flats’ track - he heads of into the horizon, one of his friends comments "Is he ever going to turn around?" The other friend responded, "I don't think so, I think he is heading back to that strange planet he came from."

Just say the lines”

In his role as Burt, Hopkins just “said his lines”. He did not act. That was his magic. In one scene, those around Burt who did not want him to go ahead with his crazy plan, to which he replied, “After all, it’s my bloody life, isn’t it? (They) want me to crawl in some corner and die. Well, Burt Monroe is not ready for that!”

You will love this film and even if you do not do sports or love speed, you will be find yourself skipping a heartbeat at the dangers and near misses, laughing out loud at his witty rebuttals, empathizing Burt on as you watch him journey to Salt Flats and finally cheering him on when his Indian thrills and burns on Salt Flats. You will be surprised and you will applaud. Maybe you will learn more about growing lemon trees!

I am able to play monsters well. I understand monsters. I understand madmen.”

Born Philip Anthony Hopkins, 31 December 1937, Margam, Port Talbot, West Glamorgan, Wales, UK


Hopkins is proud of his improvisational touches as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs (1991) such as: the unnerving effect on Jodie Foster when he mocked her character's West Virginia accent; the distorion of the word "chianti" and the vile slurping sound he makes after he describes eating the "census-taker." Hopkins also notes that Hannibal never blinked his eyes when he spoke.


US$15 million for Hannibal (2001)


Won 1 Oscar, 3 BAFTAs, 2 Emmys

Films in AV Dept

Beowulf [2007]

Hopkins plays King Hrothgar

They say you have a monster here. They say your lands

are cursed. I am Beowulf and I'm here to kill your monster.”
AV 791.43 B481  DVD   In the age of Nordic gods and heroes comes the mightiest warrior of them all, Beowulf. After destroying the overpowering demon Grendel, he incurs the undying wrath of the beast's ruthlessly seductive mother (Angelina Jolie), who will use any means possible to ensure revenge. The ensuing epic battle resonates throughout the ages.
Fracture [2007]

Hopkins plays Ted Crawford

J'ai tué ma femme. Prouvez-le” (I shot my wife, prove it)
AV 791.43 F79  DVD   When Ted Crawford discovers that his beautiful young wife, Jennifer, is having an affair, he spies her at a hotel, then waits for her at home, where he cold-bloodedly shoots her face. Hostage negotiator Detective Rob is the only officer permitted entering the house. He is too stunned to pay close attention when he recognizes Jennifer, his secret-lover, is lying on the floor in a pool of blood. Surprisingly, Ted readily admits to shooting his wife. He is immediately arrested and arraigned after confessing. It seems a slam-dunk case for hotshot assistant district attorney Willy Beachum, who is on his way to a lucrative job in high-stakes corporate law. But nothing is as simple as it seems, including this case. In a tense duel of intellect and strategy, Ted and Willy both learn that a "fracture" can be found in every ostensibly perfect facade. And how is the final judgment of this case?
The world's fastest Indian [2005]

Hopkins plays Burt Munro

Tom: Aren't you scared you'll kill yourself if you crash?

Burt Munro: No... You live more in five minutes on a bike like this going flat out than some people live in a lifetime.

AV 791.43 W927 D  DVD  Based on the life story of Burt Munro, a Kiwi from far south New Zealand has been building and rebuilding his 1920 Indian motorcycle for the last 40 years, dreaming of the day when he and the bike can go to Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats and see what they can really do. When Burt's heart goes bad on him, his dreaming is threatened to come to an end. Luckily, Burt is not ready to stop dreaming. He decides to mortgage his house and bring his dream to life. He and the motorcycle head for America to participate in 'Speed Week'. His journey from Long Beach to Utah brings him through a cross section of American 'characters'. Each recognizes in Burt, that burning desire to achieve a dream and each helps him in the way that they can to make that dream happen. When Burt finally stands on Bonneville Salt Flats, by himself thinking of all the greatness that has transpired here and now he, Burt Munro, can at last test himself on this 'sacred ground'
Proof [2005]

Hopkins plays Robert

The biggest risk in life is not taking one”
Robert: I hope you're not spending your birthday alone.
Catherine: I'm not alone.
Robert: I don't count.
Catherine: Why not?
Robert: I'm your old man. Go out with friends.
Catherine: Yeah, right.
Robert: Aren't your friends taking you out?
Catherine: Nope.
Robert: Why not?
Catherine:For your friends to take you out, you have to have friends. Funny how that works.

