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photo of Mr Barry Lawson Burton
2006 University Fellow
Mr Barry Lawson Burton

Born and educated in England, Mr Barry Burton was appointed Foundation Librarian of the then Hong Kong Polytechnic in 1973. After 34 years of dedicated service to the University, he retired in April this year. With his vision of establishing a first-class library, Mr Burton played a leading role in designing a library that made effective and efficient use of space as well as of the state-of-the-art information technology. He also initiated numerous innovative projects to expand the scope of the Library’s services. Today, the Library collection exceeds two million items, and with over 3,550 seats available for users, the Library has by far the largest seating capacity offered by any library in Hong Kong. The quality and quantity of both the monograph and the full text electronic book and journal collections are regarded as world-class.

On top of his commitment to PolyU, Mr Burton has also served as the Chairman of the Joint University Librarians Advisory Committee, and steered the collaboration efforts to synergize information resources and services among local university libraries to the significant benefit of library users. On the international stage, he was the Regional President of the International Federation for Information and Documentation for eight years and successfully organised the biennial world meeting held in Hong Kong. In this career he is highly regarded by his professional peers across many continents.

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