Vũ Dương Thúy Ngà, director of Department of Library under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, speaks to Báo điện tử Tổ quốc (Fatherland Online) on her department’s mission to promote reading culture
How will the Law on Libraries impact society?
I’m confident the law will have a strong impact on Vietnamese society, particularly its development of culture, education and science. The law will contribute to Việt Nam’s legal corridor and the development of libraries nationwide as well as the reading culture of Vietnamese people. Further, the law will help make the 2013 National Constitution more transparent and accountable with other laws.
The Law on Libraries is a legal tool to protect the rights and interests of all Vietnamese citizens and organisations operating in the field of libraries, inside and outside the country. In addition, the law will serve as a foundation to help ensure all Vietnamese people have the right to get access to information, enjoy cultural activities and to make Việt Nam become a learning society.
What has changed in the new Law on Libraries?
One of the most striking points in the new law is the co-operative arrangement among libraries which will allow books and other materials from one library to be loaned out to a person from another library. The Government will also give priority to improving the quality of co-operative arrangements among libraries to help users make best use of library services.
The law also states clearly that the Government has to take responsibility for the good operation of all libraries – be it a public or a private library. More importantly, the Government will allocate a budget to ensure the libraries operate and are connected with each other smoothly and efficiently.
What is the role of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in bringing the Law on Libraries to life?
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism serves as a focal point in helping the Government perform its assignment as a State management agency on libraries in Việt Nam.
Under the Law on Libraries, the responsibilities of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism have been made more specific than in the previous ordinance.
Under the law, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is given the authority to issue and then organise the implementation of any policy or legal document concerning library activities.
In case of any accusation or petition on the encroachment of the Law on Libraries, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will also be granted the rights to solve them. In other words, the ministry will play a key role in promoting library development nationwide and in promoting the reading habit of the Vietnamese people. — VNS