Yale University Library


Visiting Librarians: Soon-Yeong Hong

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Seoul National University Library, Seoul, South Korea

Soon with East Asia Library Curator Ellen Hammond

Visiting Librarian, March-August 2006

Soon-Yeong Hong, Head of the Cataloging Division at Seoul National University Library, Seoul, South Korea, spent six months (March-August 2006) at the Yale University Library thanks to a Short-Term Overseas Fellowship. These fellowships are awarded every year to a limited number of Seoul National University staff members who are thus given the opportunity to improve their professional skills by spending a period of study and work abroad. Ms. Hong chose Yale from a pool of seven major academic and research libraries (including Columbia, Harvard, and Stanford) because she “wanted to make a contribution to build the Korean Collection, which is significantly inferior to others in the United States. And also because there is no full-time Korean librarian at Yale.”

Ms. Hong holds a bachelor’s degree in Library and Information Science from the Sookmyung Women’s University in Seoul, and a master’s degree in the same field from Keio University in Japan. In her fifteen years at Seoul National University Library, Ms. Hong worked in a number of key departments, including Cataloging, Acquisitions, Serials, and Digital Information Services, some of which she also headed.

Her various responsibilities over the years included performing original cataloging of Korean, East Asian, and Western books and serials; working on the development of authority control system; designing a cataloging module for SOLARS I (ILS); evaluating trial databases; instructing library patrons on the use of electronic resources; providing interlibrary loan using the OCLC ILL service; and performing quality control for the Korea Education and Research Information Service (KERIS).

Among Ms. Hong’s publications are “Current Status of Librarianship in Korea” (The Library Journal [Tokyo] 94, no. 3 [March 2000]: 177-9), “Current Status and Prospects of Library Instruction: The Case of Seoul National University Library” (Bulletin of National College and University Libraries 19 [May 2000]: 55-68), and “The Effective Use of E-Resources on Law” (in Legal Research: A Practical Guide to Foreign Legal Materials. Ed. by In-Sop Chung [Seoul: Seoul National University Press, 2005]: 410-52).

At Yale, Ms. Hong worked closely with the East Asia Library, assisting with the acquisition of Korean journals and reference books, while also introducing major Korean databases, such as the archives of the newspaper Chosun Ilbo and KISS (Koreanstudies Information Service System), a searchable database of full-text articles in about 6,000 journals published by 1,200 Korean academic societies and research centers / institutions.