Leadership Institute

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Leadership Institute

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19th Library Leadership Institute

Riding on the Waves of Technological Revolution and Cultural Convergence

Hong Kong, 15 - 18 July 2024

(Suggested arrival date for non-local participants: 14 July 2024)

Organized by The University of Hong Kong Libraries


Our institute targets on librarians in the Asia Pacific region who aspire to develop their critical thinking and leadership capabilities. The participants will participate in interactive sessions with peers and experts to explore the key roles of librarians for today and the future. They will also take lead in determining the skills, knowledge and ability to perform these key roles. The program will provide a unique and cost-effective opportunity of understanding the trends and accessing the experts in different areas.

The primary objectives of the Institute are:

  1. To develop and enhance management and leadership qualities in academic and research librarians in the Asia Pacific region, and;
  2. To enhance collaboration and foster relations among academic and research libraries in the region.

The Institute will be conducted over 4 days. Attendance at the Institute requires all attendees to be fully participative, enabling them to explore their own leadership and management styles as well as learning new techniques from facilitators and from other attendees. The Institute will focus on the individual manager's role in providing leadership within a complex and changing library environment.

How will the 2024 Institute be different?

Unlike the 2022 institute, the residential component and face-to-face sessions will be back. Participants are highly encouraged to interact with and learn from experts who will share their thoughts on latest technology and disruptive changes in our environment and profession. An innovative approach will also be adopted in the 2024 Institute. In addition to talks and discussions, participants will have the opportunity to engage in an active exercise aimed at defining the key roles and responsibilities of an academic librarian now and, more importantly, in the future. These interactive sessions will also focus on identifying the tools, knowledge, and skills academic librarians will need to perform their key roles and tasks.

Participants can also join us to celebrate the University of Hong Kong Libraries’ 111th anniversary. Book lovers may consider staying behind to immerse themselves in the annual Hong Kong Book Fair to be held between 17 and 23 July as well as other cultural visits at the end of the Institute.

Institute Content

As in previous years, participants will engage in learner-driven activities designed to build skills and awareness required of library leaders in a rapidly changing and disruptive library environment. These sessions will be a mix of presentations, small group discussions and interactive activities on the following topics:

  • Leadership development in different cultures
  • Digital transformation and data-driven leadership in libraries
  • Strategies and skillsets to survive and thrive in the changing academic landscape
  • Scholarly communication trends and its impact on librarianship
  • Partnering with academics and students in teaching, learning and research
  • Innovation of library services and learning spaces to enhance user experience and learning outcome

Details and Registration

Institute Date 15 -18 July 2024
Institute Venue Ingenium, 2nd Floor, Main Library,
The University of Hong Kong (Map)
Targeted Participants Academic and Research Librarians
Costs HKD2,300 per person, cover:
  • Welcome dinner
  • 4 lunches
  • Morning and afternoon teas
  • Service charges, administrative fees and taxes
  • Transportation for cultural visits

  Day 1 (15 July 2024) Day 2 (16 July 2024) Day 3 (17 July 2024) Day 4 (18 July 2024)

Welcome and Introduction

Opening Remarks

Strategic Thinking vs Strategic Planning: Setting Priorities
(Paul Gandel)
Future Strategies: Skills and Knowledge of the Next Generation of Library Leaders
(Paul Gandel)
Travel to Polytechnic University Library
9:30 Library Transformation Driven by Visionary Leadership
(Foster Zhang)
Value of Library Space
(Shirley Wong)
10:30 Tea Break
11:00 What Kind of Leader are You?
(Paul Gandel)
Scholarly Communication Trends and Open Science
(Benjamin Meunier)
Library Case Study Exercise - Preparation Visit to Polytechnic University Library
12:00 Lunch
13:30 Tour of HKU Main Library

Partnership in Teaching, Learning and Research
(Tina Yang)

Application of Analytics and AI in Libraries
(K M Ku)

Library Case Study – Final Presentation

Visit to Palace Museum and M+ Museum

End of Institute

14:00 The Concepts and Models of Building a Smart Campus
(Xichen Zhao)
15:00 Group Discussion about the Key Roles and Responsibilities of an Academic Librarian
(Paul Gandel and Esther Woo)
15:30 Tea Break
16:00 Library Planning Group Exercise – Strategic Goals/Decision Making for the Future: Introducing Case Study Library Planning Group Exercise – Case Study Work Conclusions and
Wrap Up

*The schedule is subject to change without prior notice.

