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Apr 02, 2024 / 23:14

A new lease on life for Hanoi's community library system

Hanoi's libraries have been instrumental in the spread of the reading movement in the community in recent years.

More public libraries are being built in Hanoi to promote reading culture in the society, improve spiritual life and provide educational facilities for the local population, especially children, according to Deputy Director of Hanoi Library Vuong Thi Ly.

“In the coming time, Hanoi will strengthen its public library system, support librarians, and honor those who contributed to encouraging and developing the reading movement in the community,” Ly told Vietnam News Agency.

She added that Hanoi's library network now consists of Hanoi Library, 29 district libraries, 54 commune libraries and about 1,100 mini-libraries and reading rooms throughout the city.

The Giang Cao community library in Hanoi's Gia Lam district has over 5,000 books. Photo: VNA

These libraries have helped to spread the reading movement in the community in recent years. Among them, Tay Ho District Library currently has more than 25,000 books, including 7,000 children's books, covering various topics such as history, culture, and politics, among others.


Nguyen Thi Phuong, head librarian at the Tay Ho District Centre for Culture, Information and Sports, said encouraging students to read is her main task. "The children's reading corner is always decorated in an eye-catching way to attract more children after school and on weekends," she said.

In addition, the district youth association has organized many cultural events and competitions related to books and reading habits to attract local youth, such as the "Search for the Ambassador of Reading Culture", "Book Installation" and "Book Illustration" competitions, among others.

In addition, libraries of audio books and digital books have been set up on social networking sites and YouTube channels.

The Binh Vong Village Library in Van Binh Commune, Thuong Tin District, Hanoi, is a good example of effectively mobilizing private resources for library development.

Duong Van Phi, director of the Binh Vong Village Library, told The Hanoi Times that since its establishment in 1999, the library has formed a "network of administrators" led by village elders. "These enthusiastic librarians are always available to receive donated books, classify them and lend them to readers," Phi said.

"The library started with 500 books. Today, it has more than 15,000 titles. Every year, it lends books to more than 600 people and serves about 3,000 readers. The library has been honored to welcome the delegation of the Royal Library of Sweden and dozens of delegations from other provinces and cities to visit and exchange experiences in building and running libraries," the director added.

At the library in Hanoi's Van Phuc ward, Ha Dong district, Nguyen Thi Huyen, head librarian, said the reading cellar, located in the historic site of Van Phuc Temple, has about 1,000 books and more than 20 newspapers and magazines.

The reading room for pensioners, elderly people, students and pupils living in the area is open every day, even on holidays.

"The library is open right at the famous local relic site, which is an advantage because people visit the relic and come to the library. Many visitors to the site, as well as local people, choose to read a book or magazine while waiting to attend some events held here," Huyen told the Vietnam News Agency.

Readers enjoy reading books at the Hanoi Library. Photo: Tu Linh/The Hanoi Times

According to Vuong Thi Ly, to maintain the operation of the community library network, the Hanoi Library and the capital's cultural sector will continue to promote communication, attract private investment, and enhance the spirit of shared social responsibility in improving the library's reading and learning environment. Hanoi authorities will develop appropriate policies to involve private resources in library activities, as well as reward policies for organizations and individuals who make positive contributions in terms of human, material and financial resources to community library activities.

"In order to provide more books and newspapers to readers, Hanoi Library and district libraries will continue to distribute books to community libraries. These efforts is expected to gradually improve operational efficiency and reaffirm the role and position of libraries and books in social and cultural life," Ly said.