According to a masters student at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, the XTJLU Library’s modern technology smoothed the way for students from around the globe to successfully meet their educational goals this semester in the pandemic-imposed all-online learning environment.

Shuaibu Musa Adam, who is studying sustainable energy technology in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, said: “It’s crystal clear that the XJTLU Library differs from those of traditional universities, by using the technological advances of the 21st Century to continue to deliver smooth services to staff and students amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Adam, pictured above, said that these technology initiatives strengthened his spirit during this uncertain period. Among them are the automatic extension of borrowed materials, development of a textbook posting system, virtual Library Seminar Series, and the large number of online sources added to the e-library.

The automatic due date extension early in the semester helped him both financially and emotionally, he said, especially since he had six library books checked out when campus closed.

“The extension has not only saved my money but also prevented the unnecessary stress and cost of mailing items back to the library. As such, it marked the first point in restoring my hope as I faced the challenge of studying for my degree online for the first time,” Adam said.

Another XJTLU Library service provided was a new system to post textbooks to students. The system enabled students to log in, choose textbooks from a list, and place their requests to be posted out within 24 hours.

“The textbook postings were not limited to students in China, but were also sent to students residing in any country around the world,” Adam said.

The XJTLU Library also made arrangements for students currently in China to pick up textbooks from campus using the same textbook management system, once they had received permission to visit the campus for that purpose.

“The arrangement made by the Library was very impressive, as the on-site collection services came with their own challenges, including daily disinfection of the space and the textbooks, body temperature checks at the entrance, ensuring proper social distancing and other necessary precautionary measures,” Adam said.

Adam also took advantage of the Library Seminar Series aimed at guiding staff members' and students’ research needs that were delivered online this semester.

“The lecture delivery skills of the tutors are excellent. The virtual seminar saved me lots of stress and time on how to write a good research report while managing the bulk of reading books/articles,” Adam said.

To help students during the all-online instruction period, the XJTLU Library enriched available e-resources, he noted.

“I can recall when I tried to purchase one online reference book from Amazon; the cost of the book is $254; fortunately, upon checking with the Library’s portal, it was found at no extra cost,” he said.

“As an online learner, access to the relevant needed materials determine how successful one could be.”

The XJTLU Library’s staff not only made good use of advanced technology but, also provided extra services to ensure students’ study was not interrupted, Adam said.

“Everyone knows that these are difficult times and people cannot be as productive as before. However, this seems to be totally opposite in the case of XJTLU staff,” he said.

Adam noted that the XJTLU Library staff's efforts are not only restricted to textbook collections/distributions, but also include organizing series of competitions in order to help relieve the stress felt by some students during the online learning period.

The XJTLU Library’s competitions helped students to connect and productively have fun.

“The ‘Defeat the Epidemic Events’ competition was my favorite among all. It helped in engaging me into some activities on social media to refresh my memory while interacting with other students,” he said.

“This has gone a long way in making my remote life enjoyable.

“During the first few weeks of the epidemic, I felt worried, scared, and confused to the point I started losing hope in the journey towards my second degree.

“However, XJTLU has been doing everything humanly possible to ensure minimal or no disruption in the students’ learning.”

Excerpted from an article by Shuaibu Musa Adam
Edited by Vionna Fiducia

Below: Hear Shuaibu Musa Adam describe his experience learning online at XJTLU this past semester

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