Revolutionizing the Municipal Library
Updated: Mar 15, 2019
#SDG4 - Quality Education
#SDG10 - Reduced Inequalities
◆Implementation Period: 2015 - Present ◆Reference(Mandarin): https://wedid.ntpc.gov.tw/Site/Policy?id=66
What is library? What roles should a city’s public library system play? The answers to these questions may need revisions as the knowledge demand changes in contemporary society.
The biggest impact comes from the evolution of digital technologies, which not only created new forms of knowledge storage and dissemination, but also revolutionized the rationale of knowledge storage and retrieval. It is even suggested that the human cognitive system may alter to cope with the changing knowledge ecology.
So, how would this affect the role of library? Once a ‘reservoir of sorted books’, a sacred temple for knowledge seekers, library is now better conceived as ‘station of knowledge service’ or even ‘node in the knowledge dissemination network’. The New Taipei City government reformed our public library service accordingly.
We erected a new main library that set new standards for public library in many aspects. The ten-storey building was stylishly built with many attractive and cozy corners for people to explore and stay. It was awarded “Diamond-rated green building” label for its environment-friendly design.
The library is also completed with many latest technological applications— a spectacular e-book display wall where the reader can borrow with mobile devices, a massive automated book-lending machine for reserved titles and a book-sorting belt for returned books, and advanced book-borrowing stations with the function of RFID-detection and facial recognition.
A core vision in designing this new library is to ensure its accessibility to all. The building is completely wheelchair-accessible with lifts, level floor and widened inter-shelf corridors, and it was the first public library in Taiwan awarded “universal design” certificate. Some of its floors are open 24 hrs daily to accommodate late-night readers. We even extend our service to people with visual impairment by arranging sessions during which our staff or volunteer would literally “read” book for them. We believe the contemporary public library has the obligation to deliver knowledge to the most disadvantaged.
We also connect the 104 municipal libraries and reading rooms to form a large network of book circulation. Cross-branch borrowing is made easy and any readers can reserve any book from any branch to be sent to his/her designated library within a few mouse-click. We further expanded the network to incorporate the public libraries of Keelung and Taipei. The readers can even return the borrowed books at nearby convenience store; our partnering logistic service will deliver them back to where they belong.