Libraries seek ways bringing books to readers

The HCMC library sector has made outstanding contribution to the city’s development of reading culture over the past years. In these days, almost all activities and related services offered inside the libraries have been frozen due to threat of spread of Covid-19.
Libraries seek ways bringing books to readers ảnh 1 Tan Binh District’s library and the District’s Youth Union offer 2,500 books and 500 gifts of essential goods to households in blocked sites. (Photo: SGGP)
Ms. Thanh Tuyen who is living in District 8 will complete a Master's degree in the HCMC University of Social Sciences and Humanities at the end of this year. However, she could not find reference books that help her finish the master's thesis because the university's library has temporarily suspended its direct services.
Tuyen is one of the readers who can not come to libraries in these days.
Tan Binh District’s library located at the No.2G Nguyen Hien Le Street in Ward 13 has been turned into a quarantine facility since March, 2020. The library temporarily moved to the district’s Culture and Sport Center at the address No.448 Hoang Van Thu Street in Ward 4. However, it faces difficulty in receiving readers because of its limited space.
Manager of Tan Binh District’s library, Bui Thi Yen said that the library previously sent books to readers via app-based delivery services but it did not last long when HCMC started imposing the Prime Minister's Directive No 16/CT-TTg on the implementation of urgent measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In July, the library coordinated with the District’s Youth Union to offer 2,500 books and 500 gifts of essential goods to households in blocked sites and launched a web page where people can read free books online.
Meanwhile the Room to Read (RtR), a non-profit organization that was launched in Vietnam in 2001 has established 1,988 libraries. When the new Covid-19 outbreak occurred, the organization has offered online training courses for teachers and librarians to set up reading time at libraries in localities.
Digital transformation is regarded as a golden opportunity for various fields, including the library sector. In the beginning of this year, the Prime Minister approved a digital transformation program for the library sector to 2025 with a vision to 2030, with an overall goal of strengthening the comprehensive application of IT, especially digital technology to enhance operational efficiency and form a modern library network. The program helps libraries create breakthroughs in attracting more people using library services.
Ms. Doan Bao Chau, a representative of the RtR Vietnam said that the organization has speeded up the development of the online library of comic books called Literacy Cloud that has currently more than 2,000 books in 28 languages, including 80 Vietnamese books, and a video store at the site
The RtR Vietnam will run a Facebook live stream to present the Literacy Cloud to the public on September 14.
Director of the General Sciences Library of HCMC Bui Xuan Duc said that the library has achieved 26 percent of the amount of visitors of this year’s target. After moving online during the pandemic, the library saw nearly 1.3 million of those access the site and 1.7 million people who searched for reference documents.
The HCMC General Sciences Library has digitalized over 2.4 million pages of 50,577 prints and 3.8 million pages of reference books.
The library has proposed the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to create advantages of copyright registration to meet users’ demand in offering the service free of charge, and issue guidance in accordance with the Copyrights and Intellectual Property Rights in trading.

By Ho Son – Translated by Kim Khanh

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