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Zhangjiagang focuses on building rural libraries

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2020-03-31

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Zhangjiagang focuses on building rural libraries

Villagers listen to a volunteer telling a story about Jiao Yulu, a leading example of an honest Party official, at a rural library in Baijiaqiao village, Zhangjiagang. [Photo/WeChat account: zjgcitynews]

Tingxixuan, a small pavilion at Xu Changdi’s courtyard, has been a popular library for locals in Baijiaqiao village, Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu province.

“We have had great times here,” said Xu, aged 92. “Most of the seniors like me cannot read, but the volunteers read books for us.”

In 2019, the village included the construction of rural libraries into its cultural development plan and recruited volunteers to help run them. A 24-hour public bookstore has also been set up to meet the diverse demands of the villagers.

In another village known as Yonglian, a rural library covering an area of 1,000 square meters was built in 2006 with more than 2 million yuan in investment.

The library currently houses more than 40,000 books and over 200 newspapers and magazines. It also operates round the clock.

As part of its efforts to promote a citywide reading campaign, Zhangjiagang launched the rural library project in 2006. So far, all administrative villages have built digital rural libraries, which were included in the city’s library system. Anyone with a citizen card can read, borrow and return books at any local library.

The city currently enjoys two national-level demonstration rural libraries, two national-level literary communities and nine provincial five-star demonstration rural libraries, ranking first among cities in Jiangsu province.


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