Professor Paul Gandel
School of Information Studies, Syracuse University, United States

Professor Paul Gandel's photo

Paul Gandel (https://ischool.syr.edu/paul-brian-gandel/#Biography) is a professor in the School of Information Studies. Previously he served as the Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Syracuse University. As Chief Information Officer he was responsible for all aspects for information technology and information service--computer services, voice and data networking, instructional services, business process improvement, and distance learning. During his tenure as CIO he was instrumental in modernizing the University's technology infrastructure and IT support services to ensure that SU remain competitive with the growing demands of providing high-quality information resources for research, teaching, and student learning environments. He was also responsible for initiating and developing the Green Data Center at Syracuse, one of the "greenest" data centers in the world.

Before coming to Syracuse University, Gandel was Vice Provost and Dean of Libraries at University of Rhode Island. Before Rhode Island, Gandel was Associate Provost and Chief Information Officer at the Ohio University, Senior Director of Academic Computing and Associate Professor of Library Science at the University of North Texas, Supervisor of the Computing Technology Group at Bell Laboratories, Head of Media Services at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, and Director of the Research Library at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York. He has also done work internationally as a Senior Consultant and Interim CIO for Singapore Management University.

Gandel has made presentations and published on topics related to the management of information systems, library administration and services, software engineering, and visualization of information.

Dr Gandel has a Ph.D. in Information Studies from Syracuse University, an M.A. in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin, and an M.F.A. in Photography and B.A. in History from the State University of New York at Buffalo.


Dr Esther Woo
Director of Library Services & Fung Ping Shan Librarian
The University of Hong Kong

Dr Esther Woo's photo

Esther Woo (http://hub.hku.hk/cris/rp/rp01436) is Director of Library Services and Fung Ping Shan Librarian at The University of Hong Kong overseeing the Libraries’ internal operations and Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (CJK) collections. She is now serving on the board of directors of the Society for Chinese Studies Librarians.

During her over twenty years of service in the Libraries, Esther participated in many library projects ranging from building renovations, staff development to implementation of new library systems. She was also a member of the management team to plan and implement library-wide preparedness plans for Y2K, SARS, and COVID-19 as well as many system migration plans like RFID, integrated library system as the head of library administration and later the head of access services.

Esther's research interests include strategic planning, learning spaces, user engagement and staff development. In recent years, she also explores the role of the libraries in community building and preservation of cultural legacy through organizing events and nurturing partnership with academic units. Her latest endeavour is to synergize collaboration between teams specialized in technical and technological functions to transform research services to the University community.


Mr Benjamin Meunier
University Librarian
The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Mr Benjamin Meunier's photo

Benjamin Meunier is the University Librarian at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) since April 2023. He has a background in library operations and strategic planning. At CUHK, he is responsible for overseeing the library’s operations, enhancing student learning experiences, and strengthening the library’s collections for key research areas. He also serves as the Vice-Chair of the Research Data Management Committee at CUHK.

Before joining CUHK, Ben was the Director of Operations at University College London (UCL) Library, Culture, Collections, and Open Science, where he led sustainable estate developments across 16 sites and contributed to the strategic development of libraries, museums, and the university theatre. He also played a key role in developing library services in the new campus UCL East.

Ben has a wide range of interests in the digital and physical development of libraries. He chairs the JULAC Digital Initiatives Committee and serves as the Vice Chair of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau University Libraries Alliance. He is also a member of the Pacific Rim Research Libraries Alliance Steering Committee and the IFLA Library Buildings & Equipment Section.

Ben holds an MBA in Higher Education Management from UCL and a BA from the University of Warwick.


Dr Shirley Chiu-wing Wong
University Librarian
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Dr Shirley Chiu-wing Wong's photo

Dr Shirley Chiu-wing Wong obtained her Bachelor of Science, Postgraduate Certificate in Education (with Distinction) and Advanced Diploma in Education (Psychology of Student Learning) from The University of Hong Kong. She was awarded the Li Po Chun Charitable Trust Fund Overseas Postgraduate Scholarship for pursuing a Master of Arts in Library and Information Studies at University College London, and she received her doctoral degree in education from The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Dr Wong has been the University Librarian of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) since July 2012. She leads a team of innovative and dedicated Library staff to connect the PolyU community to a broad array of quality information resources and research services. In response to the paradigm shift in teaching and learning, the team provides services and facilities conducive to active learning and academic exchange. The PolyU Library, with its e-preferred acquisition policy (99.8% of journals and 87% of books are online), is becoming less as a space filled with book stacks, but more as an inspiring learning place where users actively construct their own knowledge, individually or in a group. In 2022/23, there were 2.2M entrance counts, the highest among all academic libraries in Hong Kong. In 2022 and 2023, the newly added top floor won two architectural awards of design. Its digital makerspace, the i-Space, launched in 2017, aims to provide a low barrier of entry for students of all disciplines and diverse background to try out entry-level digital equipment to explore new forms of digital information, such as Virtual Reality (VR), 3D objects with scanning & printing, laser cutting, vinyl cutting, Internet of Things (IoT) and poster printing. With a view to cultivating curiosity and can-do mindset, its MakerMindset@i-Space Programme was launched in 2018. The Programme won the Regional Silver Award in Asia-Pacific and Cultivating Curiosity Bronze Award of the QS Reimagine Education Awards 2020. The PolyU Library’s Digital Scholarship Services, introduced in 2024, aim to engage students in innovative digital projects and embrace digital transformation in learning and research. The services encompass digital humanities support and a wide range of digital tools and equipment, as well as specialised software including Python, data analytics, GIS and multimedia production. Its five self-service studios would help students develop their academic presentation skills and enable them to create video, sound and multimedia content for projects.