AV 791.43 P965  DVD    With the help of one of her father's former students, Catherine, a devoted daughter, must come to terms with the death of her father, a brilliant mathematician whose genius was crippled by mental instability. After his death, a notebook containing a mathematical proof is found and Catherine claims the proof is her own work.

Alexander [2004]

Hopkins plays Old Ptolemy

Fortune favors the bold”
AV 791.43 A37 S  DVD   Alexander (Colin Farrell) is based on the true story of one of history's most luminous and influential leaders - a man who had conquered 90% of the known world by the age of 25. Alexander led his virtually invincible Greek, Macedonian, and later Eastern armies through 22,000 miles of sieges and conquests in just eight years, and by the time of his death at the age of 32, had forged an empire unlike any the world had ever seen.
Hannibal [2001]

Hopkins plays Hannibal Lecter

How long can a man stay silent before he returns to the thing he does best?”

AV 791.43 H245  DVD   After escaping from the asylum in Baltimore, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, moves to Florence, Italy where he has become one of the curators of the Palazzo Vecchio. His cover is broken when a cop, for money, turns Dr. Lecter over to his old patient, Mason Verger. FBI agent Clarice Starling finds out about Mason's evil plot to feed Dr. Lecter to a bunch of man-eating hogs and will do anything to make sure that Mason doesn't succeed.

Hearts in Atlantis [2001]

Hopkins plays Ted Brautigan
Carol: You're a strange person.
Ted: Shh! Tell no one.

AV 791.43 H43 W2  DVD   As a mid-aged man's friend dies, Bobby takes a look back at his childhood memories ... When mysterious out-of-towner, Ted, moves into the boarding house that 11-year-old Bobby shares with his self-involved mother, Bobby jumps at the chance to befriend an adult who talks to him straightforwardly. Ted enlists Bobby to read him the newspaper daily--and to keep an eye out for the "low men" bent on capturing Ted, who possesses a strange mind-reading power.

A Bridge too far [1997]

Hopkins plays Lt. Col. John D. Frost

Out of the sky comes the screen's most incredible spectacle of men and war!”
AV 791.43 B851 A  DVD   A dramatic recreation of an Allied airdrop behind German lines in Holland, and the subsequent disastrous Battle of Arnhem.
Amistad [1997]

Hopkins plays John Quincy Adams

Freedom is not given. It is our right at birth. But there are some moments when it must be taken.”

AV 791.43 A517  DVD      Produced by and directed by Steven Spielberg. Based on a true story, Amistad chronicles the 1839 revolt of on board the slave ship bound for America. Much of the story involves the court-room drama about the slave who led the revolt. The group of enslaved Africans overtakes their captor's ship and attempt to return to their beloved homeland. When the ship, La Amistad, is seized, these captives are brought to the United States where they are charged with murder and await their fate in prison.

Instinct [1999]

Hopkins plays Ethan Powell

One man's mind is another man's mystery”

AV 791.43 I59 T  DVD Nearly two years after having gone amiss in Africa, renowned anthropologist and primatologist, Dr. Ethan Powell is caught attacking a group of gorilla-rangers. He is imprisoned in a Florida mental institution where aspiring psychiatrist, Theo Caulder (Cuba Gooding) takes over his important case. Dr. Powell has been living with animals in Africa and has not been talking since imprisonment. Driven by ambition and a hunger for the truth, Theo risks everything in a harrowing attempt to nail down the bizarre actions behind this "madman".

Titus [1999]

Hopkins plays Titus Andronicus

Rome is filled with tigers.”
AV 791.43 T623  DVD “If you think you know Shakespeare....Think again” Presents the Shakespearean play of a victorious Roman general whose rigid code of honor and duty proves to be his downfall.
The remains of the day [1993]

Hopkins plays James Stevens

Stevens: Do you know what I am doing, Miss Kenton? I am placing my mind elsewhere while you chatter away.
AV 791.43 R384  DVD   The story of blind devotion and repressed love between a fanatically proper butler and a high-spirited, strong-minded young housekeeper employed by a British lord who is unwittingly a Nazi dupe.
Legends of the fall [1994]

Hopkins plays Col. William Ludlow
Colonel Ludlow: Damn you, boy. Don't you blame my son for Samuel's death! Samuel chose to be a soldier and soldiers die. Sent to be slaughtered by the men in the government. Parasites like you! Damn and blast you!

