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2015.04.13
Inside the Secret Garden of Books

Outside of classrooms, the library is the most commonly visited area. Like a secret garden of books, the library is where students cultivate their own growing tree of discovery. Mr Dick Lau and Ms Rowena Chick shared their stories within the maze-like storage area stacked with journals and books. 

Do you know that HKUST library has more than 800,000 books, journals and collections? How can the library staff manage so much? Mr Dick Lau has been working in UST library for 22 years as a Library Assistant. He works with the reserve team supporting faculty teaching and course reserve materials, as well as the stack maintenance team making sure that books are returned to the shelves properly. For Mr Lau, the library feels like a display of different paintings during each of the four seasons. Why? He sees the glass walls as "live” pictures of magnificent scenery, especially the big glass wall from ground floor all the way down to LG4. In his spare time, he visits the atrium “mushroom” to enjoy the great panoramic campus view. He also enjoys working with other colleagues and so many new friends he meets through the staff workshops and activities organized by the university. Mr Lau believes that giving students a smile and welcoming them will brighten up their days. He told us that one of the graduates, who has now become a teacher (and a mom) even came back to visit him in the UST library with a group of form five students. Perhaps these students will be part of HKUST family in the future?

Ms Rowena Chick joined HKUST 20 years ago as a Library Assistant. She works in the book circulation team taking care of library cards and the book return section. She feels that the big open spaces of the campus lead to a relaxing environment that helps her get closer to the students and student helpers. Over the years she has seen many things change. Books now appear in different formats including the more popular e-books, which means she is constantly updating her own knowledge to stay helpful. Ms Chick notes that even though the library is a great place for studying, some students get a little too comfortable. In fact, once she recalled that some years ago a student was found peeling off carrots in the washroom because she really wanted to taste the carrots inside the “no-food zone.” Mr Lau added that the library is so comfortable that it is tempting to treat it like a picnic area (but please don’t!) 

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Like a secret garden of books, the library is where students cultivate their own growing tree of discovery. Mr Dick Lau and Ms Rowena Chick shared their stories in UST for the past 20 years with us.
Ms Rowena Chick feels that the big open spaces of the campus lead to a relaxing environment that helps her get closer to the students and student helpers.
Mr Dick Lau, the library assistant, finds the library feels like a display of different paintings during each of the four seasons. as he sees the glass walls as “live” pictures of magnificent scenery.

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