Sunday, September 27 2020


The Law on Libraries will help promote reading culture: NA deputies

Update: March, 14/2019 - 09:00

Library management needs stricter control to prevent poor standards, according to National Assembly (NA) deputy chairman Phùng Quốc Hiển.— VNA/VNS Photo Trọng Đức

HÀ NỘI — Library management needs stricter control to prevent poor standards, according to National Assembly (NA) deputy chairman Phùng Quốc Hiển.

He was speaking during a discussion on the draft Law on Libraries by deputies at the 32nd session of the NA Standing Committee yesterday.

“We see many books that once belonged to libraries put up for sale at old bookshops,” said Hiển.

“Old books are sold for scrap. However, individuals and organisations can purchase them and resell at a higher price. Some books even are sold for several million đồng. A large amount of State assets is seriously wasted, causing a loss for the country’s precious knowledge resources,” he said.

Trần Văn Túy, head of the NA Standing Committee’s Commission for NA Members’ Affairs, said some libraries are located at communal peoples’ committees, which are not always open and accessible to the public.  

Many books remained unopened, even though they were sent to the library a long time before.

Presenting an assessment report on the draft law, Phan Thanh Bình, chairman of the NA Committee for Culture, Education, Youth and Children, said after 18 years of implementation, the Ordinance of Library has revealed many shortcomings and was no longer consistent with the reality and the relevant legal system.

The development of science and technology has created great progress of the library’s science sector, changing the way people access information in libraries, he said.

He said: “The system in Việt Nam, particularly the public library, is ineffective, failing to meet the demand of people. Due attention hasn’t been given to school libraries and reading culture has changed because of information accession.”

During the discussion, NA deputies agreed the promulgation of the Law on Libraries would contribute to creating a legal corridor for the development of the sector, promoting reading culture and ensuring the right to access information, culture and help the lifelong learning of people.

However, they pointed out people rarely went to libraries at communes and about 30 per cent of libraries at district level were not granted books.

Although many provinces and districts have nice libraries, their target of attracting readers was largely ignored.

Participants also agreed about the need to diversify libraries, including non-state ones like those of social and professional organisations and those in the private sector. They said the building of digital libraries or digital resources were common trends of modern libraries given the change of habits and information accession in the society.

They said it was necessary for the draft law to have regulations on copyright relating to digital books and the digitalisation of documents to facilitate the development of digital libraries.

Despite accounting for large numbers, the majority of school libraries failed to fulfill their role, deputies said. Therefore, they called for clarification of responsibilities of the State and relevant bodies with a view to promote the development of school libraries. — VNS

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