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The Char Asian-Pacific Study Room: News

General Information about the Char Room

News Archive

Newsletter Number 4 (November 2002)

< Library News >

Susan Murata Appointed New Head Librarian

Kapiolani Community College welcomed Susan Murata as its new Head Librarian in September 2001. Ms. Murata has been in the University of Hawai‘i system for over 15 years, and previously served as the head of Access Services at UH Mānoa Libraries. She also worked at Maui Community College and Honolulu Community College. Susan can be reached by telephone at 734-9267 or by email at

Susan Murata, new KCC Head Librarian


Terry Webb Goes East

Dr. Terry Webb, former Head Librarian of Kapiʻolani Library, accepted an appointment as Dean of the Guggenheim Library at Monmouth College in New Jersey, 1999-2001. He is currently the Library Director at California State University, Sacramento.


KCC Reorganization: Library and Learning Resources

Due to campus reorganization in 2001, the library expanded its role and is now called the “Library and Learning Resources” unit. Responsibilities include general learning support and assistance to students, the college’s web site and online information services, computing labs and services, general tutorial services and make-up testing services.


Opening of Cybernesia

January 2001 marked the grand opening of an internet café called “Cybernesia,” under the library’s administration. It is located in the Iliahi Building, located on the Diamond Head side of the campus. The café is a popular gathering spot, where students can use computers while eating food purchased from an adjacent Subway outlet. The atmosphere of the café is designed for social group interaction and cooperative learning, rather than individual quiet study. Cybernesia provides Internet access, email, word processing, color printing, and online gaming. Arnie Reyes manages the café in addition to three other traditional computing labs under the library’s umbrella.


New Library Catalog System

In January 2001 the UH System libraries implemented a new library catalog called Hawaii Voyager. The new system greatly enhances access by allowing library users to conveniently research the resources available in all of the thirteen UH System libraries. The new catalog can display Chinese, Japanese, and Korean characters for records with the proper encoding. In addition to the new Hawaii Voyager, faculty and students from any campus can now borrow library materials from any other UH library in the system through a new service called IntraSystem Loan. The library also subscribes to numerous magazine and journal databases, many of which now provide the full text of articles in electronic format. For example, EBSCOhost Web Databases is a collection of twenty-one full-text databases covering the humanities, social sciences, religion, business, computer science, psychology, health, education and more.

< Char Room News >


Redesigned Char Room Web Site

The Char Room web site has a new look and updated contents. Sachiyo Fujita, the Char Room librarian who joined the library in January 2000, maintains it.

Sachiyo Fujita, Char Asia/Pacific Librarian

Ms. Fujita also assists the library's Technical Services department in cataloging Japanese language materials, maintains the Asian Studies Curriculum Online and Pacific Studies Initiative Syllabus and Bibliography Collection Online web sites, arranges cultural activities, manages the Char Collection, and oversees the daily operations of the Char Room.


Koto and Dizi Performances

In March 2002 the library was pleased to feature two outstanding performers of koto (Japanese zither), and dizi (Chinese flute) for Kapiʻolani Community College's 14th Annual International Festival. Darin Miyashiro, an expert koto performer and instructor, and Frederick Lau, an accomplished flute player and Professor of Ethnomusicology from UH Mānoa, introduced and performed traditional and contemporary Japanese and Chinese music for a "sell out" crowd in the Char Room. Darin Miyashiro performed koto in the Char Room for the 13th International Festival as well.

Frederick Lau, left, and Darin Miyashiro performed in the Char Room for the KCC 14th International Festival.


Zhongshan Teacher Exchange

Kapiʻolani Community College and the United Chinese Society (UCS) partnered to bring twelve teachers from Zhongshan City in Guangdong Province to study at KCC. The teachers arrived in August 2001 and studied English for one semester. Special hotel accommodations were made which permitted them to study together and socialize. Volunteers from UCS taught them how to get around by bus, especially to and from Chinatown. The Char Room served as the main classroom.

Twelve exchange English teachers from Zhongshan, China in front of KCC Library


Tokyu Foundation Donation

In 2001, Char Board Chairman Kendall Wong successfully attracted a donation of $10,000 from the Tokyu Foundation to underwrite Char Room projects. Sandie Patton, Vice President and Director of the Resort Administration of the Mauna Lani Resort on the Kohala Coast, represented the Foundation and made an on-site visit to the Char Room to assess our accomplishments. The library proposed to initiate development of virtual communities built around a collection of scholarly web sites focused on Asia and the Pacific. It is envisioned that KCC faculty with Asian Pacific expertise will develop these web sites.


Exchange Agreement with Yunnan Institute of the Nationalities in China

In September 1999, Kapiʻolani Community College and Yunnan Institute of the Nationalities in China signed an agreement to exchange library resources, including printed and electronic resources, communications technology, and technical expertise. Michael Tagawa (Dean of Health and Legal Education, Library and Learning Resources, and Technology Services) and Bin Zhang (Automation and Reference Librarian) visited the Yunnan Institute of the Nationalities during the Institute's 50th anniversary in November 2001. The weeklong celebration included ceremonies, performances, and seminars. The Institute's library director, Guowen Li, expressed interest in future cooperation with KCC, including opportunities to share research in ethnic cultures, history, literature, and religion.

