Library service in the wee hours

A new 24-hour library has opened on the east side of the Minhang District Library . It is the fourth of its kind in Minhang.

A new 24-hour library has brightened prospects for bookworms who have trouble sleeping. It is the fourth of its kind in Minhang.

Located on the east side of the Minhang District Library, the new facility opened on 23 June. It’s an automated service, with no onsite librarians, a collection of 4,000 books and 40 reading seats. Patrons can enter using an identity card or a library card.

The new 24-hour libraries have been popular with the public. Three more are set to open by the end of this year.

In an age when the Internet offers endless reading resources, accessible to everyone, some people still like the feel of holding an actual book when reading. The new library services provide them quiet reading space outside the 9-5 routine.

“I have fallen in love with 24/7 library space,” said Shi Jianghua, a 28-year-old architect, “It has a nice vibe for people who just want to enjoy a good read. Though there aren’t any librarians in attendance, users are disciplined and well-mannered.”

Zhang Jingfang, director of Minhang District Library, said the latest 24-hour service is the smallest to date but probably has the best facilities.

The library collaborated with the Bureau of Culture, Broadcasting, Television, Press and Publication to open 24-hour services. The reading room has a Scandinavian-style décor that is simple but functional.
Readers can take books from the shelves or download e-books. The book collection of each 24-hour facility is chosen according to the borrowing tastes of local residents. While some libraries focus on history and literature, other are stocked with romance novels and thrillers.

Rao Pingru, 96, the author of “Story of Us,” read chapters from his book on the opening day of the new facility. The library is inviting authors and media celebrities to do readings, with a different book theme every season.

This summer’s theme is books about families. Famous writers like Kong Mingzhu and Jin Yucheng are scheduled to give readings.

Sun Yi

The new facility is an automated service, with no onsite librarians, a collection of 4,000 books and 40 reading seats.



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