In Hong Kong, Dr Wong serves as a member of the Hong Kong Public Libraries Advisory Committee. She was the Secretary to and member of the then Heads of Universities Committee (HUCOM) Task Force on Copyright in Education from 2005 to 2012. She was the Chair of the Hong Kong Joint University Librarians Advisory Committee (JULAC) in 2016/17, the Chair of the JULAC Learning Strategies Committee from 2012 to 2020, the Chair of the JULAC Copyright Committee from 2008 to 2012 and the Chair of the JULAC Committee on Reference Services from 2005 to 2007.

Dr Wong was the principal investigator of the three-year project funded by the Hong Kong University Grants Committee (UGC) and participated by all eight UGC-funded universities. The project aimed to enhance information literacy (IL) among university students by developing and implementing the InfoLit for U MOOC launched in 2018. The project was shortlisted for Hybrid Learning Awards by the Steering Committee of the QS Reimagine Education Awards 2018.

Internationally, Dr Wong was elected to be a member of the Board of Trustees of OCLC for four years starting November 2020. She was the Chair of the Asia Pacific Executive Committee of OCLC in 2018/19, a member of the Broad of Directors of the International Association of University Libraries (IATUL) from 2014 to 2017, and a member of the Copyright and Other Legal Matters Committee of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) from 2009 to 2017.


Ms Xichen Zhao
University Librarian & Director of Information Technology Development Office
Macau University of Science and Technology

Ms Xichen Zhao's photo

Ms Xichen Zhao is a professor-level senior librarian with a Master's degree in Information Management from the Department of Library Science at Peking University. With over 30 years of experience in library and information system management, she currently serves as the Librarian at the Macau University of Science and Technology (M.U.S.T.) Library and as the Director of the University's Information Technology Development Office.

Before joining M.U.S.T., Xichen taught at the Library and Information School of Heilongjiang University, and later worked at the Shenzhen Library and the University Town Library of Shenzhen. In Shenzhen, she was instrumental in developing the University Town Library from its inception into a significant academic library and played a key role in establishing the Shenzhen Document Network in collaboration with several libraries across the city.

Upon her arrival at M.U.S.T. in 2017, Xichen envisioned the creation of a Smart Campus for the university. Leading her team, she spearheaded the development of the M.U.S.T. smart campus platform—WeMust, which is often referred to as the work engine of M.U.S.T. WeMust operates on a mobile network infrastructure and features over 100 applications that cater to student campus life services, educational administration, and teaching support services.

Xichen’s long-term engagement in library automation, digital library, and smart library construction has endowed her with an abundance of management experience and practical knowledge in the field.


Mr Foster Zhang
University Librarian
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou)

Mr Foster Zhang's photo

Mr Foster Zhang is a highly accomplished library professional with a wealth of experience in managing academic libraries across the globe. He is currently the University Librarian at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou). Before joining HKUST(GZ), Mr Zhang successfully managed the library of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen (2015-2020) and served as the Director of Information Technology and Library Services at ShanghaiTech University (2013-15).

With over 30 years of experience in the United States, Mr Zhang has held various positions in prestigious institutions, including Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University, Dialog, Research Libraries Group, and others. He returned to China to continue his passion for shaping the future of library services.

Mr Zhang is an active member of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), serving on the standing committee of IFLA Library Buildings and Equipment (LBE). He is also a member of the LBE committee of the China Library Society.

Holding a Bachelor's Degree in Library Science from Peking University and a Master's Degree in Library and Information Sciences from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Mr Zhang has also completed post-master and doctoral coursework in Information Management at the University of California, Berkeley.