Michael Tagawa, KCC Dean (second from the left); Bin Zhang, KCC Automation Librarian (right end) and delegates from the Yunnan Institute of the Nationalities in Yunnan, China


Kwok Collection Opening

Dr. Daniel Kwok, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, donated over 3,000 books from his personal collection to the Asian language collection at the Kapiʻolani Library. He was honored at an unveiling ceremony in December 2000. The collection focuses primarily on modern China and reflects part of Dr. Kwok’s life’s teaching and research. Dr. Kwok is the chair and founder of the Asian Fellowship Program for Journalists and former director of the UH Center for Chinese Studies. He continues to donate books and periodicals on Chinese studies to the library.


Yunyun Shen, Exchange Cataloger from Peking University Library, China

Ms. Yunyun Shen, senior cataloger from Peking University Library, visited for six months from June to December 2000 to help the library catalog the Kwok Collection. The exchange was funded through generous support by the UH Mānoa Center for Chinese Studies and the United Chinese Society. Ms. Shen provided the library with her expertise in Chinese cataloging and contributed significantly in the cataloging of the Kwok Collection. Further exchange opportunities for books, personnel, and joint projects between the two institutions are in progress.

From left: Yunyun Shen, Cataloger from Peking University; Bin Zhang, KCC Automation Librarian; Shuofeng Zhu, Acquisition Librarian from the National Library, China


National Library of China Librarians

Shan Li, a system librarian, and Shuofeng Zhu, an acquisition librarian from the National Library of China, spent six months at Hamilton Library in 2000 to observe the library’s operation, especially during the acquisition of the new library online catalog Hawaii Voyager for the UH System libraries. Each of the visiting librarians spent time with the staff at the Kapiʻolani Library and made presentations about various aspects of the National Library of China. The National Library of China is one of the largest libraries in the world and very active in digitization and preservation of library resources.


Phuong Tran Donation

In Spring 2000 an exhibit titled “Children of the Dragon: Art and Artifacts from Vietnam,” was held in the library and the Koa Gallery. Mr. Phuong Tran, the show’s provider and curator, is a Honolulu businessman, collector and friend of the college.


At the conclusion of the exhibit, Mr. Tran presented the college with 19 ceramic pieces that are displayed in the showcase outside the Char Room. Because of their age and the uniqueness to Vietnamese culture, the porcelains are exceptional. They are highly refined, well crafted, and demonstrate both Chinese influence and distinctive Vietnamese features. The donation is the first installment of a major donation pledged by Mr. Tran.

“Box with cover” from 15-16th Century, a gift from Phuong Tran


Dr. Lily Sun and the Sun Yat-sen Ceremony

Beginning in 1993 and at intervals thereafter, Dr. Lily Sun, granddaughter of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, has generously donated funds, books, photographs, memorabilia and works of art to the Kapiʻolani Library. A twenty-four piece jade collection is on permanent display on the second floor of the library and is part of the Sun Yat-sen Asian Collection. During the months of October and November each year, the library proudly shows the collection in its entirety as a tribute to Dr. Sun Yat-sen.


Sun Yat-sen: His Hawai‘i Roots Virtual Library

The Dr. Sun Yat-sen Hawai‘i Foundation was formed in 1997 to research, chronicle, and exhibit Dr. Sun’s links to Hawai‘i and the contributions of the people of Hawai‘i to his work to create a modern China. The mission of the Foundation is to create a memorial to Sun Yat-sen. “Dr. Sun Yat-sen: His Hawai‘i Roots,” a virtual library, is the first step toward that goal. In 1998 Dr. Loretta Pang, KCC humanities professor, led a committee of historians, librarians, and community members in data collection and web site development. The web site received a four-star ("very useful") rating by the Asian Studies WWW Monitor. For more information, please check out


Dr. Chin-tang Lo Donation

In June 1998 Dr. Chin-tang Lo, Professor Emeritus of East Asian Language and Literature at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, donated approximately 2,200 books from his personal collection to the Kapiʻolani Library. Dr. Lo’s collection focuses on Chinese language and literature, theater and drama, in both English and Chinese. It is a significant collection of books on language and the performing arts, enhancing both the general and Asian language collections of the library.


You too can help promote and sustain Kapiʻolani Library’s Asian-Pacific programs

Your support of Kapiʻolani’s Asian-pacific programs will help carry the University forward as the country’s premier Asian-Pacific education and information center, and will help place Hawaii at the center of the unprecedented development that will occur in the Pacific hemisphere in the 21st century.

The demand for knowledge and education in the developing nations of Asian and the pacific presents a unique opportunity for the University to bring about positive social, economic, and industrial change throughout the Pacific hemisphere. The Kapiʻolani Library is poised with the technologies, resources, and expertise to help the University advance its leadership in Asian and Pacific education.

