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Libraries in modern_china[2]
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Libraries in modern_china[2]


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Libraries in Modern China reviews the development of libraries over the course of the 20th century up to the Beijing Library Centennial in 2009. Kimberly Reed, Dominican University, 2009.

Libraries in Modern China reviews the development of libraries over the course of the 20th century up to the Beijing Library Centennial in 2009. Kimberly Reed, Dominican University, 2009.

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  • After the Revolution and establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, libraries underwent a slow process of being transformed into reading rooms for the education of the Chinese People in socialism and current events. The Cultural Revolution destroyed much of the progress in the early part of the century. During the Cultural Revolution from 1965 to 1978, the contents of libraries and museums were censored; thousands of books were burned or suppressed.
  • Transcript

    • 2. Early 20th Century, Qing for Change
      Official testing of scholars in traditional Confucian teachings ended in 1905.
      A modern examination system was instituted.
      1905-1911 thousands of schools opened.
      1905 the first public library in China opened in Hunan; in 1909 Metropolitan library in Beijing; many public regional libraries opened after this time, basis for a modern library system.
    • 3. Min Guo Period 1911-1949
      Creation of modern library for the masses under the Republic of China, led by U.S. supported Sun-YatSen from 1912
      Forces driving library use during this time:
      Mass education movement, improved literacy
      Need for educated workforce in urban economies
      Nationalism and the Chinese perception of threat from Japan, revalued colloquial Chinese dialects
      Popular poetry and arts flourished in vernacular
    • 4. Mao, Librarian & Clerk
      From 1918- 1919 Mao Zhe-dong worked in the library at the University of Beijing
      Head librarian Li Da-zhao was China’s leading Marxist. He strongly influenced the young Mao, introducing him to a wide range of socialist literature and ideas. Da-zhaoused the Dewey decimal system in the Beijing library.
      He taught Mao that literacy and the open library are essential to building socialism.
    • 5. Mary Elizabeth Wood
      American missionary & educator opened the first public school library in 1910, open to the public; created a network of public reading rooms and traveling libraries that served factory worker communities. She also used the Dewey system.
      Sent two Chinese students to library school in US, preparing them for leadership in China
      Established the Boone U. Library School in 1920, trained librarians for Chinese public schools
    • 6. American Library Association in China
      1924 Mary Wood traveled to Washington & convinced the President to give the Boxer Indemnity ($ paid by China to Western powers), back to China for construction of public libraries. Congress approved $12mil.
      CLA Chinese Library Assoc. f to meet ALA
      ALA representative Arthur Bostwicktoured 14 Chinese cities in 1925, advising about how to use of the Boxer Indemnity grant money.
    • 7. War Against Japan & Civil War 1937-1949
      1935-1949 Civil War-Revolution Many libraries were destroyed. Some collections were moved to Taiwan, or to the U.S. LOC, never to be returned to mainland Chinese libraries.
      Academic libraries lost 2.8 out of 5.9 million volumes (1939 survey). Irreplaceable losses.
      Over 90% of libraries in universities, colleges, technical institutions were occupied, damaged or destroyed by the Japanese from 1937-1941.
    • 8. Mao’s Peoples Republic 1949-1966
      Libraries are tools in the class struggle, cultural institutions to educate the people in patriotism, socialism and service to the Communist party. Literacy is in service to the people.
      Rapid expansion in number of places called libraries carrying publications propagandizing Marxist Leninism-”Street libraries” & reading centers-”donation of 1 book per household”
      Socialism=literacy for the workers & peasants.
    • 9. Chinese Library Classification CLC
      Built on a five division system deviating from the Dewey decimal system, started 1953, pub. 1975
      Natural sciences
      Social sciences
      Use unlimited classes and subdivisions
    • 10. National Book Coordination Act 1957
      • Established National Library of China in Beijing & Shanghai Library, plus 9 regional libraries.
      Compiled national union catalogs with holdings of all libraries in China.
      To serve scientific research, keep up to date, and engage in international exchange of publications. Necessary for a modern society.
      Established professional library training
    • 11. The Cultural Revolution 1966-76
      Libraries denounced for holding books and items regarded as “feudalism, capitalism, and revisionism.”
      Librarians reassigned to non-library jobs
      Thousands of items burned or locked up
      Library science declared not a science; libraries are to serve the people’s education in propaganda, deep hatred of outside influence
    • 12.
    • 13. Libraries for Modernization 1976-1992
      With the fall of the Gang of Four, China had to recover from a period of enforced ignorance and loss of professional expertise and staff
      1978 China adopted Open Door Policy
      Emphasis on production, modernization and the need for information sharing-Science
      Reaffirmed the NBCA of 1957
      1979 China Society of Library Science-joined IFLA International Federation of Library Assoc.
    • 14. Libraries for the Market Economy 1980s & 1990s
      Libraries still cannot meet the growing demand to share information quickly-government budgets, recession prone
      Years of abuse and reassignment created a long term shortage in trained librarians
      Library directors throughout Chinese history tend to be retired government or University officials
      1989 CN MARC widely adopted
      CERNET-China Education Research Network 1993-to connect all the libraries in China
    • 15. Global Economy & Information Sharing
      Growing the support and network bases for research in science and industry have created momentum for the total reconstruction and building of a world class library system
      Government support, professional staff, number of libraries at all levels have increased exponentially
      Internet has integrated China into the global community, attempts to limit or censure fail
    • 16. Current site for the National Library of China in Beijing (25 mil volumes+) is celebrating its pre-revolutionary origins. Laws and periodicals of the Min Guo period, between Qing Dynasty and PRC are available.
      Artifacts like oracle bones and artwork are featured. Chinese culture is not limited to the People’s Republic or People’s Revolution
      Today, a Renaissance and Explosion in Chinese cultural production and collection building.