Han Yongjin heads a delegation to Belarus, Mauritius and South Africa

From 13 September to 23 September, a 5-person delegation, led by Han Yongjin, Director of the National Library of China (NLC), visited Belarus, Mauritius and South Africa.

During the visit to Belarus, the delegation participated in the 500th Anniversary of Belarusian Book Printing and the 95th anniversary celebration of the National Library of Belarus (NLB). The delegation held talks with Roman Stepanovich Motulsky, NLB Director, and exchanged views on the cooperation agreement, etc. During the meetings, the delegation also met with Tashi Rove, Director of the National Library of Azerbaijan, and Dr. Jyldyz Bakashov, Director of the National Library of Kyrgyzstan, and discussed the cooperation intention in the future.

During the visit to Mauritius, the delegation visited the National Library of Mauritius (NLM) and held talks with Director Mrs. T.K. Ramnauth. The two sides respectively introduced the recent situation of each library and deeply discussed future cooperation. Then, under the common witness of Sun Gongyi, Chinese ambassador to Mauritius and Lu Peng (transliteration), Minister of the Ministry of Arts and Culture, Mauritius, Han Yongjin and Director Mrs. T.K. Ramnauth signed the Memorandum Of Understanding between the National Library of China and the National Library of Mauritius. Both sides would cooperate with each other on high-level reciprocal visits, personnel training, cataloguing, book preservation and conservation, collections digitization, etc. The delegation also visited China Culture Centre in Mauritius. Song Yanqun, Cultural Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Mauritius and director of China Culture Center, introduced the general situation of China Culture Center and the construction of the China Culture Center Library.

During the visit to South Africa, the delegation visited the National Library of South Africa (NLSA) and held business exchanges with Dr. Mbambo-Thata NLSA, Executive Director. The two sides discussed the revisions of Memorandum Of Understanding, and agreed to sign a new memorandum at the right time. The two sides also discussed the implementation of Letter of Intent on Establishing BRICS Alliance of Libraries, which was signed on the Second Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Culture in July. The NLSA also expressed the will to host 2018 BRICS National Library Director Forum. Besides, the delegation investigated on book binding, preservation, digitalization, paper acid, etc. The delegation visited the NLSA at Cape Town, and the NLSA Book Center. The principals introduced reading promotion project and children's services, and the delegation got more comprehensive understanding on the NLSA's organization structure and business division of duty. During the visit, the delegation visited the Chinese Embassy in South Africa, held talks with Minister Li Song, and Zheng Wen, Cultural Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in South Africa.

With different cultural background, the NLB, the NLM and the NLSA had their own characteristics. This visit was of great significance for the NLC to understand the development status of libraries around the world, and promoted the NLC's business development. Meanwhile, this visit also set good foundation for the establishment of "Silk Road Alliance of Libraries".

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