Throughout his career, Mr Zhang has shared his knowledge and expertise through numerous presentations and published papers, covering topics such as "Googlization and the Future of Libraries", "The Impact of Digital Library Technology on Library Services", "The Change of Space Utilization of Research Library in Digital Time", and "From Learning Commons to Community Hub – Library Evolution Continues".

As a visionary leader and expert in library and information management, Mr Foster Zhang continues to drive innovation, collaboration, and excellence at HKUST(GZ) and beyond, making a lasting impact on the field of library science.


Ms Tina Yang
Associate Librarian, Learning and Research Services
The University of Hong Kong

Ms Tina Yang's photo

Ms Tina Yang, in her current role as the Associate Librarian at the University of Hong Kong Libraries, provides strategic leadership in planning, promoting and delivering a wide range of learning and research services across the HKU Libraries network of seven libraries. During the recent years, she’s been working closely with other campus stakeholders in developing various learning and research initiatives including e-learning projects, research output management, bibliometric and research impact services, open access publishing, research data services, and services for students with special needs, etc. Prior to HKU, she worked in library and information industry in China, Australia and Hong Kong.

Tina shares IFLA’s vision of a strong, unified global library field. She has been an advocate for IFLA. She herself was engaged in IFLA Regional Standing Committee of Asia and Oceania as a member (2011-2015), Secretary (2017-2019) and Chair (2019-2021), and a member of the Asia and Oceania Regional Division Committee (2021-2023). She believes that library digital transformation is not just about technology but more about people, and values the importance of continuing education for librarians. She is now a member of IFLA Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning Section (2023-2027) and works with a team of like-minded and passionate people to share good practices, develop educational programs and facilitate lifelong learning in the library profession.


Dr K.M. Ku
Associate Librarian, Technology Support Services
The University of Hong Kong

Dr K.M. Ku's photo

Dr K.M. Ku is the Associate Librarian of the University of Hong Kong Libraries. With a background in engineering and librarianship, he brings a unique perspective to the intersection of information science and technological advancements. He has been playing a pivotal role in revolutionizing scholarly communication and information access through the integration of digital tools and technologies.

He is at the forefront of leveraging emerging technologies to enhance library services and user experience. He has led numbers of successful initiatives to develop and implement innovative solutions that facilitate efficient research, knowledge discovery, and collaboration within the academic community. He has been a part-time lecturer of the University of HK and is an adjunct lecturer at the HKU SPACE and Charles Sturt University for librarianship courses.


Hotel Name Room Price
(per room per night)
Room Reservation Methods Remarks
JEN Hong Kong by Shangri-La

+852 2974 1234

No.508 West Queen's Road, Sai Wan, Central and Western District, Hong Kong
Superior Room
Room only:
HK$980+10% service charge per room per night

Room with breakfast/s:
HK$1,160+10% service charge per room per night (Single)

HK$1,340+10% service charge per room per night (Double)
Kindly visit the reservation link to process the reservation. Cancellation policy:
- Room cancelled after 18:00 local hotel time on 30 Jun 2024 will be subject to 100% of stay room charge, plus applicable Service Charge, Tax and Fees.

+852 3410 3333

No.308 Des Voeux Road West, Sai Wan, Central and Western District, Hong Kong, China
14 – 18 July inclusive 2024 @HK$810 per night
(Subject to change without prior notice.)

(The above rates are inclusive of 10% service charge and on room only basis. For breakfast supplement, it will be charged @HK$50 per night per person per meal.)
Please send email direct to

Mr Vincent Ho for all reservation and booking enquires. Mr Ho can be reached at +852 3410 3388.
Cancellation policy:
- For no-show or late cancellation made within 7 days of arrival, a penalty which is equivalent to the 1st night room charge will be levied.
Courtyard by Marriott Hong Kong

+852 3717 8888

167 West Connaught Road, Central and Western District,
Hong Kong
Deluxe City View King Room
HK$1,080+10% service charge (Room Only)

Deluxe Harbour View King / Twin Room
HK$1,280+10% service charge (Room Only)

*Special daily buffet breakfast rate at HK$120+10% per person per day
Kindly visit the reservation link to process the reservation. Cancellation policy:
- Any individual’s room cancellation or amendment is required on or before May 29, 2024

- Otherwise, a cancellation charge of ONE NIGHT will be applied.


As the numbers for the Institute are strictly limited, please submit your registration via the online registration form no later than 15 May 2024. An acknowledgement will be sent upon receipt of your registration. 

Note: Completion of the online registration form does not guarantee successful registration for the Institute. Cash or cheques will not be accepted onsite. Payment is non-refundable and registration is not transferable to another applicant. For further enquiry, please email: leader@lib.hku.hk.


Institute Sponsors

iGroup  Gale  CNKI   EBSCO   Clarivate