NTL Mid-Range Development Plans
National Taiwan Library Mid-Range Development Plans: 2019 – 2023
National Taiwan Library (NTL hereafter), once known as Imperial Taiwan Library during the Japanese Occupation Period, is the oldest public library in Taiwan. After the War, Imperial Taiwan Library was first changed to Taiwan Provincial Administrative Executive Office Library, then Taiwan Provincial Taipei Library. In 1973, it was again changed to National Central Library Taiwan Branch, under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education. In 2012, it was changed to subordinate to the Yangminshan Chungshan Hall Management Office of the National Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall and continued to be in charge of the preservation of monuments and the operational work of the office. In 2013, according to the Organic Act of National Taiwan Library, it was changed to “National Taiwan Library.” The NTL functions as a public library and a professional library. The public library of the NTL includes the Parent and Child Information Center, the Visual Impairment Information Center, the Study Room, the Periodicals Room, the Audiovisual Zone, the Senior Zone, the Multicultural Resources Area, the Teen Zone, etc., offering materials to meet the reading demands and lifelong learning needs of diverse ethnic groups. The professional library of the NTL includes the Taiwan Book Hospital and the Taiwan Study Research Center, committed to promoting Taiwan Studies, establishment of the Taiwan Study Digital Library and the digitization of precious research literature. The object of the Taiwan Book Hospital is to pass down the techniques of book repair and promote the concept of the preservation of books.
Taiwan Study Research Center
Once known as Imperial Taiwan Library, the NTL is the oldest public library in Taiwan. In March 2007, the Ministry of Education granted approval to the NTL to establish the Taiwan Study Research Center, which offers rich resources on Taiwan to those who do research in the field of Taiwan Studies. The center’s collection includes the valuable materials of the Imperial Taiwan Library, especially documents on Taiwan. Whether in quantity or in research value, it is one of the most important libraries in Taiwan in terms of research material for Taiwan Studies, and it is recognized for its vast collection of research resources by scholars both at home and abroad. The NTL continues to promote research of Taiwan Studies through the rich collection and operations of the Taiwan Study Research Center which serve the needs of researchers.
Taiwan Book Hospital
When the Imperial Taiwan Library was established, it was equipped with the Binding Room. Binding specialists from Japan were hired at a high salary to teach a wide-range of binding techniques to local staff members. In June 2007, the binding room, pest removal equipment, and binding techniques were integrated into a single unit with the establishment of the Taiwan Book Hospital. It promotes the preservation of books and materials, and the transmission book preservation techniques. It has established a platform for the integration of information on such preservation. The Taiwan Book Hospital serves as a model for the preservation of books and other materials for libraries in Taiwan. From the outset, it was designed to preserve books and documents through advanced technology and promote book preservation concepts and book repair techniques.
Parent and Child Information Center
In July 1916, Ohta Tameburo, the second director of the Imperial Taiwan Library, set up the Library’s “Children’s Reading Area.” But when the Library was bombed by the American Air Force near the end of the Second World War, most of the books in the children’s collection had not been removed to a secure location in timely fashion and so were destroyed. After the war, the republican government assumed control over the Imperial Taiwan Library. In 1947, the “Children’s Reading Room” was set up, and in 1957, in coordination with the Public Service Station of Kuting District, the “Children’s Reading Room” was established. Children’s books and toys were put on display, and children’s films were regularly shown. In 1963, the Library was moved to the campus of the Provincial Taipei Institute of Technology on Xinsheng South Road. But due to space limitations, the “Children’s Room” was not set up until 1974. In 2004, when the Library was moved to a new building in Zhonghe, the “Children’s Room” was renamed the Parent and Child Information Center. Now the Center’s collection has more than 120,000 volumes, and the Reading Room’s logo is a fantastic world in s forest, an image well-loved by children. Just like the picture books for children, the reading area is like a big book full of fun and imagination.
