By KONG FUNG-FAN
CERTAIN facilities of Baptist College libraries are seldom utilised by the students even though they have been there for years.
Prominent examples are record players and microfilm or microfiche readers.
At present, the reference library is equipped with two microfiche readers, two record players, and one microfilm or microfiche reader.
Affiliated accessories include six earphones, over 700 music records, four rolls of microfilm, and 839 sheets of microfiche.
Only one lecturer and one student made use of the microfilm or microfiche information storage, and 11 records had been borrowed in the first two months of the first semester.
According to Mrs Kitty Tse, the head librarian, there are several reasons for low utilisation rate of these facilities.
“In the first place, the students are unfamiliar with the facilities. And they are not curious enough to even try to use these machines. To these students, the library is a place of study rather than a centre for collecting information,” she said.
“Furthermore, our library budget is limited. We just can't afford to buy as many microfilm or microfiche sheets as we would like to.”
The annual budget for Baptist College libraries is about $200,000, which has remained the same for the last four years.
Heads of students bodies admitted that most students don’t know how the information storage machines work.
The President of Baptist College Student Union, Miss Stella Yeung said, “I think the microfilm and microfiche are still new to us, and we are too busy to sit down and learn how to use them.” Students turn to magazine, journals, and periodicals for information.
Evans Chan, the chairman of the Communication Society said all means of teaching students to use the information machines should be tried.
“There are weekly assembly sessions, and there are notice boards around the campus. These can be channels to familiarise students with the facilities.”
Head Librarian, Mrs Tse said, “We have in fact taken the initiative to help students use library facilities. We make announcements and offer orientation sessions to all students and lecturers every year.
“As we provide pamphlets on library facilities, there is no need to talk about library facilities during student assemblies.
To the dismay of the College authorities, students are not interested in the promotional effort. Three times a week, there are guided tours to the two libraries. However, only 40 students have joined since the tours began in September.