Value reading and improve cultural literacy! Hsinchu County Magistrate Yang Wen-ke attaches great importance to reading and often uses his spare time to read books and expand his knowledge. Starting in 2010, the Cultural Affairs Bureau of Hsinchu County launched a “One-Pass” service with Hsinchu City, Taipei City, and Taoyuan City. Through the sharing of library resources between counties and cities, the number of volumes that can be borrowed by the public reached more than 10 million volumes. Further cooperation with neighboring counties and cities is being negotiated to expand libraries’ lending capacity, facilitate the use of public library resources, and further promote reading.
Hsinchu County Cultural Affairs Bureau Director Lee An-yu stated that the county’s budget for library book purchasing has increased from the NT$2 million to NT$5 million. Along with township and city library book purchasing funds, the total budget reached NT$8 million. Additionally, with the construction of the main library, from 2021 onwards, library book purchasing is budgeted at NT$10 million annually, with a total of NT$30 million allocated for the next 3 years. This will greatly increase the number of books that county residents can borrow.
In order to facilitate convenient book borrowing, libraries under the jurisdiction of the Hsinchu County Cultural Affairs Bureau and each township library have a “book-link” service. Through a reservation mechanism, borrowers can reserve books from any library through the Hsinchu County Public Library website or an online app. Books borrowed from other township or municipal libraries may be returned to any library within this network. Hsinchu City and Hsinchu County also have a “book-link” service. County residents can borrow books from the Hsinchu City library, and return them to any library in Hsinchu County.
In addition, Hsinchu County, Taipei City, Taoyuan City, and Hsinchu City all have a “One-Pass” service. By collecting and returning books from convenience stores, readers in Hsinchu County may also enjoy borrowing resources from the Taipei City Public Library. Research by the Cultural Affairs Bureau shows that since the launch of the “One-Pass” service, “One-Pass” borrowers from these four counties and cities have reached nearly 100,000.
The Hsinchu County Cultural Affairs Bureau Library stated that to promote the use of public library resources, and coinciding with the start of a new school year, through the Education Bureau’s school administration system, incoming students’ school library cards will be linked to their public library cards. This updated card will reflect the student’s grade level, and be outfitted into a “Happy Reading Card” that the student may use throughout their academic career. The student can borrow resources from the school library, as well as public libraries under the Hsinchu County jurisdiction. All students are encouraged to put their cards to good use.
The Hsinchu County Cultural Affairs Bureau has also launched mobile libraries that go onto campuses or into the county from time to time and at indeterminate points so that the greater public can borrow books. In addition, there are also e-book resources, including Hyread, FunPark Children’s Book Dream Factory, Taiwan eBookstore, etc., which are convenient for the public.
The Hsinchu County Cultural Affairs Bureau also pointed out that in order to increase the circulation of books and promote the importance of reading, it will be cooperating with other counties and cities in the future to expand the “One-Pass” service, and increase books circulation so that everyone can cultivate a habit of reading, be immersed in a sea of books, and enjoy the fun of reading.