Information Center for the Visually Impaired
The Information Center for the Visually Impaired was established in 1975, more than forty years ago. It is responsible for producing, publishing, and supplying reading materials for those who are visually impaired, and it also offers services for the circulation of these materials, reference consultation, and provides a range of courses for lifelong learning. In December 2011, it was designated as the library with the specific responsibility of providing materials for the visually impaired throughout the country. It also carries out the important duty of developing and making available e-book resources for the visually impaired. On November 28, 2014, its responsibility was expanded as the sole library responsible for implementing and promoting the “Regulations on the Use of Digital Book Resources for the Physically and Mentally Impaired.” On February 23, 2016, the four-year project of the “Middle-term Development Plan of Increasing the Use of Digital Book Resources by the Physically and Mentally Impaired for 2016--2019” was launched. While continuing to promote work related to library services for the visually impaired, the Information Center for the Visually Impaired strives to improve the accessibility of the Library’s book resource services for the physically and mentally impaired.
Due to drastic environmental changes and the rapid development of information technology, the Library faces many challenges. The library’s role in the present century and how to deal with a changing environment are important issues. In continuing to fulfill its historical mission and overcoming limitations to achieve innovative developments, the NTL has created mid-range development plans to serve as a set of guidelines for library operations for the years 2019- 2023.
II. Organizationa Chart
III. Environmental Analysis
Through environmental analysis, the NTL can learn about its own strengths and weaknesses and outside opportunities and threats so as to enhance its strengths, improve its weaknesses, seize opportunities and overcome problems. It thus formulates strategies for the Library’s ongoing operations and the development of innovative services.
A. SWOT Analysis
The NTL has rich and specialized collections: The materials on Taiwan Studies is one of the Library’s special collections. It includes many documents and materials on Taiwan during the Japanese Colonial Period and has long been one of the most precious resources for scholars both at home and abroad. In addition, the Information Center for the Visually Impaired is mainly responsible for producing, publishing, and supplying reading materials for the visually impaired. They are made available to other libraries to meet the needs of the visually impaired throughout the country and to serve the centers of special education in colleges and universities. It has long been promoting a wide range of information services for the visually impaired.
i. The NTL is spacious. The Library’s total floor area is about 60,000 square meters, so it is currently the biggest public library in Taiwan. It is located in the Shuanghe (Yunghe and Zhonghe) Area which is densely populated. The Library is in the 823 Memorial Park in Zhonghe, attracting a large number of visitors; its spaciousness is multi-functional.
ii. Diverse library patrons: To offer services to many patrons, the NTL established reading areas for different age groups, such as the Teen Zone, the Multicultural Resources Area, and the Visual Impairment Information Center. Library patrons of different age groups are able to find suitable materials for their reading pleasure.
i. Self-financing creates pressure to maintain library operations: Since 2008, the NTL has to raise part of its budget, an additional source of pressure in running the Library.
ii. Insufficient Manpower: Since the NTL moved to the new site in 2004, the size of its staff has not been increased in spite of the increased management area and functions. Outsourcing manpower tends to affect the service quality as staff turnover is high.
iii.High maintenance cost of the library building: The Library is an enclosed curtain building, so it is not easy to implement policies to conserve energy and reduce carbon emissions. The Library’s spaciousness (about 7 hectares including the building and the park) keeps maintenance costs high, reducing the budget for acquisitions and for promoting social education activities.
i. Clearly defined role: The NTL was once the Imperial Taiwan Library possessed of a rich collection of documents and materials on Taiwan. In 1975, the “Braille Center” was established, making it the first library in Taiwan to provide services for the visually impaired. With its rich collections on Taiwan and extensive professional experience of providing services for the visually impaired, the NTL has the opportunity to develop specific services. In addition, among the three national libraries under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, the NTL is the only one that focuses on Taiwan Studies, Book Repair, and providing books and materials for the visually impaired. With such strengths, the library has a clearly defined role. Given the financial support of the Ministry of Education, the NTL can certainly develop specific services.
ii. Rich Social Resources: The NTL has spared no effort in promoting reading. To promote diverse and fun reading activities and effectively make use of social resources, the Library has actively collaborated with foundations, publishers, and independent book stores to create good partnerships. The establishment of cross-industry alliances is a good way to promote reading to develop social resources and create a win-win situation.