[turns to Susannah]
Colonel Ludlow: Damn you too!

.AV 791.43 L51  DVD   A patriarch and his three sons, in turn of the century Montana, find themselves at odds with each other when each brother falls in love with the fiance of one.
The silence of the lambs [1991]

Hopkins plays Dr. Hannibal Lecter

Hannibal Lecter: A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.

AV 791.43 S582 D M  DVD    When FBI agent Clarice Starling is assigned a case involving a monstrous serial killer, she seeks counsel from an imprisoned cannibalistic psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter, whose fascination with the young woman is as great as his hunger for murder. As their relationship develops, Starling must confront her own demons, and an evil so powerful that she may not have the courage or strength to stop it.
The elephant man [1980]

Hopkins plays Dr. Frederick Treves

“I am not an animal! I am a human being! man!”

Music 791.43 E39 P  DVD   Based on a true story, the film examines the complex emotional experiences faced by John Merrick, the "Elephant Man" when he is discovered by a dedicated surgeon. Rescued from his degrading life as a circus freak, Merrick is given a chance to live his last years with comfort, respect, and dignity.

A Doll's house [1973]

Hopkins plays Torvald Helmer
AV 791.43 D66 M  DVD   Nora is sheltered first by her father and then by her husband. All her life, she has been protected like a fragile possession ... like a doll in a doll's house. After she marries, Nora becomes frustrated, realizes that under the dominance of her husband she will never have an identity of her own, and leaves to find a new life for herself.
Call no. 620.5 B75

Bottom-up nanofabrication / edited by Katsuhiko Ariga, Hari Singh Nalwa.

Stevenson Ranch, Calif. : American Scientific Pub., c2009.

This 6-volume set is the first and only reference work ever published to cover all aspects of the bottom-up nanofabrication. The bottom-up nanofabrication approaches are biology inspired which include building up functional nanostructures starting from basic atoms or molecules.
Call no. 577.03 E563 J89

Encyclopedia of ecology / editor-in-chief Sven Erik Jorgensen, associate editor- in-chief Brian Fath.

Oxford : Elsevier, 2008.

The groundbreaking Encyclopedia of Ecology provides an authoritative and comprehensive coverage of the complete field of ecology, from general to applied. It includes over 500 detailed entries, structured to provide the user with complete coverage of the core knowledge, accessed as intuitively as possible, and heavily cross-referenced.

Call no. AV 621.32 I29 K

Illumination engineering [4-DVD set].

[Tucson, Ariz.] : College of Optical Sciences, The University of Arizona, [2009].

This short course introduces the field of illumination engineering through four separate DVDs. Engineering, scientists, and managers can use this course as an introduction to the field of illumination engineering. Practicing illumination engineers can use it as reference or a source for new material in the field of illumination

Call no. AV 720.483 V56 v.1-10

Vertical City [10-DVD set] / created by Tamar Hacker; presented by Charlie Luxton and Keith Keaveney

An Electric Sky Production for Gallery HD, [2008]

The presenters are taken on a guided tour by the world’s bravest window washers, rediscovering some of the boldest and most ambitious examples of architecture; from the ancient and historic to the recent and risky. In each show the presenter meets someone whose relationship with an incredible example of architecture is a lot more intimate than yours and mine.

The Medical Library participated in the Institute of Medical and Health Sciences Education Annual Conference – Making Doctors Human held in December 2008.

An exhibition booth on medical humanities was set up with posters and books on medical humanities, arousing great interest from the attendants.


