Nowadays, students from China feel right at home in Bird Library. That’s because the Library has partnered with SU’s Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) to build a collection of books in Mandarin Chinese.
CSSA members asked the Library to help make Mandarin-language books available. Doing so required identifying Mandarin-speaking Library staff and assigning them to the project, as well as programming the Library’s computers to be able to search in Chinese characters. While most of the titles are academic and scholarly texts, the collection also includes leisure reading and reference materials such as dictionaries, writing guides, and preparation books for standardized tests. This collection is used by students and faculty from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia.
CSSA collects and delivers donated books, while the Library catalogs and maintains the collection. CSSA President Ronghong Lin says “Our goal is to collect 500 books each year. This is a great opportunity to have our language represented in the Syracuse University Library.” CSSA member Hui Zhao (in photo) agreed: “Having these materials available to us is so important. Being able to read in Chinese allows us to be transported back home without leaving Syracuse University.”
The CSSA built the collection by purchasing books with money raised from their annual fundraiser and by collecting donated books from families and friends. They send a wish list to incoming freshman from China each year, asking students to bring one book from the list with them to donate to the Library when they come to campus in the fall. Books are also donated by authors and academics in China who want to have their work included in the collection of Syracuse University Library.