By YANG Jiahui, Kary (Jockey Club Humanity Hall)

Do you remember the last non-textbook you read? Printed books have lost their place in our hearts in competition with instant digital information feeds, such as facebook and twitter.

Recently, we have seen the flourishing of mini libraries and reading activities in halls. Let’s hear more from some of the student organisers who have helped to enrich the reading resources for their hall residents.

Man Hung & Queenie Lee (members of the Scholars’ Union of Hall 1) said that the idea of setting up a mini library in Hall 1 was in incubation for a long time. “When we set about doing it, we got very good responses and support from residents as well as our hall master Elaine. Over 30 residents participated in the Mini Library opening ceremony held on November 25, 2011. So far, according to our observations, around 10 books from our mini library have been actively borrowed and we continuously receive book donations from residents and teachers.”

Weekly quotes posted inside the lifts of Hall 1 are also part of the Scholars' Union's initiatives with the aim of inspiring life-long learning. It will be an ongoing activity for residents.

In collaboration with the Run Run Shaw Library, Hall 4 has a different system called a book swap programme and has also organised a writing competition. One of their Residence Tutors, Jiang Chengzhi, says he hopes residents will read more besides textbooks. The library is self-service. Residents get one book from the shelf with a sticker and at the same time put another book onto the shelf. When they swap the book, they stick a round sticker onto it.

Mu Zongxu, Mike, the Chairman of the Scholarship Team and also an RT in Hall 5, agreed that hall libraries offer a convenient reading resource for residents. “Every year, when students check out from halls, many residents dispose of used books which, once collected, would be a great resource for others.”

Hall 5’s mini library has been established for a long time and grown from one bookshelf in the beginning to 4 shelves. Residents register at the counter of the security guard to borrow books. Mike said that Hall 5 is planning to reform the borrowing procedures and make an automatic system like our school’s library in the near future.

Hall 5 is also running a weekly reading club led by their Hall Scholarship Team. The Director of the Student Development Services, Mr. Joseph Chan, and members of the Hall Scholarship Team lead the discussion and sharing. Topics vary and regular participants get small gifts in recognition of their participation and valuable input.

Mini libraries can also be found in Halls 3, 6 and 9. With the flourishing of libraries in halls, let’s do brain yoga exercise together, enjoy the concentration of mind, and stretch our reading habit.