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Knowledge exchange and community engagement: an academic library perspective

Peter E. Sidorko (The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
Tina T. Yang (The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)

Library Management

ISSN: 0143-5124

Article publication date: 26 July 2011




This paper seeks to document the strategies and initiatives developed in a major Asian academic library, aiming to enhance the library's role in promoting knowledge exchange and community wellbeing.


The paper examines the library's role in knowledge exchange at the university. It highlights a series of initiatives undertaken by the library that serve to promote community access to collections, services and special events. It also introduces ways in which the library has reached out to the local, regional and international communities.


The success of the initiatives is demonstrated in many ways including the devoted commitment to making information available to the public at both university and library level, extended access to the library resources and services, active public participation in the special events and the library's increased visibility and leadership in the local, regional and international communities.

Research limitations/implications

While many of the initiatives have been innovative and well received, the reality remains that the true emphasis of knowledge exchange within the university lies with the faculties. Licensing agreements also impose restrictions on access to the electronic resources by a larger user group. The traditional “closed door” policy due to the space shortage inevitably limits the library's ability to engage a wider community. Further studies need to be done on the investment and return of the book talks.

Practical implications

While it is often cited that public libraries are those that serve the community at large, this paper provides the perspective from an academic library viewpoint and emphasizes the view that such service should not be limited to public libraries alone and that academic libraries must play a role in community wellbeing.


The paper provides a practical example for academic libraries in attempting to play an active role in knowledge exchange and community engagement.



Sidorko, P.E. and Yang, T.T. (2011), "Knowledge exchange and community engagement: an academic library perspective", Library Management, Vol. 32 No. 6/7, pp. 385-397.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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