The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism's first public library project abroad, Hanoi Library in Vietnam, has been completed at the end of this month after work began in 2021. Shown is the facility's lobby.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism's first public library project abroad, the renovation of Hanoi Library in Vietnam, has been completed.
The ministry on Dec. 26 said its additional aid provided at the end of this month for the facility's automation system marked the completion of its first public library project abroad that began in 2021.
As part of an official development assistance project, the ministry since 2020 has promoted its initiative to build or renovate public libraries abroad to create spaces for reading and cultural appreciation in beneficiary countries and promote lifelong learning, use of information and cultural exchange.
Selected as the project's inaugural mission and opened in 2008, Hanoi Library is one of Vietnam's leading public libraries and has two nine-story buildings. Its renovation was finished at the end of March this year and an opening ceremony was held on April 18.
By refurbishing the main building, the ministry reorganized the venue's space more efficiently and created a digital resource room to use information technology (IT). Training programs were also used to raise the capabilities of library managers and staff.
A Korean data room was opened on the first floor to spread Hallyu (Korean Wave) in Vietnam. Additional support also went toward equipment and software to build the basis for library automation like an access management system utilizing radio-frequency identification and a smart bookshelf that allows automatic borrowing and return.
The ministry said this project led to a jump of over 200% in the number of Hanoi Library users compared to before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a high user satisfaction rating of 90%.
The ministry's second public library project is in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Between next year and 2025, the plan is to conduct operations like building a library annex, provide resources such as books, furniture and IT devices, and raise the capabilities of library staff.
"We hope that Hanoi Library emerges as a leading complex cultural space for Hanoi residents and plays the role of bridgehead for spreading benchmarks of Korea's advanced libraries to the Vietnamese library community," said Choi Sung-hee, director-general of the ministry's Regional Culture Policy Bureau. "We will continue to actively back the development of a sustainable knowledge culture worldwide by providing our country's outstanding library services."
This is the data room on the third floor of Hanoi Library in Vietnam.
This is the children's data room at Hanoi Library in Vietnam.
Photos = Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism
By Park Hye Ri