HA NOI — Foreign individuals and organisations would have the right to establish libraries in the country, under the draft law on libraries, discussed at the 7th session of the National Assembly Standing Committee yesterday.
The draft law, discussed for the first time by the committee, establishes three categories of libraries: State, non-State and those with foreign influences, which are to be managed by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Libraries with foreign influences would include those established or run by foreign individuals, organisations in association with Vietnamese individuals or organisations for the service of the country's population.
For foreign-influenced libraries to be set up, they would need to be set up as a legal body within Viet Nam's territories and to satisfy some other certain conditions. The sponsors would need to have at least five years' experience working in cultural or educational fields, and have proof of their financial soundness.
During the discussion, law-makers agreed about the need to adjust the law regulating libraries in order to increase educational and cultural standards nation-wide, as well as to satisfy the increasing public demand for the literary arts.
Many argued for the implementation of a bottom-up system that would use local organisational systems at the communal and ward level. Such a plan would need long-term planning so as to ensure finances and management capabilities of a system that would cover about 11,000 communes nation-wide.
Participants also agreed that a grading system should be established for both State and non-State libraries.
The desired effect of such a grading system would be to promote the interests of the country in terms of education, human resources and investment. It would also be an incentive for investment.
Some said that the Government's library grading system should give priority to high-quality non-State facilities to encourage their rapid development.
According to statistics from the Government's statement on the draft law, the current library system includes national and provincial libraries in 63 provinces and cities, 626 district libraries, as well as nearly 4,000 communal libraries and reading-rooms. There have also been nearly 50 private, 100 institutional and 26,000 school libraries established in the country. The total number of books in all these facilities is estimated to be more than 27.4 million.
Discussing the draft law on judicial assessment, Chairman of the Law Committee Phan Trung Ly agreed with the majority's opinion that it was necessary to expand the number of those involved in legal assessment processes for libraries, including protecting the rights of individuals and organisations, in the case of civil proceedings. — VNS