2019 UK-China Library Forum is held in Chengdu

On 27 March, the 2019 UK-China Library Forum, which was co-hosted by the Library Society of China (LSC), the National Library of China (NLC), and the British Library (BL), was held in Sichuan Library. More than 120 people attended the opening ceremony, including Cecille Elbeleidi, British Consul General in Chongqing, Liz Jolly, Chief Librarian of the BL, Chen Binbin, Deputy Director of Public Service Department, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Wei Dawei, Secretary of the CPC Committee and Deputy Director of the NLC, Chen Ying, Vice Chairman of the LSC and Deputy Director of the NLC, representatives of the Living Knowledge Network, and directors of some public libraries in China.

In his speech, Chen Binbin welcomed the colleagues of the British library community. He said that Britain was the birthplace of modern public library and had a fine tradition and rich experiences on library development and services. In recent years, Chinese librarianship had made great progress in service efficiency and service level. He hoped that the representatives from the Chinese and British library communities were able to fully exchange ideas, contribute wisdom, and jointly find effective ways of public library service innovation in the new era, so as to further promote the development of public libraries and benefit more people.

In his speech, Wei Dawei pointed out that the library was an important window to improve the dissemination of knowledge. The exchange and cooperation between Chinese and British library communities could promote the development of the librarianship of the two countries, which was of great significance for people in the two countries to understand each other's history, culture and values, share the fruits of civilization. The development of modern information technology had brought new opportunities and challenges for the librarianship. It was expected that the librarians of China and Britain would have extensive exchanges and in-depth discussions on the practice and thinking of the innovative development of the librarianship, so as to gain more new ideas from each other.

Cecille Elbeleidi introduced the general situation of the BL and Living Knowledge Network. She gave high affirmation for the Forum, pointing out that it would promote the business exchanges between libraries of the two countries and enhance the friendship between Chinese and British librarians.

Liz Jolly said that libraries in China and Britain had so much to learn from each other. Although the development history of the library alliance of the two countries was different, the two sides shared many core goals in connecting readers with knowledge in all forms and improving access to collections and services through technical means. She was looking forward to building partnerships with professional library staff and institutions in China and returning back with a new vision to think about library and book development in the next stage.

After the opening ceremony, Liz jolly, Chen Ying and He Guanglun, Director of Sichuan Library, delivered keynote speeches on the development of public libraries in Britain and China, the introduction of relevant laws and regulations, and the implementation of public library law in grassroots libraries in China.

The theme of the Forum was “Innovation & Career Development of Public Library Services”. The Chinese and British guests discussed the current status and development plans of reader services, digital library and innovation, librarians training and development, library role and positioning, and so on, comprehensively expounded the concepts on library management and services, and shared their own experiences.

In the evening of 28 March, the public lecture "Shakespeare Bonds: Cultural Dialogue with China in Britain " was held. Through the medium of Shakespeare, experts from the BL, Library of Birmingham, and Arts Council England introduced how British cultural institutions used and shared their collections to facilitate cooperation between local public libraries and national libraries and promote cultural exchanges between China and Britain.

During the forum, the guests also visited Sichuan Library, Chengdu Library and Urban Reading Space for on-site exchanges.

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