iii.Superior geographical location: The NTL is conveniently located in the Shuanghe (Yunghe and Zhonghe) Area. The Library’s many patrons and location in the 823 Park are beneficial in promoting its varied activities and exhibitions.
i.The impact of digital technological: The rapid development of digital technology in recent years directly affects the habits of library patrons and their reading behavior. Remote service has replaced the traditional way of searching for materials in the library in person, so the Library must make adjustments in the way it provides services.
ii. The demands of library patrons have been increasing and becoming more diverse; consequently, the Library needs to adjust its development in accord with the given social context. In undertaking innovations and changes, the Library needs to face the challenge of meeting patrons’ increasingly diverse demands with its limited resources.
iii. Compared with other national libraries, the NTL has more space, but has insufficient manpower and budget. In addition, as the NTL does not have any branch libraries, the Library is not able to address the needs of patrons of other districts. Thus, the Library needs to consider how to address the issue of dealing with the increasingly strong competition of other libraries.
B. Developing a Strategy
The NTL has the following prospects:
Enjoy Reading：All people enjoy the wisdom gathered from reading;
Taiwan Studies：The field of Taiwan Studies has a bright future;
Access for All：Friendly services ensure pleasure;
Life-long Learning：Life-long learning accompanied by books.
Based on the results of the environmental analysis and the “Development Strategy ST,” the NTL can focus on specific developments with the overall goal of “expanding ‘Taiwan Studies Research’ navigated by knowledge;” the “Refinement Strategy SO” shows that through its inherent strengths and opportunities the NTL can reach the goal of “creating a new vision of lifelong learning based on humanistic care;” through the analysis of its inherent weaknesses and external threats, the “Innovation Strategy WT” was designed to assist the NTL to reach the twin goal of “innovating services and strengthening service quality;” and finally, by analyzing inherent weaknesses and outside opportunities, the “Improvement Strategy WO” has the goal of “sharing resources and passing down cultural memories.” The above four major goals comprise the guidelines for the NTL’s operational development for the years 2019-2023. The Library’s aims can be attained through the achievement of the four goals, which are detailed separately below.
1. Development Strategy ST: Expanding “Taiwan Studies Research” navigated by knowledge
The “Development Strategy ST” means that, through the analysis of the NTL’s inherent strengths and external threats, the NTL can focus on specific development. The Library has a rich collection of precious documents on Taiwan from the Japanese Colonial Period. These include the Newsletter of the Office of Taiwan’s Governor General, Taiwan Daily News, and a wide range of photo albums, and offer precious research resources for scholars both at home and abroad. The Library, meanwhile, faces competition from other libraries as many county governments have been active in building new libraries. Moreover, compared to other national libraries, NTL’s budget for operational manpower and maintenance of the library building is insufficient. In addition, with the rapid development of information technology, the Library needs to think about how to transform external threats into assets. Thus, actively developing Taiwan Studies Research to increase the overall use value of the Library’s collection is a specific feature that the NTL can target for development.
2. Refinement Strategy SO: Creating a new vision of lifelong learning based on humanistic care
The “Refinement Strategy SO” means that, through the intrinsic strengths and outside opportunities, the NTL can continue to improve specific services. Located advantageously in the 823 Memorial Park, the Library has many patrons. In addition, in 2011 the Ministry of Education instructed the NTL to create a library task force on visual impairment. In 2014, its responsibility was expanded as the sole library responsible for implementing and promoting the “Regulations on the Use of Digital Book Resources for the Physically and Mentally Impaired,” offering barrier-free reading services to those who are physically or mentally challenged. This provides the opportunity for the NTL to develop a “refinement strategy” to meet the needs of this special group of patrons, thereby promoting the concepts of equal reading rights and nationwide reading movement to draw the public into the library where they can develop good reading habits.
3. Innovation Strategy WT: Innovating services and strengthening service quality
The proposed “Innovation Strategy” is based on the analysis of intrinsic weaknesses and external threats. It means that the library staff, the Library’s reading space, and the administrative process can be improved by applying innovative concepts that are out of the box of traditional operations. The library can overcome its intrinsic weaknesses and external threats through innovation and by enhancing its service energy.
