March 24th, 2014
A book can be the perfect gift to mark an event, celebrate one of life’s milestones, or to signify a friendship.
Officials from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China have donated a selection of books and DVDs to the West Virginia University Libraries as a token of their nation’s growing bond with the University.
“Books are the best way to promote culture. In the future, we can donate more books,” said Zhou Yong, First Secretary in the Embassy’s Cultural Affairs Office.
Zhou Yong presented the books during a ceremony Tuesday in the Charles C. Wise, Jr. Library’s Robinson Reading Room. Libraries Dean Dr. Jon Cawthorne thanked Zhou Yong for the donation and called the books a great addition to the Libraries’ collection.
“As a former reference librarian, I know how important books like these are for students to learn about China,” Cawthorne said. “We appreciate the Embassy’s friendship and generous gift. Both are integral to the Libraries advancing the University’s global engagement goals.”
The books and DVDs, which cover a wide array of topics such as art, diplomacy, food, history, music, philosophy, religion, tea, and traditional Chinese medicine, will be available for use as soon as they are cataloged.
Zhou Yong’s stop at the Wise Library was part of a visit to promote a cultural exchange and participate in a celebration of Chinese culture on campus. He was joined by Zhou Li, Second Secretary in the Cultural Affairs Office for the Embassy. Dr. David Stewart, Associate Vice President for International Student Affairs and Global Services at WVU, hosted them on campus.
Tuesday evening, Zhou Yong gave a presentation in the Mountainlair titled “Why Is Sino-American People-to-People Exchange So Important? Starting from Understanding and Misconceptions between China and America.”
“We are very fortunate to have Zhou Yong and Zhou Li visit our campus as part of our Cultural Attaché Series,” Stewart said. “Their gift to the library was very generous, and it is events like these which enhance the international dimension of our campus and provide our students with a more global experience.”
The trip to Morgantown was an educational experience for Zhou Yong, too. He was pleased to learn that the Libraries have a partnership with the library at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE).
In fall of 2012, two librarians from SUFE spent the semester learning about operations at the WVU Libraries. Last summer, two WVU librarians, Jing Qiu and Martha Yancey, visited SUFE.
“You have done so much work to promote Chinese culture and a relationship with China,” Zhou Yong said.
He went on to share his optimism for future partnerships.
“We’re here. This is the first time, the beginning, not the last time,” Zhou Yong said. “I think this beginning is a very good sign for us because everyone here can work in the future
We can do something more.”