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Chinese publishers seek out Rutgers' East Asian Librarian for insights

September 24, 2014
Tao Yang speaks at the Beijing International Book Fair in August.

Tao Yang speaks at the Beijing International Book Fair in August.

Earlier this year some major Chinese publishers were looking for well-informed perspectives on the overseas markets for Chinese books. One of the places they reached out to for such perspective was the Rutgers University Libraries.

As a result Tao Yang, East Asian Librarian in the Rutgers libraries in New Brunswick, was invited to speak at the 21st Beijing International Book Fair (BIBF), a gathering of over 2,000 Chinese and international publishers in Beijing, China, August 27-31. As a keynote speaker of a featured program during BIBF, Tao spoke to an audience of several hundred people, many of whom were representatives of major Chinese publishers, about the need and expectations for Chinese scholarly publications in North American academic libraries.

In his talk Tao noted that most Chinese studies scholars and libraries in North America prefer a mix of digital and print publications and encouraged Chinese publishers to begin actively pursuing digital publishing. He also remarked on the growing interest in the West in English-language publications from China, especially on the issues of environment and public health.

While in Beijing, Tao also visited by invitation the China Social Sciences Press and advised the president and senior editors of the press regarding its international strategy. He also made similar trips to the Commercial Press (a major humanities publisher in China) and the Science Press and held meetings with senior administrators of National Library of China and Peking University Library.  Funded by a Rutgers University Board of Trustees research fellowship, Tao’s trip to China was part of his ongoing research on the role of China in global scholarly communication.

The Rutgers University Libraries take pride in Tao Yang's presentation and consultations. These exchanges not only assist important publishers in China but also broaden our view at Rutgers of the changing nature of the Chinese publishing industry.