Newsletter No. 61 (January 2013)

Report on Korean Workshops: "2012 Overseas Koreanology Librarian Workshop" and other Korean Studies meetings

Jung-Sim Kim

Korean Studies Librarian
Monash University Library

2012 Overseas Koreanology Librarian Workshop


The National Library of Korea organised and held this international workshop during 8-16 October 2012 in Seoul. Seventeen participants attended from nine countries: Australia, Canada, China, France, Guatemala, Japan, Philippines, Russia, and the U.S.A. The Workshop delivered several training sessions as well as guided tours to participants. In addition, each participant presented a paper during the workshop.

Lecture sessions

  • Understanding Korean History, Society and Culture
  • Using basic reference sources
  • Reference sources in Korean studies
  • Understanding Korean libraries
  • Cataloguing Korean materials
  • The relationship between Korean copyrights and libraries
  • Understanding and cataloguing Korean rare books

An expert delivered each lecture and gave up-to-date library-related information.

During most lunches and dinners, librarians from the National Library of Korea joined workshop participants, informing us about recent trends in Korean library world. We then exchanged ideas as well as had Q&A sessions.

Guided tours and field trips

The National Digital Library and Yonsei University Library provide high-tech facilities and spaces for their users. They have studios equipped with cameras and editing facilities, allowing users to produce, edit and record their own media work.


During tour and discussions at the Yonsei University Library, we obtained information on clubs in the Library such as 책갈피 (Yonsei Bookmark Club for students volunteer to the Library), 연시 (Yonsei University Library's movie club, which selects a movie for screening every Tuesday and Wednesday at 6:10pm), 립스 (LIBS = Library Shot video production club) which has student activities at the library. These library clubs connect users and library, though unlike here in Australia where anyone can access university libraries, Korean university libraries allow to access libraries by its ID card holders. So users are not includes public.


Fortunately the workshop provided tours and field trips where I intended to visit. When I got an invitation to the workshop, I discussed with Prof. Guo, the University of Melbourne, to collect information on Korean architecture during I stay in Korea. Korean palaces were in the list of my visits. The schedule of the National Library of Korea's workshop saved lots of my travelling time within Korea. Also all tours and trips were very informative.





Presentation by the Participants

The workshop's requirement was that participant has to present a paper with own topic at the workshop. I chose and delivered presentation on "Monash University Library: the case of Korean Studies". I mentioned my role as Korean Studies Librarian under the Library's Arts team member, and also mentioned brief information on Research Skill Development (RSD), the ASRC and Asian Libraries in Melbourne (ALIM).
The Korean Studies Librarian at the University of Chicago presented about Mansueto Library at the University of Chicago which opened to public October 2011. The library uses the Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS), and shelves materials underground by size. From user request to the circulation desk, when scan book then automatically email send to user, it takes less than 5 minutes. It gave ideas to solve library space problem on site, although it needed lots of money and time to plan and construct. Others presentations were various topics on their libraries or works related Korean studies. These presentations were very interesting for me to understand more on their libraries' collections and activities.
Detailed information can be found from the International Networks for Korean Studies Librarians (INKSLIB) site.

The Third Workshop for Overseas Korean Studies Librarians

I was also attended the Third Workshop for Overseas Korean Studies Librarians organised by the Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies at Seoul National University with the Korea Foundation. The workshop included Korean eBook and databases sessions (Introduction of Book vendors, eBook sessions, user education sessions of Korean databases) as well as lectures on Korean subjects (Korean architecture, art, Buddhism, folktale, international relations and politics). Lectures were mostly given by Seoul National University professors. Detailed information is in this issue of East Asian Library Resources Group of Australia (EALRGA) newsletter, written by Kyu-won (Luke) Hwang.

Symposium organized by the Korea Foundation

The Symposium "Celebration of the 100th Edition of Koreana" was held at the gallery of the Korea Foundation's Culture Center. The Symposium was on globalization of the Korean publishing industry and its content, and was followed by a reception. Celebratory performance was played with Saenghwang (Korean bamboo pipes, wind instrument) and Kayagum (Korean zither-like string instrument) by the Sookmyung Gayageum Orchestra.

Activities for gathering information on Korean Architecture

  • Chonju/Jeonju Hanok (Korean traditional house) Village
    • Kyonggijon: Chongjon, Annex of Kyonggijon, Chonju Sago and Ojin Pangmulgwan
    • Chonju Hyanggyo
    • Pungnammun
  • Toksug Palace
  • Kyobo bookstore

Chonju Hanok Village has about 700 traditional Korean houses that are still home to residents.


Kyonggijon is a shrine and was originally built in 1410 and rebuilt in 1614. Its Chongjon has the portrait of King Taejo, the founder of Choson Dynasty, and Ojin Pangmulgwan (Royal Portrait Museum) has portraits of other successive Kings. Chonju Sago (Choson Historical Archives) was constructed to the right side of Kyonggijon to store the Annals of Choson Dynasty, listed in the UNESCO's Memory of the World Registered Heritage.


Chonju Hyanggyo consists of the Taesongjon (Confucian shrine hall), Myongnyundang (Lecture hall), Changpangak (Building where wooden engraved block are stored), Manhwaru Pavilion, Tongjae and Sojae (residence halls). Chonju/Jeonju Hanok Village provides me photo shots of various types of Korean traditional buildings as well as experiences of Hanji (Korean paper) making and Mokpan inswae (Woodblock printing).




Visiting Library: Sookmyung Women's University Library


When I visited the Sookmyong Women's University Library, Professor Yunkeum Chang gave me a tour of the Library and Museum. The Library has the World Women's Literature Center which is equipped with virtual materials, including 40,000 books (writings and research papers), journals on women's literature, a database of the information on women writers, multimedia data, autographs of writers, favourite items of writers, and exhibition materials.


I was interested in the library theatre which uses its collection for film screening weekly at the Eun-won Hong Film Archives. The Film Archives name came from Eun-won Hong who was a scripter and second female director in Korea. The library activities can facilitate good relationship between users and library.




The workshop gave me valuable, up-to-date information on Korean subject and library information areas. I am appreciating the Monash University Library for giving me a chance to attend the workshops. I am deeply appreciated workshops organizers, professors, staff members, presenters and other workshops' participants for giving me very beneficial and useful sessions.



Page last updated: February 2013
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