Tianjin Foreign Studies University

The Belt and Road Initiative Reference Source supports language learning and research for students and faculty at foreign language university in China

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At a Glance

Tianjin Foreign Studies University
Tianjin, China

Institution Type:   Academic Libraries
Related Products:   The Belt and Road Initiative Reference Source

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Overview

Located in the northern economic center of China, Tianjin Foreign Studies University (TFSU) is a multi-lingual, multi-disciplinary, multi-level and open higher education institution that offers 57 undergraduate majors, including 34 foreign language majors — such as English, Japanese, Korean, Arabic and Hebrew — and 23 non-foreign language majors. To support the research work of more than 11,000 students and nearly 1,000 faculty, the university library subscribes to a variety of electronic resources, including Academic SearchComplete, Business Source® Complete and EBSCO Discovery Service™.

In January 2018, to meet the language learning and research needs of students and faculty of the School of Asian and African Studies, the library began subscribing to The Belt and Road Initiative Reference Source™, a unique full-text database designed for researching the people, culture and economies of the areas covered in The Belt and Road Initiative. The database includes hundreds of scholarly journals, including many hard-to-find publications from smaller countries.

The Belt and Road Initiative Reference Source offers an excellent user experience. With the EBSCOhost platform and EBSCO Discovery Service, it is very easy to retrieve rich results. This is the main reason we chose it.

Zhao Hua
Dean of the School of Asian and African Studies
Tianjin Foreign Studies University

Challenge

The School of Asian and African Studies at TFSU was established in 2006. In recent years, it has developed rapidly under the strong support of China's Belt and Road Initiative and has led to the addition of several new language learning majors.

“Of the 14 majors currently established by the college, 11 of them are newly built after 2013, aiming to convey language talents for communication and exchange among countries along the Belt and Road,” said Zhao Hua, Dean of the School of Asian and African Studies.

In addition to the new professional establishment, teachers’ resources and a training plan for admissions must be considered. Academic resources are also an indispensable support.

According to Duo Chenjie, Deputy Dean of the School of Asian and African Studies, the college had been supplementing library resources with paper books. However, due to the unbalanced economic development of the countries along the Belt and Road, paper books were not a feasible solution. Therefore, students could not always obtain authoritative resources in time for language learning, leading to an urgent demand for relevant electronic resources.

Solution

To meet this demand, the Library Information Consultation Department screened several products including EBSCO’s The Belt and Road Initiative Reference Source. The team evaluated full-text quantity, source type and coverage. They then recommend products to the School of Asian and African Studies.

"The Belt and Road Initiative Reference Source offers an excellent user experience,” Dean Zhao said. “With the EBSCOhost platform and EBSCO Discovery Service, it is very easy to retrieve rich results. This is the main reason we chose it.”

In addition, The Belt and Road Initiative Reference Source is specifically designed for the countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative and, as such, contains many regional research resources.

“This is exactly in line with our discipline development needs,” Dean Zhao said.

Dean Chenjie agreed, adding “The Belt and Road Initiative Reference Source has become a scientific research and teaching tool for the faculty of the college. It is also a reliable language learning resource for students other than media such as radio and television.”

Promotion & Training

To promote the database to end users, the library launched a multi-faceted publicity campaign that included WeChat platforms, colorful posters and frequent interaction with students and faculty. “Reader Service Month” focused specifically on The Belt and Road Initiative Reference Source for students in the School of Asian and African Studies.

The library hosted two on-site training sessions designed to help students and faculty understand and make full use of the new library resource. EBSCO training specialists demonstrated search and retrieval techniques, including methods for narrowing and expanding searches. Students also learned how to set up journal alerts, create folders and save search results.

According to librarians, students participating in the training sessions responded positively on the spot, indicating that the training content, which included practical use cases, would help them to quickly find language materials in the future.

The library will continue to strengthen the promotion of its resources and services, guide and improve readers' information retrieval and management skills, and provide strong academic resources and service guarantees for the continued development of TFSU.

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Library team photo, from left: Jiang Mei, Director of the Library Information Consultation Department; Duo Chenjie, Deputy Director of Teaching, School of Asian and African Studies; Zhao Hua, Dean of the School of Asian and African Studies; Zhang Haimei, Secretary of the Party General Branch of the Library; Zhang Xiuhua, Deputy Director of the Library

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