The Director-General of the National Central Library (hereafter referred to as “the NCL”), Dr. Shu-Hsien Tseng, and Vice President of Vilnius University (hereafter referred to as “VU”), Lithuania, Dr. Artūras Vasiliauskas, as representative of the two parties, have completed signing of Cooperation Agreement for establishing a "Taiwan Resource Center for Chinese Studies,” (hereafter referred to as “TRCCS”) and have settled the associated arrangements for realizing practical cooperation by May 5th, 2021. This is the 35th TRCCS cooperation agreement the NCL has signed with partner institutions abroad. During the current time that COVID-19 epidemic is threating many countries, the TRCCS cooperation method is indeed a good approach to maintain active scholarly communications and exchanges.
Director-General Dr. Tseng stated that during this COVID-19 pandemic time, it is not easy to execute international exchanges and to proceed cooperation programs. Nevertheless, the NCL wishes to overcome various difficulties and strive to facilitate possible resource sharing through establishing TRCCS cooperation. Despite that the postal services are temporarily suspended between Taiwan and Lithuania due to epidemic prevention concerns, the NCL tries to realize cooperation that is possible for the time being such as sharing of digital resources so as to benefit researches and learning as possible. The NCL has its commitment to TRCCS partners that sharing of research resources will not stop due to the epidemic. It is of the NCL’s utmost goal to facilitate genuine academic exchanges and cooperation, and believe that such cooperation relationships will be much cherished and well cared by both parties.
The Republic of Lithuania is generally referred to as Lithuania, located in the northeastern part of Europe and is one of the three Baltic countries. The Vilnius University is located in its capital and named after the capital. The cooperation between the NCL and Vilnius University was initiated by the Taiwan’s former governmental representative in Lithuania Mr. Jing Hsing. In June 2020, he visited the president and professor of Vilnius University Dr. Rimvydas Petrauskas and proposed to establish TRCCS cooperation. From his proposal there began the follow-up interactive communications between the two parties. His visit and proposal are important for this new cooperation relationship. The current representative Huang Jun-yiao pointed out that Vilnius University is a prestigious university with a history of more than 400 years. It was founded in 1579 and is the largest university in Lithuania, also, is the oldest university in the three Baltic countries. The TRCCS in the VU is to be located at the Oriental Studies Reading Room at the Central Library of Vilnius University. While it is not easy to acquire Taiwan and Sinology research resources locally in Lithuania, it is believed that the TRCCS could greatly benefit research and teaching of Asian and cross-cultural research in VU.
Director-General Dr. Tseng mentioned in further that TRCC program was started from 2012, and has adopted the principle of widely and evenly distribution on all continents of the world as well as in different countries. This is because that “Interlibrary loan” between libraries can facilitate efficient loan of library materials. When TRCCS books might be available for ILL services, with evenly distributed policy, for none-TRCCS partners, they could send ILL request to nearby library or nearby country, therefore could greatly shorten waiting time to receive the ILL requested books. Director-General Dr. Tseng remarked that under such policy, TRCCS will be possible to be an agent that could help extending resources sharing of NCL to nearby universities and countries. The good will of this is to share globally the Taiwan scholars research outcomes, and to benefit Taiwan and Sinology studies in a global scale. Because of the high-efficiency service and practice of this sharing philosophy, the NCL’s TRCCS program was awarded the International Innovative Service Award by the American Library Association in 2015.
The cooperative relationship between NCL and all the TRCCS partners is committed to long-term sustainable and mutually beneficial cooperation. Both parties agreed and promised in the signed Cooperation Agreement that while NCL will share good-quality academic monographs and digital resources when possible, the VU will assist the NCL to get most up-to-date information concerning Taiwan and Sinology research publications in the country, and will also collaboratively hold topical lecture and exhibition. This is of mutual beneficial for both parties. The NCL appreciates that the jointly held topical lectures with TRCCS partners allows outstanding Taiwan scholars to show and share their researches for international academic communities, and the NCL is also possible to collect local publication information, and even further cooperation projects such as cooperation digitization of ancient books became possible. It is well recognized as a model project for successful academic exchanges.