Serbian Library Association presents Dr Sam Chu, an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong (HKU), as an invited speaker at the XIX SLA conference, with the topic Networked libraries / librarians in a networked world.
Networked libraries / librarians in a networked world
By: Dr Sam Chu
The concept of the “networked world” has been around for decades. Back in 2001, Harvard Business Review had already published a paper “Where Value Lives in a Networked World” – by Mohanbir Sawhney and Deval Parikh. Surprisingly until now this idea is still highly relevant given we are in the new era of AI and metaverse. For example, Lloyd’s, a sizable insurance marketplace in the world, linked the networked world to the Internet of Things (IoT).
Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook in February 2004 and 3 years later, at the age of 23, he became the world’s youngest self-made billionaire. Elon Musk began his startup in 1995. In less than 30 years, he now becomes the wealthiest person in the world. Bill Gates founded Microsoft in 1975. From 1995 to 2017, he held the Forbes title of the richest person in the world every year except from 2010 to 2013. All these miracles would not happen before the era of the networked world.
Let’s start with a few questions to ponder. What exactly is the networked world? How is it relevant to “networked libraries” and “networked librarians”? Why do librarians need to care about this? How can libraries and library staff capitalize on this?
Dr Chu, having worked as a library staff (as a library support staff, a technician and a professional librarian) for around 15 years in Canada and Hong Kong, and then as a professorial staff for around 17 years, will share with you how he worked as a “networked librarian” and network with people inside and outside the networked library to achieve admirable attainments. In just 4 years’ time, the instruction program at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Library has grown exponentially from 98 classes for 1,812 attendees in 1995/96 to 236 classes and orientations for 6,442 people in 1998/99. Dr Chu credited his success partly to his networking abilities. In the mid 1990s, as soon as he got the title “Liaison Person for Engineering Faculty”, he networked with various faculty members in the Engineering Faculty regarding offering tailor-made classes for their students. He has met them for lunch or coffee to explore possibilities. Through these initiatives, many final year project classes were held for final year students in various departments under Engineering Faculty.
Dr Chu will also share how, as a professorial staff, he has been networking with librarians in schools, universities and public libraries for around 17 years. He credited his academic success (being ranked among the top 0.49% of scholars in Information & Library Sciences – ranked 60 out of 12,251 scientists in the field worldwide) partly due to his networking abilities again. Before he invented “Reading Battle” (a gamified e-quiz platform), he held a meeting with all the Committee members of the Hong Kong Teacher-Librarians’ Association and sought their comments. With their agreement and blessings, he started this project and the platform was released in February 2014. It is still popular amongst students till these days. Until now, around 20% of all primary schools in Hong Kong use the award-winning platform Reading Battle, which has proven to be effective in helping students develop reading interests, habits and abilities.
In this talk, Dr Chu will first share his “secret of success” in working as a “networked librarian”, then as a “networked professor”. He will end his talk by sharing his thoughts on how “networked librarians” can thrive in this ever-increasing “networked world”.
Sam Chu’s short bio
Dr. Chu is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong (HKU). He has obtained 2 PhDs in Education – one focusing on e-Learning from University College London, Institute of Education (2017) and another one focusing on Information and Library Science from HKU (2005). His areas of expertise include digital literacy, gamified learning, and 21st Century Skills. He has been involved in over 70 research projects (Funding: US $10,214,144).
Dr. Chu has published more than 480 articles/books. He is the Co-Editor for the journal Information and Learning Sciences. He has published articles in JASIST, LISR, The Journal of Academic Librarianship, School Library Research, School Library Media Research, Journal of Librarianship & Information Science and OIR. He has received many awards including Faculty Outstanding Researcher Award (2013), Faculty’s Knowledge Exchange Award (2016) and Excellent Health Promotion Project Award from Food and Health Bureau (2017). He has ranked among the top 1% of scholars in two research areas: Information & Library Sciences and Education.
Sam was the Chair of Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) AP Chapter (2017-2019). He won 2 awards: Chapter Member of the Year 2019 and Chapter Event of the Year 2019 and became the Director of Chapter Assembly (2020-2021) and became a Distinguished Member for ASIS&T (2022). He has been a Consultant for UNESCO Bangkok and Education Bureau (HK). Dr Chu has served as an Advisor for EdTech startups at HK Science and Technology Parks. He is also the Founding Chairman of Academy 22 Education for All Foundation.