Many Chinese OPAC systems are now in day-to-day operation. Many of the functions, such as indexing and search methods, are mimicked from Western models. This article argues that such transferred systems may not be perfectly suitable for the Chinese context due to the unique features of Chinese character writing and the information-seeking behavior of Chinese uses is poorly understood. This article calls for empirical study of the interaction between users and information retrieval systems. Also presented are the results of two empirical studies: One involving questionnaires, and the other involving direct observation and interview, all conducted within two student group projects. These will provide a preliminary understanding of Chinese OPAC use.