We seek your support of this important strategic goal. All donations are tax deductible. Checks can be made payable to UH Foundation, Char Activities Fund, and sent to the Library, Kapiʻolani Community College, 4303 Diamond Head Road, Honolulu, HI 96816.

If you have questions about the Kapiʻolani Library, the Char Room, or any of the projects described in this issue of the Char Room Newsletter, call Susan Murata at (808)734-9267, or e-mail

Newsletter Number 3 (October 1997)

by Terry Webb
Library Director


We're pleased to announce the appointment of Mrs. Ramona Harris to the Char Board of Directors. Besides the responsibilities associated with her role as the wife of the Mayor of Honolulu, she has been involved in numerous community activities and organizations. Recently, Ramona has been devoting much of her time and attention to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community on Oahu, learning about their history, language, and culture. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Public Administration and continues her life-long learning at Kapi`olani Community College studying American Sign Language.

Special Events

Korean Tea Ceremony

In February, the Library's Current Events Alcove was the setting for a demonstration of the rarely seen Korean tea ceremony by students from Pusan Women's Junior College. Afterward, administrators of Pusan College met with UH Vice President Joyce Tsunoda and Provost John Morton in the Char Room to sign a cooperative agreement. During their two weeks at KCC, the students from Pusan participated in several activities, including a folk dance performance, Korean language tutoring, and English lessons. As a gesture of friendship, they donated all of their tea ceremony utensils to the Char Room. They said they would use them when they return next year to repeat the demonstration. If you didn't see it this year, don't miss it next year. We should know the date of their visit in January. Call us then at 734-9259.

Kuei-kuo Tseng

In April, the Current Events Alcove was also the site for a martial arts demonstration by Kuei-kuo Tseng. A native of Taiwan, Tseng is the martial arts coach for the National Athletics Association of the Republic of China and a Chinese Martial Arts Referee for the Taiwan Provincial Athletics Association. His month-long visit to Hawaii was sponsored by the Overseas Chinese Commission of the Republic of China, and his appearance in the Library was arranged by Char Librarian K.T. Yao.

International News

Bin's China Trip

Thanks to a generous donation from the Char Board, supplemented with funds from the Chancellor's Office, our Automation Librarian Bin Zhang finally made the trip to China that has been in planning for almost three years. He visited our cooperating libraries at Peking University, Northeastern University in Shenyang, and the Yunnan Institute of the Nationalities in Kunming this summer. While there, he gave lectures on library automation, provided Internet and World Wide Web training, and discussed current and future cooperation projects. Bin was graciously received everywhere he went, and he reports that our partner libraries in China are intent on maintaining active cooperation with us.

PKU's 100th Anniversary and Library Conference

In October 1998, Peking University will celebrate two great events: the University's 100th anniversary and the grand opening of their new library. To officially open its new building, the PKU Library will host an international conference entitled New Missions of Academic Libraries in the 21st Century. KCC Library Director Terry Webb was among a select group of U.S. librarians who received special invitations to speak at the conference. This is quite a distinction for KCC, considering that the other invited presenters are from such places as Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Berkeley, Rutgers, and Cornell. Terry says the invitation reflects the close relationship that has developed between the KCC and PKU libraries in the last three years. Terry attributes the unusual closeness of this relationship to an ongoing series of cooperative projects, frequent Internet correspondence, a collaborative research and writing project now underway, materials exchanges, and periodic visitations. He says the most immediately apparent benefits of the cooperation for the KCC Library are an outstanding collection of Chinese materials, a growing knowledge among our staff of academic and library practices in China, and strong connections with China's foremost university.


Telemedicine Conference

Char Board Chair Kendall Wong, who serves on the Hawaii State Board of Medical Examiners, was invited to speak at the Institute for Telehealth & Telemedicine: Mapping the Future of Hawaii. He was specially invited to discuss the legal implications of practicing "telemedicine," one of the world's fastest growing high-tech industries. The 3-day conference was held in September at the East-West Center, and has enormous implications for exporting health care services from Hawaii to Asia and the Pacific. The conference also has implications for KCC's strong Asian-Pacific and health education programs, and for the KCC Library because of our experience in Internet/WWW delivery of medical information to Asian and Pacific health care providers (see below). The text of Kendall's presentation and other conference proceedings as well may soon be available on the World Wide Web at

New Library Buildings in China

Terry is completing a book about new libraries for the 21st-century. The book should be published sometime next year. It will include case studies of new library construction in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, and will feature the new library at Peking University and the new Shanghai Library as well. These two chapters were written in collaboration with Dr. Zhu Qiang, Deputy Director of the PKU Library, and Dr. Wu Jiangzhong, Deputy Director of the Shanghai Library. Most of the correspondence and collaboration for these chapters were carried out via the Internet. The photos of the two libraries give us a peek at these beautiful and innovative libraries.

model of Peking University Library
Model of Peking University Library

Shanghai Library
Shanghai Library

Donations and Acquisitions

Book Donations

The Library's Asian collections received notable materials from the Pusan Women's Junior College, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Lau, and several others.

