The 3rd Workshop for Overseas Korean Studies Librarians was held in Korea by the Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies (KIKS) in collaboration with the Korea Foundation (KF). The Kyujanggak Institute is a research centre specialized in Korean Studies which operates under the umbrella of Seoul National University (SNU) in South Korea. More information on the Kyujanggak is available at http://kyujanggak.snu.ac.kr/kiks/index.do.
The details of the Workshop are:
- Date: 16 - 19 October 2012
- Venue: Kyujanggak Institute of Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
- Participants : 22 librarians (from Canada, Australia, New Zealand & the USA)
The Workshop consisted of lectures on the various aspects of Korea given by the professors of SNU, presentations by Korean vendors, discussion sessions among the Korean librarians, and participation on an international symposium. All the components were very informative and provided the Korean librarians with a memorable educational experience.
Information on Korean Resources
The first day of the Workshop started with the presentations by Korean vendors. It was a very informative full- day session where all the major vendors in Korea got together and showcased their new products and resources. Apparently it was the first time ever that such an event had happened. I personally found this session to an extremely useful opportunity to learn about all the latest resources on Korean Studies. The Kyujanggak's initiative to bring all the vendors together in one place was a really excellent idea. Just brief points about all the resources I was shown are mentioned in the following.
Korean vendors have been rapidly developing more and more scholarly databases with a huge variety of contents. The introduced databases were;
- RISS International by KERIS (Korea Education & Research Information Service)
- KISS (Korean studies Information Service System) by KSI, Ltd.
- DBpia 6.0 by Nuri Media
- LawnB Legal Database by LawnB, Inc.
- Korean Literature Collection Database by Media Korean Study, Inc.
- Kyobo Scholar by Kyobo Books, Inc.
- CNC Scholarly Information Database by Creative Network Contents, Inc.
Really impressive were the fast developments of electronic books in Korea. Although they still seem to be at a developmental stage, there are newly emerging e-book products such as;
- KSI e-books
- KRpia & BookRail
- Kyobo E-books Library
The contents of the lectures were designed to help Korean Studies librarians to broaden their knowledge on the various aspects of Korea such as history, literature, politics, religion and so forth. The titles of the lecturers given were as follows (as in the presented order);
- Directions of the Kyujanggak Restoration Project
- A New Wave – Korean Politics and SNS
- History of Korean Buddhism within East Asia
- History of Korean Art
- History of Korean architecture and its challenges
- A Korean folktale: Samseung grandmother vs. Jeoseung grandmother
- The rise of China in the 21st century and changes in the East Asia order
All the lecturers were rich with intellectually stimulating contents delivered by top professors in Korea. They certainly helped me to deepen my knowledge of the Korean culture.
Kyujanggak International Symposium
The Workshop also provided an opportunity for the librarians to attend the Fifth Kyunggak International Symposium on Korean Studies. This year of 2012 happened to be a 20-year anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relationships between South Korea and China. Accordingly, the Symposium panelled with scholars from Korea, China and even Japan dealt with the relationships and cultural exchanges between Korea and China throughout East Asian history, and was appropriately labelled as “China as seen by Korea, Korea as seen by China”.
It was my first opportunity to personally witness such a symposium shared by scholars from C-J-K countries and allowed me to experience the richness of academic exchanges between the East Asian nations. The picture on the right shows the opening speech at the Symposium.
The Kyujanggak Workshop was a superb opportunity that allowed me to obtain extensive information on a wide range of Korean resources and to gain more knowledge on various aspects of the Korean culture. Furthermore, it helped me to expand my networks with Korean librarians from other parts of the world. I will wait with eager for the next opportunity to attend this workshop.