Meeting the ASIS&T President at Nankai University

by Yuelin Li

In support of the Nankai University Business School’s efforts to promote its influence in the Asia Pacific area, ASIS&T president Lynn Silipigni Connaway visited the school’s department of information resources management on November 29, 2016 and met there with faculty members and students.

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This one-day event involved four sessions: Lynn’s research talk, the Young Scholar Forum, an introduction to ASIS&T and the Asia Pacific (AP) Chapter, and a doctoral student forum. The participants of the event included faculty members, students, librarians and journal editors. In addition to the participants from Nankai University, other universities represented included Peking University, Peking Normal University, Sun Yet-sen University, Tianjin University, Hebei University, Tianjin Normal University, Tianjin University of Finance and Economics and Tianjin University of Science and Technology. Lin Peng, editor of the Journal of Data and Information Science, also attended. In total, more than 100 people joined the event.

At the first morning session, Lynn spoke on the OCLC study “Visitors and Residents: The Hows and Whys of Engagement with Technology.” She presented the research and the process used to collect data from different countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and Hong Kong. She talked about the process used to analyze the data in detail and shared interesting results on the behavioral characteristics of the two types of users (hows and whys). After her report, during the Q&A, the participants asked questions and she gave further elaboration about the study. The discussion was active and thoughtful.

In the second session, several young faculty members from Nankai University, Peking University and Hebei University presented their research on different topics, such as “Stay or Move: Double Backup System Dilemma in China” by Wenlin Bai, “ICT as Empowerment for Rural Entrepreneurs in China: A Capability Approach” by Zhenjia Fan, “Time as a Context of Information Search Behaviors” by Chang Liu, “Development and Practice of Monograph Open Access” by Rui Wei and “Data Driven Health Care Decision Making” by Man Xu and her students. Lynn Connaway commented on each study during this session.

In the afternoon, Lynn Connaway and Yuelin Li introduced ASIS&T and AP Chapter, respectively. The presentation introduced ASIS&T and the AP Chapter’s history, missions and visions, and events and activities as well as the benefits of participating in ASIS&T and the AP Chapter. After the presentations, AP chair-elect Miguel Nunes, dean of the school of information management at Sun Yet-sen University, gave a short talk and encouraged the faculty members and students to join ASIS&T and the AP Chapter. He emphasized that the LIS community in China is one of the biggest research groups in the world and is very active. He said that the world needs to hear the voice from this community and that undoubtedly ASIS&T and its AP Chapter provide a wonderful platform.

The last session was a doctoral forum. Six doctoral students from Nankai University presented their research, such as “Interactive Information Behavior in IR System with Gamification” by Pengfei He, “Interactive Design and Knowledge Acquirement in Mobile Learning Environment” by Hongliang Han, “A Research Proposal on Library Evaluation with Children” by Pianran Wang, “Source and Use of Theories in Chinese Information Science Research” by Jing Yang, “Research on User’s Participation in Online Health Communities” by Xin Zhang and “Dynamics for Development of China’s Village Library Project: A Study Based on Activity Theory” by Wenbo Zhou. After each presentation, Lynn and the faculty members in the meeting commented on the research and gave insightful suggestions.

After the session, the participants were invited to write down their comments on this event. In general, it was favorably reviewed by the participants. The students said they learned a lot from the event, which helped them learn more about research, the LIS community and ASIS&T and the AP Chapter. Professor Pengyi Zhang commented, “Meeting with ASIS&T President at Nankai University event was very well organized. Connaway’s presentation on digital residents and visitors brought an insightful perspective in examining the relationship between technology and users. I was intrigued by the four-year multi-country study and I hope to see more results later. The faculty presentations covered a broad range of topics and were very stimulating intellectually. I hope there will be more events like this in Asia Pacific Chapter and ASIS&T will provide more support to this area.”

In sum, this was a very successful event and a very good effort. We expect that more events like it will be held in the Asia Pacific area, and it is hopeful to see the increasing influence of ASIS&T in Asia Pacific area, especially in Mainland China.

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Yuelin Li is professor, associate dean and chair of the department of information resources management in the business school at Nankai University. She can be reached at yuelinli<at>