A book exchange between Peking University Press and the UH Press was also completed. The KCC Library received over 90 important new books from Peking University Press, and the PKU Library received their choice of books from the University of Hawaii Press. Professor Lin Beidian, PKU Library Director, said in a thank-you letter to Terry that "the books from the UH Press are wonderful," and added "I am happy to know the books from the PKU Press arrived there...If you find some other books published by PKU Press that are useful to your library later, please mail us the list and we will try to locate them for your library...It is part of the cooperation between our libraries. I believe that our friendship and cooperation will continue in coming years." Special thanks for arranging the book exchange go to Professor Roger Ames, Director of the Center for Chinese Studies at UH, and Bill Hamilton, Director of the UH Press.

And in the largest single donation to the Library so far, Professor Daniel W.Y. Kwok of the History Department at UH-Manoa donated over 2,200 books in Chinese and English from his personal collection. It is an excellent collection with strengths in the history of Chinese thought. The materials will serve our faculty and students alike, and attract outside scholars to the KCC Library as well. Professor Kwok chose to donate the books to the KCC Library because of our firm commitment to develop our Asian collections, and because here the books will be readily accessible to the community at large.

Professor Kwok's donation was made in two phases, and moving them from the University to the KCC Library was a major event. The books are now being cataloged and processed by Char Room Librarian K.T. Yao and Technical Services Coordinator Michelle Sturges. The books will be placed on the Library's shelves for general circulation as they are processed. The Library is very grateful for all the donations that have been received this past year.

The China Abroad Archives

Professor Kwok also arranged for the transfer to the Library of an exceptionally important archival collection entitled the China Abroad Archives. The collection consists of several types of resources about contemporary China, and includes a large number of unpublished original literary works from Mainland China that are sure to be of great interest to scholars and researchers around the world. We plan to create a Web site based on the collection, with text in Chinese and English.

Internet/WWW Activities

Over the past year, the Library co-created and tested an Internet/WWW course on emergency medicine and disaster preparedness for physicians and emergency care professionals in Asia and the Pacific. There was no classroom and no textbook for this course. Instead, instruction and course materials were delivered and homework assignments were completed over the Internet.

The test was quite successful and has received national attention. Other modules of the course are under development for distribution next year. The course will serve as a model for other Internet courses to be produced at Kapi`olani Community College in a variety of subjects.

The Library also recently developed the Hawaii-Pacific HIV/AIDS Information Clearinghouse. This Website provides the most current electronic Hawaii and Pacific HIV/AIDS statistics, prevention and treatment information, educational programs and library resources, links to related Websites, and other information gathered specifically for the Pacific region.

A Sincere Thank-You

The Char Board and the Library staff express our sincere thanks to Helen Hamada of the KCC Educational Media Center for designing and producing the Char Room Newsletter. She makes the Newsletter possible.

The University's Special Mission

In November 1996, the University of Hawaii Board of Regents issued its Strategic Plan, which established the following goal:

The University of Hawaii system's special distinction is found in its Hawaiian, Asian, and Pacific focus...The University of Hawaii must pursue its special distinction, while providing leadership in the international arena. (p. 5)

The Kapi`olani Library plays a key role in helping the University achieve this goal. We are developing one of Hawaii's largest Asian-language collections, and have created original online information resources to promote research and instruction in Asian and Pacific fields. In addition, we have formed excellent relationships with Asian and Pacific academic institutions. Our librarians are often hosted by libraries in Asia and the Pacific, and in turn, the Library regularly receives visits from faculty and dignitaries of many Asian and Pacific nations.

These activities and innovations have made the Kapi`olani Library a recognized clearinghouse for Asian-Pacific information.

The Char Room is the focal point of the Library's Asian-Pacific programs. Here, the Char Board provides guidance to the Library's international activities, and assists the Library in presenting many activities, speakers, exhibits, and other events to bring Asian-Pacific issues to the community's attention. The Char Room is also the venue for signing exchange agreements between the University of Hawaii and academic institutions in Asia and the Pacific.

You can help promote the University's "Special Distinction"

Your support of the Kapi`olani Library's Asian-Pacific programs will help carry the University forward as the country's premier Asian-Pacific education and information center, and will help place Hawaii at the center of the unprecedented development that will occur in the Pacific hemisphere in the 21st century.

The demand for knowledge and education in the developing nations of Asia and the Pacific presents a unique opportunity for the University to bring about positive social, economic, and industrial change throughout the Pacific hemisphere. The Kapi`olani Library is poised with the technologies, resources, and expertise to help the University advance its leadership in Asian and Pacific education.

We encourage your support of this important strategic goal. All donations are tax deductible. Checks can be made payable to UH Foundation, Char Activities Fund, and sent to the Library, Kapi`olani Community College, 4303 Diamond Head Road, Honolulu, HI 96816.

If you have questions about the Kapi`olani Library, the Char Room, or any of the projects described in this issue of The Char Room Newsletter, call Terry Webb at (808) 734-9267.