4. Improvement Strategy WO: Sharing resources and passing down cultural memories
By analyzing intrinsic weaknesses and outside opportunities, the proposed “Improvement Strategy WO” has as its goal “sharing resources and passing down cultural memories.” The NTL has rich social resources through its friendly relationships with foundations, independent book stores, publishers, and nearby stores. Through cooperation with those of a different or similar line of work, the NTL can promote the circulation of its resources and overcome difficulties stemming from insufficient manpower and budget limitations. Cross-border coordination can help the NTL face challenges to its operations.
The NTL has proposed the following prospects: “all people enjoy the wisdom gathered from reading; Taiwan Studies opens up a bright future; friendly services ensure pleasure; and life-long learning accompanied by books.” By undertaking environmental analysis, the NTL has developed four major goals: “expanding ‘Taiwan Studies Research’ navigated by knowledge,” “creating a new vision of lifelong learning based on humanistic care,” “innovating services and strengthening service quality,” and “sharing resources and passing down cultural memories.” Further, 16 strategies and 40 action plans are proposed.
Enjoy Reading：All people enjoy the wisdom gathered from reading;
Taiwan Studies：The field of Taiwan Studies has a bright future;
Access for All：Friendly services ensure pleasure;
Life-long Learning：Life-long learning accompanied by books.
B.Goals and Explanations of the Goals
1. Expanding ‘Taiwan Studies Research’ navigated by knowledge
Library information resources are the core of library services, and the Library’s collection is the basis to support the various library services. The NTL shoulders the historical mission of promoting the research and teaching resources of Taiwan Studies; thus, it actively collects materials pertaining to Taiwan Studies while promoting reading among the general public and carrying out the functions of a public library. With more than one hundred years of history, the NTL stands firm in leading the public throughout the nation to explore the realm of knowledge.
Strategy 1-1: Enrich reading resources and establish a rich and diverse library collection.
The resources of a library’s collection are the basis of the services it provides. The NTL plans to enrich its book resources overall and in particular those pertaining to Taiwan Studies so as to meet the demands of library patrons of different age groups with its diverse library resources.
Action Plan 1-1-1: Enhance book resources in general and pertaining to Taiwan Studies through purchasing, exchanging, and getting donations. Such rich diverse library collections serve to meet the demands of library patrons of different age groups.
Action Plan 1-1-2: Hold book selection activities and purchase popular books to speed up the process of acquiring new books and shortening the time for library patrons to gain access to new books.
Strategy 1-2: Improve the promotion of reading and construct a society imbued with the love of reading.
The NTL spares no effort in promoting reading by holding diverse and lively reading activities, hoping thereby to induce members of the public to go to the library where they can find books to read and thus construct a happy society imbued with the love of reading.
Action Plan 1-2-1:Plan activities that promoting reading designed for patrons of different age groups to meet their specific needs and create a positive atmosphere for learning and reading in the society by encouraging the public to engage in reading through a reward mechanism.
Action Plan 1-2-2: Hold large-scale reading activities to construct easy, interesting, and fun reading experiences.
Action Plan 1-2-3:Sponsor reviews and book-selection activities to promote reading good books among the general public.
Strategy 1-3: Integrate Taiwan’s resources and expand the research basis for teaching.
The NTL collects rich materials pertaining to Taiwan Studies, which can be used effectively by their systematic integration. First, the Library plans to establish a digitized collection so that the public can gain access to materials through remote retrieval. Value-added applications of library materials, such as book exhibitions, mobile exhibitions, etc., should be promoted after collecting and assessing further data. In addition, to expand the range of the use of its resources, the Library actively works together with schools to develop excellent teaching plans on Taiwan native education and offers support to the instructors involved.
Action Plan 1-3-1: Enrich the digital library resources pertaining to Taiwan Studies, digitize the old books and materials of the Library’s collection, and actively promote the use of databases.
