A Taiwan-derful Experience

March 10, 2020 | 2:05 pm

By Angelo Luis E. Isuga, RL
Access and Client Relations Librarian

It was a privilege to be chosen as one of the participants at the 2019 International Workshop for Professional Librarians in Taiwan on October 28 to November 1, 2019. The topic for this year was International Joint Research and Training Program for Development and Application of Digital Humanities. The National Central Library of Taiwan arranged the workshop, which focused on general information, research, and trends in digital humanities.

One of the major takeaways in the workshop was the use of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) in digitizing the collection, which is the capability to recognize characters of a scanned image or photograph of a document, whether it is typed, handwritten, or printed text. The Library has plans to digitize its thesis collection and may adopt this technology to enable the researchers to search text through an image document.

The program also included cultural visits to the National Central Library, Museum of Institute of History and Philosophy, National Taiwan Library, Juming Museum, and Tamsui Historical Museum. We also took the opportunity to visit other libraries and museums in the area, like the New Taipei City Public Library and the Museum of Contemporary Art. I appreciated the book hospitals and the systems for self check-in and check-out of library materials that we found in the libraries. I think that the book hospital is a great help to repair and keep our books in good shape. Taiwanese museums share one thing in common, which is the preservation of their culture. Collections were exhibited at their finest, making learning fun by knowing history through its collections and artifacts.

Aside from the lectures and tours, I also enjoyed the farewell banquet because we had a chance to meet colleagues and share different ideas and experiences personally and professionally. I highly encourage my co-workers in the Library to join the next workshop because this is a great opportunity to learn new things that can be brought back to the workplace. Traveling and learning at the same time is truly a Taiwan-derful experience. The International Workshop for Professional Librarians is a biennial workshop hosted by National Central Library Taiwan “to promote exchanges with global East Asian Libraries and Chinese Studies research institutions” where international librarians and information professionals are invited to join.