Newsletter Number 2 (October 1996)

by Terry Webb
Library Director

International News

A lot has happened since last year's newsletter. Here are some highlights.


Library Director Terry Webb just returned this September from a three-week trip to China to present a paper on libraries, the Internet, and the World Wide Web (WWW) at an international conference in Beijing, and to discuss cooperation with three Chinese academic institutions. He met first with administrators and librarians at Peking University (PKU) to select further cooperative projects. This year, the KCC Library will create a "mirror site" of the PKU library's WWW site on the KCC server. This will make the PKU resource much more accessible to interested Internet users worldwide.

They also discussed the planned trip to China by KCC's automation librarian Bin Zhang later this year. Although Bin has only been with the KCC Library for a year (see below), his trip has been in the planning for quite some time. The University of Hawaii at Manoa agreed last year to pay his travel expenses, but because of UH's continuing budget crisis, that funding may not materialize. To assure the success of the trip, therefore, Board Chair Kendall Wong generously contributed $1,000 to the Char Room Fund to help defray the costs of Bin's trip, if the UH funding falls through.

While at PKU, Terry also met with the faculty of the Chinese Literature Department, three of whom visited the KCC Library last year. Professor An Pingqiu, Director of the Ancient Books Research Council in the department, donated over 130 volumes of Chinese classics to the KCC China Collection. The books should arrive within the next few weeks.

Terry also visited Northeastern University (NEU) in Shenyang and the Yunnan Institute of the Nationalities (YIN) in Kunming to begin cooperation discussions. NEU is a large and prestigious university with significant achievements in industrial research, and has developed numerous partnerships with local and international businesses. We can learn a lot from them. YIN is well-known for its ethnological work in Yunnan Province, which, like Hawaii, is composed of numerous ethnic groups. So the possibilities of cooperation with YIN are also rich.

The administrators and librarians of both institutions are very eager to begin library cooperation. The NEU President and Vice-President visited our Library in May at the invitation of K.T. Yao, the new Char Room Librarian (see below). They were quite impressed with our efforts to build a China Collection and with our Internet/WWW activities. As a result, they invited Terry to "take the night train" from Beijing to Shenyang and visit NEU when he was in China.

Our first contact with YIN was established by Consul General Feng Shusen after his visit to the KCC Library last year as the guest of the Char Board. The YIN administrators and librarians likewise were very enthusiastic about library cooperation, and also had many questions about library automation in general.

Without exception, all of the meetings went very well. Terry and Mrs. Webb were treated to sumptuous dinners and given the grand treatment. Every discussion about cooperation was sincere and productive. As a result of the meetings, the KCC Library is exploring the feasibility of hosting an Internet/WWW training workshop of 1-2 weeks at KCC next summer for selected persons from each of our three cooperating institutions in China. They have offered to pay their own expenses, with the stipulation that we find them affordable lodging.

Terry also stopped in Shanghai and Hong Kong to meet with individuals who are collaborating with him on some joint writing projects. The KCC Library is not presently seeking cooperation with institutions in Shanghai or Hong Kong, but Terry says his work with his collaborators is being carried out on the Internet, and that he encourages members of the KCC Library staff to engage in international cooperation by this means.


Terry stopped briefly in Seoul to accept three cartons of books in Korean donated by Baewha College. Baewha was the first Korean institution to establish cooperation with KCC, and has donated many books to KCC's growing Korea Collection. We also received another donation of books for the Korea Collection from Inha University in Inchon when a delegation of Inha students and administrators visited KCC earlier this year.


The books awarded to the KCC Library by the prestigious Japan Foundation grant, which we reported in our last newsletter, arrived this past year, and are currently being processed for addition to the Japan Collection.

After lengthy negotiations, a clause for library cooperation was included in the recently signed agreement to renew cooperation between Kansai University and UH. Terry Webb met with Kansai administrators when they were at KCC during the summer to sign the renewal agreement. Several possible library cooperation projects were discussed. The Kansai administrators were very enthusiastic, and correspondence with them is ongoing.

Mr. Hirokazu Shiode, a researcher and faculty member of the International University of Japan (IUJ) in Niigata, came to the Char Room this summer as part of a research project he is conducting for the National Diet Library of Japan. His project deals with books about overseas Chinese, and is being directed by the IUJ Research Institute for Asian Development. He was very interested in the possibility of publishing some of the results of the project on KCC's Internet/WWW site.

We have also begun correspondence with Dr. Hiroshi Kawai, a library faculty member at Rikkyo University in Tokyo. Dr. Kawai is an expert in collection development, and we are exploring with him some possible cooperative projects that would be of mutual benefit to our institutions.


In February, Terry was invited to spend 10 days at the College of Micronesia (COM) on the island of Pohnpei. COM was preparing to move to a brand new campus, and they asked Terry to come and share his experience in re-locating library collections with COM administrators and librarians. While there, he worked out a plan to move the COM library's collections and furniture to the new site, and gave the librarians some training in how to do it.