Action Plan 1-3-2: Hold teaching workshops on Taiwan’s literature and history, host book exhibitions on Taiwan Studies Research and mobile exhibitions. Establish coordinative relationships with schools to support the teaching and research devoted to Taiwan’s literature and history through selecting excellent teaching plans on Taiwan native education.
Strategy 1-4: Value-added use of the Library’s collection to increase the value of cultural creativity.
The NTL owns many precious historical materials and has unique library collection resources. Through value-added cultural and creative ways to present these important documents, the Library can highlight its rich cultural contents.
Action Plan 1-4-1: The precious historical elements of the Library’s collection can become value-added cultural creative products to expand the depth and width of its applications.
Action Plan 1-4-2: Unique cultural creative products can establish a good first impression of the Library, and they can be used in the daily life of the public through multiple marketing channels.
Action Plan 1-4-3: Replicate and publish items from the Library’s unique collection to extend the viability of historical materials and create new values for them.
2. Innovating services and strengthening service quality
Library services can be enhanced through “innovation.” In an environment of rapid development and intense competition, how to come up with innovative services have become an important issue. Through innovative services, the quality of library services can be enhanced and patrons now make use of technological innovations. Innovating administrative processes may encourage patrons to participate in library affairs. Brainstorming by members of the library staff can lead to new ideas to improve the Library’s operations.
Strategy 2-1: Encourage library patrons’ participation and establish an interactive mechanism.
Modern society has created an interactive environment. As an institution that promotes social education, the NTL will benefit from positive developments by encouraging its patrons to participate in innovation. By the timely use of social resources, establishing smooth participation channels, and holding patron satisfaction surveys regularly, the Library can learn how patrons make use of the Library and how the Library can be part of their daily lives.
Action Plan 2-1-1: Make good use of social resources, draft volunteer workers to assist in library operations, and enrich the contents and quality of services with the assistance of volunteer workers.
Action Plan 2-1-2:Understand patrons’ needs and opinions through multiple mechanisms, such as suggestion channels and activity surveys to enhance service quality.
Strategy 2-2: Create a friendly environment and promote nation-wide reading habits.
Each floor of the Library, from the first to the sixth, has a service area. The NTL examines the service and reading areas regularly to enhance the reading environment for patrons and make them feel at home in the Library.
Action Plan 2-2-1: Optimize the reading environment of the Library and offer safe and comfortable reading spaces.
Strategy 2-3: Make good use of digital technology and expand smart services.
The rapid development of technology has changed the public’s use of resources and their reading behavior. The Library takes on the challenge of technology and is in sync with the pulse of society. Through technology-assisted services, the Library has refined a wide array of library services.
Action Plan 2-3-1: Practice the value-added project for Taiwan Studies and optimize the use of old books and materials of the Library’s collection through digital technology.
Action Plan 2-3-2: Practice the innovative services in the Chungshan Hall and pass down historical and cultural imprints.
Action Plan 2-3-3: Use technology to enhance the efficiency of the Library’s reading services to meet the needs of modern library development.
Action Plan 2-3-4: Promote cloud services, expand the website’s functions, optimize the Library’s automated system and transfer the information system to a cloud data center, etc.
Strategy 2-4: Strengthen professional knowledge and skills and improve services provided to the public.
Librarians are the core individuals who offer a wide range of services to the public. As the social environment is constantly changing, they have to keep up with the times by continuously developing their professional knowledge and skills. Professional skills and knowledge and continuous on-the-job training are the keys for librarians to provide high quality services to the public.
Action Plan 2-4-1: Hold on-the-job training for front-line librarians and service staff.
Action Plan 2-4-2: Establish a management system to improve library affairs and devise creative proposals. Encourage library staff members to come up with projects to improve library operations and enhance service quality.
Action Plan 2-4-3: Actively participate in international conferences related to the field of library and information science and expand the international perspective of the library staff.
3. Sharing resources and passing down cultural memories
Promoting the sharing of resources has always been one of the Library’s long-term goals. Through coordination with other libraries and businesses to promote the circulation of its resources served to increase the visibility of the Library’s resources at the disposal of library patrons. In addition, the Library’s Taiwan Book Hospital shoulders the responsibilities of book repair and promoting the concept of book maintenance. The Library transmits the skills of book repair by holding workshops, lectures, and exhibitions on a regular basis.
