Lawmakers further review draft law on public libraries

Xinhua
China's lawmakers continued to review the draft law on public libraries Tuesday.
Xinhua

China's lawmakers continued to review the draft law on public libraries Tuesday.

The draft was submitted to the National People's Congress Standing Committee for a second reading at the bi-monthly session, which runs until Saturday.

The draft law says modern technology should be integrated into public libraries, with more digital content and networks, to deliver better services to the public.

Some lawmakers have suggested terms on the specific functions of the national library be added to the draft, such as organizing the protection of ancient books, carrying out research and international exchanges on libraries, and providing guidance and technical support for libraries.

An item on ancient books was added to the draft law, asking public libraries to strengthen the protection of ancient books, and publicize books via exhibitions, lectures and reproductions to spread Chinese traditional culture.

"Public libraries must not hold or allow organizations or individuals to hold activities that go against the laws at libraries, including those that harm the national security or infringe on public interests," according to the draft.

The first reading of the draft law took place in June, when lawmakers said that as gateways to knowledge and culture, public libraries were important in providing resources for learning and education.

China has more than 3,100 government-run libraries and around 50 public libraries set up by citizens, enterprises and public institutions, social groups and other organizations, according to the Ministry of Culture.

As of the end of 2015, a network of libraries covering both urban and rural areas had a total of 838 million books.


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