Cornell, Tsinghua libraries extend partnership

Melanie Lefkowitz

University Librarian Anne R. Kenney and Professor Deng Jingkang, director of Tsinghua University Library, formally renewed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the two libraries Oct. 11, extending their sister-library collaboration for another three years.

“We are very pleased that our friendship and collaboration can continue,” Deng said. “These experiences have opened up our horizons and we have learned a tremendous deal.”

The two libraries have been working together for more than 17 years and signed their first MOA in 2009. They partner in supporting students in the Cornell-Tsinghua FMBA/MBA dual degree program, have a staff exchange program and share scholarly resources, professional networks and support for collection building.

Among the libraries’ shared projects is an online portal allowing users from both institutions to access digital collections, which has inspired other Chinese university libraries to share materials with Cornell, Kenney said.

Staff from Tsinghua also have been trained at Cornell in caring for books bound in the Western style, and in 2009, Cornell University Library sold to the Tsinghua library 89,000 books (of which Cornell had multiple copies) to establish the core of Tsinghua’s new humanities and social science library.

“The partnership has expanded access to collections, but most importantly, it has expanded access to expertise,” Kenney said. “It’s a remarkable example of reciprocity, respect and collaborative gain.”

Laura Spitz, vice provost for international affairs, who attended the signing, said, “Our work has been deeply enriched by our cooperation.”

Melanie Lefkowitz