Strategy 3-1: Increase the frequency of information communication and extend the Library’s service areas.
Through multiple marketing channels, such as short films, social media, and the regular release of new-letters, the NTL informs the public of the Library’s operations to enhance the professional image of the Library and to shorten the distance between the Library and the public.
Action Plan 3-1-1: Produce short films promoting the Library’s image, market library services.
Action Plan 3-1-2: Establish principles on the use of social media and effectively integrate library activity resources to increase the visibility of the Library on social media.
Action Plan 3-1-3: Release electronic library news-letters regularly to publicize the results of library operations.
Strategy 3-2: Improve cross-border coordination and marketing and increase the circulation and benefits of knowledge.
Collaboration with other libraries and businesses for the purpose of conducting exchanges on manpower, material power and resources can expand the scope and the depth of the library services.
Action Plan 3-2-1: Holding cross-border joint marketing sessions and establishing cross-industry alliances can expand the scope and the depth of library services.
Action Plan 3-2-2: Establish cooperation with other libraries to increase the range of services offered.
Strategy 3-3: Promote the exchange and circulation of publications and increase research scope and quality.
Continue to promote exchanges of publications and presentations with other institutions. In addition, to promoting the Library’s publications, the NTL actively send its publications to libraries both at home and abroad and to academic institutions to increase the exchange and sharing of resources.
Action Plan 3-3-1: Organize data on book sharing in order to send books to other institutions to promote the sharing of resources.
Action Plan 3-3-2: Continue to promote the Library’s publications by sending books to other libraries both at home and abroad and to academic institutions.
Strategy 3-4: Transmit book repair skills and promote the maintenance and preservation of books.
In the digital age, we should not forget the warm feeling of reading a printed book. Books embody the memory of human civilization and the development of important fields of thought; they are an important medium to discover the treasure house of humans. Besides actively repairing precious rare books, the Library has as its mission promoting the concept of the maintenance of books and transmitting the skills of book repair, so that cultural memory is preserved.
Action Plan 3-4-1: Hold exhibitions and workshops on book maintenance to promote the concept of the maintenance of books.
Action Plan 3-4-2: Hold training sections on book repair to pass on repair skills.
Action Plan 3-4-3: Continue to repair rare books and materials of the Library’s special collections.
4. Creating a new vision of lifelong learning based on humanistic care
Libraries are important field domains for the cultivation of the humanism among the public. Besides promoting reading to the public and holding various types of literary and cultural activities, the NTL pays attention to the needs of different ethnic groups, cares for those who are physically or mentally challenged, establishes a barrier-free learning web, and supports the concept of equal reading rights. In addition, to meet the reading demands of new immigrants in Taiwan, the Library established a Multicultural Resources Area. It serves to cultivate the reading ability of individuals from the New South-bound.
Strategy 4-1: Pay attention to the needs of special patrons and improve the barrier-free learning web.
The NTL was designated by the Ministry of Education as the nation’s library with the specific responsibility of for providing materials for the visually impaired, and as the sole library responsible for implementing and promoting the “Regulations on the Use of Digital Book Resources for the Physically and Mentally Impaired,” shouldering the responsibility of promoting equal reading rights and carrying out the important duty of reducing the information barrier for the people with disabilities. In addition to actively establishing a barrier-free information web, the Library promotes reading services in various fields for those who are mentally or physically challenged and collaborates with different institutions throughout the country to advance the use of barrier-free resources.
Action Plan 4-1-1: Promote coordinative mechanisms with care centers for the disabled to establish area resource centers throughout the country to expand the learning web for those who are mentally and physically challenged.
Action Plan 4-1-2: Integrate and strengthen resources for the disabled, actively collect and produce a barrier-free edition of the Library’s resources.
Action Plan 4-1-3: Construct a digital library for the disabled to offer convenient services.
Action Plan 4-1-4: Promote the Library’s services for its mentally and physically challenged patrons.
Strategy 4-2: Promote diverse cultural reading activities, enhance new services to new immigrants.
