Family library nourishes neighbors for 40 years

By Sun Ruisheng in Taiyuan and Zhou Huiying | | Updated: 2021-03-17 15:56
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Du Dejian and his wife pose for a photo in front of the library at his home in Zhangfang village of Yongji, Shanxi province. [Photo provided to]

Over the past 40 years, Du Dejian has received numerous visitors at the library he built in his home in Zhangfang village of Yongji, Shanxi province.

Du, 60, a rural teacher, determined to establish a library in the village when he noticed various difficulties his neighbors encountered as a result of limited knowledge during the planting season around 1980.

He was newly married, and the couple moved out of their room and installed simple bookshelves. With support from his family, Du brought books, newspapers and magazines, mainly about agriculture.

Then, on Jan 1, 1981, heralding a new year, he threw open his doors to all his neighbors to use the library free of charge.

There weren't as many visitors as he expected at the beginning.

"At that time, residents would trust their own experience rather than books," he said. "To attract them, I began to send newspapers to their homes and explained the great power of technology."

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