The Mute Teacher for Everyone – CGST Library

Joyce Sun 
Associate Professor (Biblical Studies)
Librarian

 

The mute teacher being introduced here is quite low-key in its style. Every day, it stays quietly in the CGST Devon Road campus, waiting for students to come for help with their questions. It has such an abundant wealth of knowledge and wisdom that attracts numerous patrons, including CGST teachers and students, to visit it for conducting research, writing assignments, as well as alumni and visitors looking for references and information. It is now taking good care of nearly 1,700 students, while other visitors often want to get a glimpse of its charm. This teacher always welcomes everyone. Whenever someone visits, it will give and share all it knows. With six teaching assistants and a volunteer accompanying, it always tries its best to help answer questions from students. Its goal is to make sure questions raised by everyone who visits are helpfully answered.

As more and more students come to visit, and together with the development of CGST, an increase in diversity in the types and needs of students, as well as the surge of ever changing and expanding fields of knowledge, this teacher finds itself cannot slack off. While there are currently around 200,000 books and 49 electronic full-text databases on hand, and more than 4,600 electronic journals, and 247 copies of physical journals ordered each year, it has recently also purchased the electronic databases of Dead Sea Scrolls Electronic Library Biblical Texts, The Digital Karl Barth Library and the Bulletin of the Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica. In the coming future, it will continue to enrich itself with valuable books and resources so that students coming with questions will not leave empty-handed. It particularly prefers to acquire relatively expensive but valuable academic items so that students can have access to advanced knowledge without being inhibited by any particular financial conditions.

Last year, CGST launched its new curriculum with emphasis on "Reflective Collaboration." This mute teacher is also thinking about how to make itself a competent "Reflective Collaborator." Indeed, it has long been collaborating with other mute teachers. Formed by mute teachers from four seminaries, "Ecumenical Information Network" would share resources and purchase books and electronic materials together, for the benefits of students. They have also collaborated in purchasing the Aleph automation system and the Primo discovery tool, which enable students to have access to the materials collected by all the four mute teachers in one single inquiry, whether they be physical books or electronic materials. This handy tool has proven to be very cost-effective and an efficient use of resources, bringing a lot of convenience to students.

Indeed, this mute teacher always hope to be a heart-felt collaborator and partner, available for students to consult and obtain knowledge conveniently. It has recently been thinking about how to elevate its availability through electronic media. In addition to providing video training courses to teach students how to search for its treasures and resources, it is also exploring the possibility of connecting with students and propagating its activities and development via the Facebook or website of CGST. It will be thrilled to share as much of its treasures as it can with students. In the near future and when you visit it, it probably will be showing you the most popular books being borrowed and the print journals that you may easily ignore.

Someone once said: "The greatest mission of a teacher is not to make students learn, but to make sure they can self-learn!”1 This mute teacher is glad to realize that it is sharing exactly the same vision. It is the honor and joy of a teacher to have a share in students’ research work, home assignments or ministry, and to walk with them along the journey. Even when students are no longer staying at school all the time, this mute teacher will still feel very much contented and satisfied, if students can occasionally think of this mute teacher and visit it once in a while to look for the answers they need.

 

1. A post on Facebook by Rethinking School Education on October 5, 2018.

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