The Librarian and Ms Angela Ko, Assistant Fung Ping Shan Librarian, visited Sichuan University Library, Chengdu in Oct 2008 to learn about the difficulties librarians in the earthquake areas were facing and to explore ways of assisting them. Consequently, together with our University Press and Dr Priscilla Roberts of History Department, the Libraries gathered 133 boxes of academic books to be distributed to libraries in that region. Mr. Fung Wai Chee of Acquisitions and Mr. Ng Kwok Yan and Mr. Yuen Kwok Wai of the Yu Chun Keung Medical Library helped box all the materials and prepare them for shipping. The 133 boxes of books were delivered to Sichuan in late February. Sichuan University Libraries will help distributing the books to needy libraries of the earthquake areas.

Book Launch

Eileen Chang’s Autobiographical Novel Little Reunion《小團圓》

Speaker: Dr. Roland Soong 宋以朗博士

Date: 26 February, 2009(Thursday)

Time: 2:30pm

Venue: 1/F, Main Library, HKU

Language: Cantonese
HKU’s Journalism and Media Studies Centre (JMSC), co-hosted a book launch with Crown Press(HK) for a noted contemporary Chinese writer, Eileen Chang’s autobiographical novel Little Reunion《小團圓》 at the Main Library on 26 February 2009.

At the event, Roland Soong, the executor of Eileen Chang’s estate presented and donated to HKU Libraries the copy of the manuscript of Eileen Chang’s “Little Reunion”. Mr Soong also announced the details of his donation of HK$1 million to set up “Eileen Chang Memorial Scholarship” to benefit HKU students.


Meet the Author Night

《憂鬱病,就是這樣》(Reading Depression)

Speaker : Ms Esther Lee (李子玉女士) and Professor Leo Ou-fan Lee (李歐梵教授)

Moderator : Ms Angela Law (羅展鳳女士) 三聯書店資深編輯

Date : 15 January 2009(Thursday)

Time : 7:15 pm - 9:00 pm

Venue : Special Collections, 1/F, Main Library, The University of Hong Kong

Language : Cantonese and Putonghua

Meet the Author Night


Speaker : Ms Audrey Eu (余若薇女士)

Moderator : Mr. T L Tsim (詹德隆先生)

Date : 12 March 2009(Thursday)

Time : 7:15 pm - 9:00 pm

Venue : Special Collections, 1/F, Main Library, The University of Hong Kong

Language : Cantonese



Speaker : Sir T.L. YANG (楊鐵樑爵士), Professor SO Wai Chor (蘇維初教授) and

Mr SHIU Lo-sin (邵盧善先生)

Moderator : Ms Anne Lee 李安女士 (三聯書店副總編輯)

Date : 26 March 2009(Thursday)

Time : 7:15 pm - 9:00 pm

Venue : Special Collections, 1/F, Main Library, The University of Hong Kong

Language : Cantonese 

Light and Shade: Sketches from an Uncommon Life

Speaker : Dr Solomon Bard

Moderator : Dr Joseph S.P. Ting

Date : 2 April 2009(Thursday)

Time : 7:15 pm - 9:00 pm

Venue : Special Collections, 1/F, Main Library, The University of Hong Kong

Language : English

Find out more about our Reading Club and its activities, visit:

Staff Recognition Award
This quarterly award is given periodically to recognise a staff member whose presence

contributes in an extraordinary way to the Libraries. Award winner will receive HK$500 and a book plate to honor his dedication.

Ms. Betty Lam from the Law Library, has been selected as the award recipient of the Staff Recognition Program for the first quarter of 2009.
Past Staff Recognition Award Recipients :

Leong Chau Iu (Access Services Department)

Jimmy Sung (Systems Department)

Lillian Lucke (Medical Library)

Chan Wai Sun (Administrative Services Team)

Chan Min Sze, Ivy (Lui Che Wo Law Library)

Marine Yip (Administrative Services Team)

Mr To Siu King ( E-resources and Serials Cataloguing Department)

Ms Connie Lam (Western and E-Resources Cataloguing Department)

Ms Carol Lam (Acquisitions Department)

Ms Alice Wong (Collection Development Team)

Mr Lai Chun Ying (Bindery Department)

Ms Esther Woo (Administrative Services Team)

Anthony Ferguson

Kam Ming KU

Thomas HUNG

Janny LAI

Carmen TSANG

Julia CHAN


Carmen TSANG


Access Services Department

Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong

Phone: (852) 2859-2203

Fax: (852) 2858-9420



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