A primary school student reads in the children’s books section at Guangzhou Library. [Photo/news.dayoo.com]
Guangzhou Library hosted the release conference of the third session of Guangzhou Reading Month on April 22, one day before World Book Day organized by UNESCO to promote reading, publishing, and copyright rules.
At the conference, Fang Jiazhong, chief librarian of the library, released the 2017 Annual Report of the Construction of Guangzhou as a City of Libraries.
According to the report, the visitor volume to the city's public libraries in 2017 was 20.88 million, surpassing 20 million for the first time. Considering the city's permanent resident population of 14,498,400, the average Guangzhou resident went to public libraries 1.44 times in 2017. There are 2,712,500 registered users of public libraries, accounting for 18.71 percent of the resident population.
By the end of 2017, there were 156 public libraries at 123 of the 170 street communities in Guangzhou city, with the coverage rate of libraries reaching 72.35 percent.
Guangzhou invested a total of 462 million yuan ($73 million) in public libraries, with book purchases exceeding 100 million yuan and total collections exceeding 20 million books for the first time.
Along with investment from Guangzhou municipal government, social organizations also took part in constructing the "City of Libraries". Guangzhou Children's Park, various industrial parks, Vanke Group, Agile Group, and other non-governmental organizations have been supplying spaces and operating equipment for public libraries, allowing them to open in residential communities, parks, and industrial areas. More and more Guangzhou residents are now able to access public libraries near their homes and workplaces.