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Taipei, Taiwan: Cultural council launches public library improvement project.
17 April 2003
The Council for Cultural Affairs (CCA) under the Executive Yuan (Cabinet) yesterday kicked off a program to improve the operations and services of public libraries in Taiwan as part of the government's campaign to enhance the knowledge-based society and lift the nation's international competitiveness.

With an goal of upgrading the libraries' service quality, the islandwide program calls for active efforts by the libraries to integrate resources at communities and take initiatives to turn the libraries into a place where people like to visit and stay.

The program is also designed to help libraries carry out maintenance work on hardware facilities, improve interior designs, better utilize available spaces, procure new equipment, and streamline the service operations, according to CCA Vice Chairman Wu Mi-cha.

Wu said each library on the island may apply for a budget of NT$5 million in principle for the improvements. But the ceiling of the budget is set at NT$10 million.

With the assistance of National Taichung Library and Taipei Municipal Library, the CCA will be holding four large-scale seminars to present details of the program.

The first seminar was held yesterday in Taipei with over 200 senior staffers at libraries and officials of local-level governments attending.

Experts and professors of library science and information services were invited to give lectures on the subject.

An executive of the Eslite Bookstore, one of the leading bookstore chains in Taiwan, shared the company's experience on how to improve the atmosphere for an excellent reading environment and efficient services, holding active promotional events, and pursuing the realization of a well-read society.

Since the CCA's "New Idea" project applies to all of the around 400 public libraries in Taiwan, similar seminars will be held at the National Taichung Library in central Taiwan today, at the Cultural Affairs Bureau of Hualien County Government in eastern Taiwan tomorrow, and at the Hsinhsing Reading Studio in Kaohsiung on Thursday.

All libraries are eligible to file applications for financial support by presenting their concrete plans to cultural affairs bureaus at county or city governments before March 31 for first-phase screening.

The bureaus are scheduled to complete their second-stage evaluations of the respective plans by May 30.

The National Taichung Library has set up a special service corps to provide assistance and a screening committee comprised of scholars and experts to carry out final reviews and follow-up supervision of the improved operations.

Additional information is available at Taichung library's Web site:

Source: (2003) Cultural council launches public library improvement project from the online newspaper 'The China Post staff' dated 25.02.03[online] Available at;=Ad. Accessed on 17.04.03.
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