COM has some important Pacific Islands research collections as well as pressing needs for assistance with new technologies, and Terry believes that formal cooperation between the KCC and COM libraries could be forthcoming.

Southeast Asia

Jan Zastrow, our new health education librarian, is working closely with KCC's Emergency Medical Services (EMS) department to develop a prototype distance education course for EMS professionals in developing nations. This is the first part of a long-anticipated joint plan between the Library and the EMS department to provide health information to Asia and the Pacific.


Since our last newsletter last year, the Char Room has sponsored a number of important cultural activities. In these times of dwindling budgets for higher education, the Library staff firmly believe that there is much to be celebrated, and that when forces beyond our control would draw us backward, it is precisely the time to move decisively forward however we can. The activities sponsored by the Char Board are an important means to do this.

The Char Room was one of the co-sponsors of the performances in Hawaii last year of the Peking University Chinese Folk Dance Company. This 28-member dance group includes students from various academic disciplines, and has won numerous awards. They performed on Oahu, Kauai, and the Big Island in what was the first such tour for a Chinese university performing arts company.

In March, the Char Room sponsored Concert 96 on the grass lawn in front of the KCC Library. The audience was well-rewarded, and the Library received some much-needed revenue. The line-up was first-rate, the sound system and staging were excellent, and the emcees were spirited and professional. It was the first large-scale concert to be held at KCC, and we learned that the fine acoustics of KCC's center mall make it an ideal site for concerts and other types of performances for students and the community. The Concert 96 performers were surprised by the excellent sound of KCC's mall and expressed desire to return for future engagements here. "It's better than the Shell," one said. "We can hear ourselves!" Concert 96 established a notable tradition of fine open-air public performances at KCC, and set a high standard for all such events to follow. Special thanks go to Board Chair Kendall Wong, Member Ernest Loo, and Member Carol Saito for the concert's success.

During the months of June through August, the Char Room came to the aid of Ballet Hawaii by sponsoring its summer session at KCC. Classes at the dance school's facility in Manoa were halted due to zoning regulations, and it was desperately seeking an alternative site. The temporary accommodations made it possible for guest faculty Shamil Yagudin, dance master of the Bolshoi Ballet, to offer instruction during the month of July.

Last year's lecture and poetry reading by Elsie Choy were very enjoyable. Ms. Choy, author of Leaves of Prayer: The Life and Poetry of He Shuangqing, a Farmwife in 18th-century China, told the story of the young poetess who wrote her poems on leaves because of her poverty, but whose poetry has come to be highly regarded expressions of her era.

The Library is now endeavoring to bring to Hawaii a very important exhibit commemorating the heroic efforts of Chiune Sugihara. In 1940, Mr. Sugihara, at that time the Japanese consul general in Lithuania, issued 1,600 transit visas that allowed Jewish families to escape the advancing Nazi army. It is estimated that he enabled as many as 6,000 persons to escape Europe and possible extermination. The historical exhibit was created by Eric Saul, a well-known historian, who will be escorting Mr. Sugihara's widow to Hawaii in February. Mrs. Sugihara, now 86 years old, has received many tributes for the humanitarian efforts of her husband and herself, and the KCC Library hopes to welcome her to our College when she comes. This project may be appropriate for co-sponsorship by the Char Room.

Internet/WWW Activities

Asian Studies

In cooperation with the East-West Center (EWC) and the UH Center for Chinese Studies, the KCC Library recently created a WWW online database to promote Asian Studies at U.S. colleges and universities. The Asian Studies Development Database (ASDD) is composed of hundreds of course syllabi and other instructional materials collected by the EWC over the last five years. The EWC collected these materials to serve as models for instructors who want to infuse Asian studies on their own campuses.

By converting the materials to electronic format and creating the WWW online resource for them, the KCC Library has greatly extended their accessibility. In addition, the database is attracting submissions from Asian studies faculty and experts around the world, causing the database to grow faster. KCC librarians manage the database and the equipment, and assure its maximum accessibility, and the EWC staff perform the editorial functions, such as soliciting, selecting, and editing submissions to the collection, assigning categories, etc.

Pacific Island Studies

The ASDD is so successful that the EWC and the UH Center for Pacific Islands Studies asked the KCC Library to create a similar WWW database for instructional materials for Pacific Islands studies. Proposals for funding to create the Pacific Islands Studies Database have been sent to appropriate agencies.

Char Page

The Char World Wide Web Page is now complete and shares news about our mission and activities with the world through the Internet. The site contains information about the Char Room (with photographs), a brief history of Mr. and Mrs. Tin-Yuke Char, biographical information about the Board, a list of Char Room activities, and other items of interest.

New Faces

Bin Zhang, the Library's new automation librarian, has been with us for only a year, but he can be credited with taking us into the 21st century. He directed the development of the several World Wide Web resources at the KCC Library, and is our "Web Master." His experience with the Internet and the Web have enormous potential for the Library and the Char Room because we expect to use these technologies heavily in our cooperation with libraries in Asia and the Pacific. And because Bin is originally from China, he will play a prominent role in these activities.