Taiwan is a cultural melting pot marked by the tolerance of diverse cultures. The power of new immigrants in Taiwan cannot be ignored. The Library actively expands its collection of diverse cultures and holds a wide range of reading activities to expand the international perspective of the public and cultivate the reading ability of the new immigrants.
Action Plan 4-2-1: Gather the multi-cultural resources of the Library’s collection.
Action Plan 4-2-2: Hold training classes for multi-cultural volunteer workers to assist the Library in holding various types of reading activities.
Action Plan 4-2-3: Hold a wide range of reading activities and promote multi-cultural reading services.
Strategy 4-3: Establish reading areas for different age groups to implement the concept of service to all groups.
Public libraries serve many patrons of different age groups, including toddlers and the elderly, with the aim of serving all age groups. In order for patrons of different age groups to find a comfortable reading area of their own in the Library, the NTL set up a number of reading areas designed based on the needs of specific age groups, so that one and all can find a comfortable reading corner and feel at home.
Action Plan 4-3-1: Establish and promote reading areas for different age groups to actively promote the use of the resources in those reading areas.
Strategy 4-4: Encourage the public to engage in life-long learning to increase the cultural literary of the general public.
In former times, a “library” was viewed as a place for members of the upper-class. As it collects many books and materials, the library is also viewed as a sanctuary of knowledge. However, a sanctuary has the connotation of holiness and inaccessibility. With changes over time, a modern public library is now wide open, welcoming all to enter it to gain knowledge, participate in all kinds of activities of literature and culture, as well as sharing and exchanging with community members. It is a center of information, a domain of the various fields of learning and recreation other than what takes place in schools and homes. In such a spirit, the NTL continues to hold diverse training classes and literary and cultural activities to enrich the spiritual lives of the people and enhance the cultural literacy of the public.
Action Plan 4-4-1: Offer classes for life-long learning and opportunities for the public to continue to learn.
Action Plan 4-4-2: Hold diverse reading activities as well as art and literature activities to cultivate the cultural literacy of the public.
V.Achievement of Strategies and Goals
VI.A Look into the Future
Emily Dickinson, an American poet, once wrote:
“There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears the Human Soul…”
Reading is a life-time endeavor that is worth cultivating!
The library shoulders the responsibility of promoting reading. The rapid changes taking place in the environment, the rapid development of digital technology, the changes in reading habits, and increasingly diverse demands are all challenges the library faces today. The NTL plays a double role as a public library and a professional library. With its collection of precious historical materials from the period of the Imperial Taiwan Library, the NTL actively develops its collection of materials devoted to Taiwan Studies and promotes their use while undertaking the digital preservation of rare books and constructing its “Digital Library of Taiwan Studies.” In addition, under the “Directions Governing for the 12-Year Basic Education Curricula” and the “New Southbound Policy,” the NTL needs to devise adaptive strategies to develop its core services to meet the demands of the Library’s patrons. With respect to the “Directions Governing for the 12-Year Basic Education Curricula,” the NTL must consider how to encourage teachers and students to use the Library’s resources, support schools to develop Taiwan native education, and promote literature and history education. To deal with the reading needs of diverse cultures, the Library has a special collection of “materials of the South.” With respect to the New Southbound Policy of Taiwan, the NTL continues to enrich its collection of “materials of the South,” which serves as a bridge to connect and strengthen the relations between Taiwan and Southeast Asia, so that school children who are interested in the languages, cultures, histories, and geography of Southeast Asia can find the books they need in the Library.
The mid-range development plans of 2019—2023 include four major goals with sixteen strategies consisting of many action plans to strengthen the development policy of the Library’s operations. After making an inventory count of its own and outside resources, the NTL, with the specific development of the Library as the starting point, promotes diverse ways of reading through creative concepts and offers reading services to a wide-range of patrons. The NTL will continue to dedicate itself to promoting reading to achieve the aims of “all people enjoy the wisdom accumulated from reading; Taiwan Studies open up to a bright future; friendly services ensure pleasure; and life-long learning accompanied by books.”