(T) Chinese government plans 200.000 new libraries

7 februari 2007 > The Chinese government plans to set up a total of 200,000 village libraries by 2010. The aim of this ambitious plan is to reduce the »information and culture gap« between the urban and rural populations.
It is intended that in future, the rural population should benefit as much from China’s economic growth as its urban dwellers. This has been announced by the government-linked Chinese news agency Xinhua which quotes a government spokesman: “Up to now, peasant farmers have not had a chance to access good books. The project aims to gradually remedy the matter.” Each library is to be stocked with at least 1,000 books and 30 newspapers which are “useful and understandable” for peasant farmers. Audiovisual products are also to be included.

The libraries are to be managed by the rural populations themselves, whose lack of spending power has made them unable to afford their own books. The desire for this had made itself felt as a matter of public opinion. In a survey, 90 per cent of the Chinese questioned complained about the small number of libraries, according to an article on the subject in the French trade paper Livres Hebdo.

(gelezen bij Frankfurter Buchmesse)

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