My university has a Korean library that has a lot of Korean textbooks, grammar books, cultural books, novels, comics and so on. However, this library is only available for students whose major is Korean language. My major is English Linguistics and Literature, so I am not allowed to go to this library.
During four years of university, I always dream of being able to go to that Korean library. I cannot understand why the managers do not allow students who have great passion for Korean to go to this library. My department also has an English library and students who want to use this library have to make the library card with a reasonable cost. Students whose major is not English are still able to use the library, but need to spend more money on the library card. Why don’t the Korean library’s managers use this system so that other students can get access to the library? I have to borrow Korean books from students majoring in Korean language or ask my Korean friends to buy Korean books.
Today, when I went to my university on Thu Duc campus for the internship report, I caught sight of a new area inside the general library. This area was called “Korean reference room- Window on Korea.”
I curiously went to that room and found out that this was a Korean library. I asked the librarian if I could go to the library. He kindly said that students of university of Social Sciences and Humanities could get access to this library. I felt extremely excited and happy. I gave him my student ID and explored the library. First of all, the bookshelf of Korean albums and film DVDs caught my attention because I could easily spot SNSD albums in the blink of an eye. There are also many albums of famous Korean artists such as IU, 2NE1, SISTAR, KARA…This was also my first time seeing the Korean film DVDs.
1) The bookshelves of this library is full of Korean textbooks, Topik books, cultural books, novels and so on. However, I was very interested in the Korean textbooks section. This was my first time seeing the EWHA Korean textbooks series. I read many good reviews of this series, and it turns out that EWHA Korean series is one of the most beautiful Korean textbook I have ever seen. The book title in the cover is textured and glittery. The illustration in the books are so beautiful and eye-catching. What I like about this series is that the reading passages are long and full of new vocabularies. The contents are also very interesting. I love this series so much!!!
Next to the EWHA Korean book series is the 재미있는 한국어 series (Fun!Fun!Korean). The significance of this series is the good dialogues. The reading passages seem much easier than the EWHA series. The grammar points are also too easy. There are not many illustrations in this series.
2) Another corner that I love is the Sogang Korean textbook section. The Sogang books are extremely thin. The grammar and listening part of this series are too easy. The good point is the long and interesting reading passage with many useful vocabularies. There are also many beautiful illustrations in the books.
3) My favourite corner is the Yonsei reading series. This series is one of the best series to practice reading. There are interesting reading passages about Korean life, culture and so on. The books even provide the new vocabularies with the Hanja. There are also many exercises to practice reading skills and revise the vocabularies.
4) The famous series “Korean grammar in use” is also available in this library. However, there are only beginner and intermediate series. I am looking forward to the advanced book. This series categorized the grammar points according to the usage, so you will remember and distinguish the similar grammar points easily. There are also dialogues related to daily life topics and CDs to practice listening. Most of the grammars in this series appear a lot in the Topik exams, so you can use this book to prepare for the topik exam.
There are also the series Korean vocabulary for foreigners (외국인을 위한 한국어 어휘) and Korean grammar for foreigners (외국인을 위한 한국어 문법). As for the grammar books, the grammar points are presented according to the alphabet order. Therefore, you can easily look up the new words. However, it is not a good way of studying grammar. In my opinion, we should study grammars according to their usage and know how to distinguish the similar grammar points. When using this series, I feel like reading a dictionary.
5) The Topik bookshelves are impressive with many topik preparation books. I also have the Topik master series and feel very satisfied. In each book, there are 10 Topik sample tests. There is a small booklet consisting of the answer keys, new vocabularies and explanations. In fact, these sample tests in this book are more difficult than the real Topik tests.
There are also more Korean books to explore. This Korean library is new, so I guess there will be more updates. I am so happy because after waiting for four years, I finally get access to the Korean library. However, I am going to graduate soon and will be no longer students of this university (My student ID is only valid in 2010-2014). I wonder if I will be still able to use this library.