Kuang-Tien (K.T.) Yao, from Taipei, has been hired on a half-time basis as KCC's first Char Room/Asian-Pacific librarian. In a plan to maximize resources, Char Board Chair Kendall Wong offered to pay half of K.T.'s funding from the Char Room Fund if the KCC administration would provide matching funds. An agreement was reached, and K.T. is now with us at least for the next year.

The Char Room is presently open every morning, and K.T. has been actively promoting use of the Room and its materials. She has also been invaluable in processing the China Collection materials and translating documents and official correspondence from China. She also visited PKU this summer as a representative from the KCC Library, and as mentioned above, provided us with our initial contact with Northeastern University in Shenyang. In the future, K.T. will be available to assist the Board in planning its cultural activities, displays, exhibits, and international contacts.

One of Terry's major goals is to make the Char Room/Asian-Pacific librarian a full-time position with secure funding.

Jan Zastrow moved from a part-time, federally funded position at the Library in 1995-96 to a full-time position, also federally funded, as a direct result of her high-quality work and her expertise in Internet/WWW technologies. Although Jan's position is most closely involved with health librarianship, this field is of great interest to many nations in Asia and the Pacific, so she will surely play a part in various Char Room projects.

Funding Our Mission

Kapiolani Community College is the Asian-Pacific Emphasis campus among Hawaii's community colleges. This cross-curricular program incorporates Asian-Pacific study units throughout the College's curriculum. As a result, a high proportion of students and faculty in Hawaii interested is Asian-Pacific studies come to Kapiolani.

The KCC Library staff are committed to providing support for the Asian-Pacific emphasis, and believe that international cooperation and information exchange across Asia and the Pacific are vitally important for our students, the state of Hawaii, the University, and the Asian-Pacific region. Within just the last few years, therefore, the KCC Library has established an outstanding record of international cooperation and accomplishments.

The Char Room Fund, established by Mr. and Mrs. Tin-Yuke Char, and other Library funds support many of these activities. Donations and contributions to the Library to support its Asian-Pacific activities are welcome and needed. All donations and are tax deductible. If you have questions about the KCC Library, the Char Room, or any of the projects described in this issue of the Char Room Newsletter, please call Terry Webb, Library Director, at 734-9267.

Newsletter Number 1 (July 1995)

by Terry Webb
Library Director

This is the first edition of The Char Room Newsletter, a periodic publication about Char Room activities.

E Komo Mai

We're delighted to extend a warm welcome to Margery Bronster, the newest member of the Char Board of Directors. Margery is the Attorney General of Governor Cayetano's administration.

International News

The KCC library and the Char Room are becoming increasingly prominent in the University's international relations. The library is actively cooperating with our partner institutions throughout Asia.


In September 1994, Head Librarian Terry Webb spent two weeks at the library of Beijing University. The University, or "Bei Da," as it is affectionately nicknamed, is located on the former campus of the renowned Yenching University, where Tin-Yuke Char was an honors graduate in 1927. In fact, some of the old Yenching buildings are still standing, and may have been there when Tin-Yuke was pursuing his studies.

The Bei Da library staff and the University administration were very cordial and hospitable. Partly as a result of Terry's visit, the KCC library entered a cooperative agreement with the library at Bei Da. As the first activity under that agreement, the library is presently hosting the visit of Miss Suqing Liu, a librarian from Bei Da, from May 26 through October 31. She is receiving training in the online library system by cataloging English- and Chinese-language books online. She will also participate in the Asian Studies Development Program, a joint project of the East-West Center and the University of Hawaii, and help organize training modules for a summer workshop for librarians. Please feel free to drop by the college to meet Suqing.

KCC's automation librarian has been invited to spend three months working in the library at Bei Da later this year, helping them develop their automated systems. Terry secured funding from UH for our librarian's visit to Beijing despite these difficult times. This indicates the importance UH sees in the agreement between KCC and Bei Da.


The library was instrumental in laying the groundwork for a cooperative agreement between KCC and Baewha College in Seoul. Several Baewha administrators visited KCC in 1994, and returned this month to sign the formal agreement in the Char Room. They have already donated several dozen books on Korea to the KCC library, and will continue to do so.

Our cataloging librarian made the initial contact with a Baewha librarian when they were both in Japan on six-month study grants awarded by the prestigious Japan Foundation in 1992-93.

In January 1995, the community colleges also entered into an agreement with Inha University in Incheon. Chancellor Joyce Tsunoda signed the historic agreement in the Char Room, which seems to be her favorite site for signing such agreements. (Joyce is also an honorary member of the Char Board.) We expect to receive book donations from Inha, too.

A similar agreement will be signed with Soong Sil University, also this summer, and again the Char Room will be the setting.


After Beijing, Terry stopped in Tokyo to meet with officials of the Japan Foundation to express support for a grant proposal the library wanted to submit to the Foundation. The meeting was very productive, and a few weeks ago, Terry was notified that our grant request was approved. The Foundation will soon donate books to the library's Japan Collection valued at about $12,000. Terry also met with officials of the Japan Forum, which is the group that originally established KCC's Japan Collection in 1992 with a donation of 2,000 books. At this meeting, the Forum officials stated that another donation of more than 1,000 books is being prepared for shipment to KCC.

The KCC library is also exploring the possibility of establishing a formal cooperative agreement with the library of the Kanazawa Institute of Technology. Chancellor Tsunoda visited KIT recently on official business and introduced the idea of the agreement. Kanazawa library is very modern and well-equipped.

The Char Room on the Internet

This summer, KCC librarians and other faculty will begin developing an Internet "site" dedicated to KCC's Asian-Pacific curricular emphasis and international education programs. The librarians will work on an Internet resource that will acquaint people all over Hawaii and around the world with the activities and mission of the Char Room, and enable "netters" to connect to the Char Room's online "home page" and then to other Internet resources that have an Asian-Pacific purpose.

Library News

Budget Woes

The library has been hit with severe budget cuts totaling 33.3% of our operating and materials budgets. We will probably need to cancel many of our magazine and journal subscriptions, and reduce service hours. We may not have much money even to buy books.

It's at times like this that our connections with external funding agencies really pay off. If not for the Chars' endowment and the donations from the Japan Forum, the Japan Foundation, and the Korean colleges and universities, our collection would not be growing at all this year.

Char Librarian

Provost John Morton is as enthused as we are with the library's Asian-Pacific activities (all of which we are carrying out under the aegis of the Char Room). Aware that the opportunities for projects far outstrip the library's ability to act, the Provost recently agreed that we need a full-time librarian to help bring some of these exciting projects to fruition. Yet these difficult budget times make it impossible to get any new positions or reallocate existing ones to the library.

But the Provost made a promise: if the library can find the external funds to hire a librarian for two years, he will find the wherewithal to convert the position to the College's general fund thereafter. That's a promise we should really work toward. It will cost about $50,000 for each of the two years, counting salary and benefits.

East-West Center Selects KCC

Because of the library's success in building its Asian collections, Terry has been asked by the East-West Center to organize and host a special three-day workshop for librarians at the Center's 1995 Asian Studies Development Summer Institute, "Infusing Asian Studies Into the Undergraduate Curriculum." The institute will explore Asian social structures in the context of rapid modernization. The workshop for librarians will present methods for developing library collection to support U.S. undergraduate Asian studies programs.

Pioneering Chinese Families

Plans are being made to begin videotaping the pioneering Chinese families in Hawaii very soon. The history of Senator Hiram Fong is high on our priority list. The staff of the Educational Media Center at the college will cooperate with us to produce a high-quality documentary. And if support for public television continues, it's also possible that we will be able to air our videotapes on an educational channel.

Other Videocasts

We are pursuing programming of a public television talk show about the 100th Battalion/442nd RCT. Mike Tokunaga has agreed to conduct face-to-face interviews with the WWII veterans and others who became post-war instruments of change in Hawaii. The purpose of the show is to educate viewers age 60 and younger about the political history of Hawaii, as told by the veterans who had an active share in shaping it. The show will consist of three or four segments, about a half hour each. We hope to begin taping this soon.

Proposal has also been made to videocast the United Chinese Society's Model Father and Mother of the Year event. If the annual dinner were videotaped, edited and formatted for public television, the larger community could appreciate the cultural traditions that keep Hawaii unique. What do you think?


The Brothers Cazimero-Ballet Hawaii fundraiser is still alive but moving ahead like a turtle with bad knees. The big hurdle is the location. Carol Saito is looking into the possibility of holding the event in Diamond Head Crater or at the new Special Events Arena. Help accepted!


We've received $1,300 in donations since the start of 1995, due to the generosity of Kendall Wong ($1,000), Jonah Pak, producer of Hawaii Art Expo ($50), and the law firm of Weinberg & Bell ($250). Of this amount, $1,000 was earmarked for Suqing Liu's visit.

Elsie Choy

In cooperation with the Hamilton Library at UH and the Hawaii Chinese History Center, the KCC library will host a visit and lecture by author Elsie Choy, from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ms. Choy's book, Leaves of Prayer: The Life and Poetry of He Shuangqing, a Farmwife in 18th-century China, has been well-received by reviewers around the world.

Published by the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the book is a poignant biography of a beautiful, bright girl who taught herself to read and write. Although she spent her short life in unhappiness and unending farm labor, her poetry came to the attention of scholars. Because of her poverty, she wrote her poems on leaves. Hence the name of Ms. Choy's biography.

Ms. Choy plans to be in Honolulu during the last week of September, 1995. She will discuss Leaves of Prayer, and read from her translations of He Shuangqing's poetry. The program will be held in a suitable location at KCC and is tentatively scheduled for Friday, September 29, in the early evening.

Aloha Oe

. . . to our dear friend and colleague, Judge Harold Fong. Words are inadequate to express the tremendous loss we feel with his passing. Simply stated, no one can replace his presence. Our deepest sympathy to Mrs. Fong and family.