Stuck at Home? Grab a Book
Recently the coronavirus pandemic has continued to spread, creating a lot of anxiety in people. In addition to the worry that face masks and hand sanitizer supplies will run out, perhaps even more troubling is the worry that stepping out of one’s door means stepping into a virus-ridden infectious zone. Medical experts have strongly advised everyone to stay at home as much as possible, to avoid large crowds, and for elementary and secondary schools to start later. With this unprecedented longer winter vacation coupled with the need to stay at home, reading has become a wonderful way to passively fight the pandemic. NCL Director-General Shu-hsien Tseng called on the public to read more and go out less until the pandemic abates. Doing so will not only reduce the potential risk of infection but also effectively mitigate accumulating feelings of restlessness and stress.
NCL has put together a smorgasbord of online reading and learning resources to help during this time. It has created a webpage called “Stuck at Home? Grab a Book: Selected Resources at NCL” to help people find books to read or to learn whilst at home. This can be beneficial for both body and mind, as well as add to one’s vitality. In addition, the knowledge gains should not be overlooked. Students and teachers can make the most of the ample personal time to keep learning! The following are the main reading and learning resources available:
1. Happy Reading at Home: NCL’s Reading. Healing. Preventing. Reading List
Reading is a wonderful activity to engage in whilst at home. Not only does it bring more knowledge, but through the process of reading the knowledge it brings also transforms our emotions by finding guidance and direction in books. This is the healing power of reading. NCL has put together a recommended reading list under the theme “Reading. Healing. Preventing.” The list is comprised of 71 volumes and is further divided into the following seven categories: Spiritual Cultivation, The Joy of DIY, Enlightenment through Literature, Problems in Life, Self Healing, Natural Wisdom, and The Power of Diet.
2. “The More You Read the Healthier You Are” Online Reading Area: National Central Library’s E-books Are Accessible Day or Night
The Public Library Resource Sharing Service Platform provides e-books on health and epidemic prevention that can be read from home. Here is how to access these resources:
(1) Target audience: Holders of library cards from partner libraries that have provided e-books to the platform. Users can borrow e-books from that library’s collection.
(2) Borrowing Materials: Only those with a library card from that library can borrow e-books; each library card can borrow a maximum of 10 books; books are due back within 14 days, and if no one has placed a hold on the books, it can be renewed for another 14 days.
(3) Reservation Services: Each library card can reserve a maximum of 10 books.
3. Further Your Academics during the Pandemic: NCL Online Learning Courses
In an effort to provide the public with an optimized self-study environment and to increase information literacy, National Central Library has created the National Central Library E-Learning Campus (https://cu.ncl.edu.tw), a digital learning resource that brings together outstanding digital learning courses co-developed by various cultural and educational institutions. Content includes library and information science, humanities and the arts, popular science, global Chinese studies, language learning, and New Curriculum Outline Treasure Chest.
National Central Library created the Digital Audio Visual Archive System to provide those patrons who cannot come to the library with access to amazing and high quality lectures, speeches, and scholarly conferences.
In addition, NCL has created many digital courses on the National Central Library Reading Education Promotion site (http://ereading.ncl.edu.tw/theme.aspx
). Content includes classes on using search functions on information systems, an introduction to resource content and usage of digital archive databases. Users can meet their teaching and research needs with regard to finding information online through these e-learning classes.
4. Enjoy Online Exhibitions from Your Own Home: Special Exhibitions from the Taiwan Memory Database
National Central Library created the Taiwan Memory database (https://tme.ncl.edu.tw/en/
), which is replete with historical materials on Taiwan. In the database are nine online exhibitions, including School Memories, Views of Society, Economic Development, Medical and Hygiene, Foreign Relations, and E-Humanities. Each exhibition includes a recommended reading list. So, in addition to viewing these history-filled exhibitions in the comfort of your own home, you can find books on topics you’re interested in learning more about on the recommended reading list. Students, parents, teachers, or enthusiasts who are interested in topics related to Taiwan history and society are welcome to access this online.
5. Knowledge Treasures at Your Door: “NCL in Your Home” Online Reading Area
In the war against the coronavirus, we have all the reading material you could want! National Central Library created a digital channel called “NCL in Your Home,” which offers access to audio-visual materials and e-books from 45 government agencies. This channel can be accessed via a digital TV box or via cable TV, showcasing knowledge content on TV in the comfort of your own home. Recently, the newly added reading area on NCL in Your Home provides appropriate e-books and audio-visual materials to students and the general public so that they can engage in knowledge learning at home. Content includes videos on nature, science, humanities, and lifestyles of health and sustainability, as well as illustrated children’s e-books. We hope this resource can be helpful while everyone is staying at home and avoiding the coronavirus.
In addition, National Central Library has systematically collated a list of free e-resources in both Chinese and Western languages (http://109read.ncl.edu.tw/freeesource/tw.html); the list includes links to e-books, online learning resources, and audio-visual resources.
National Central Library hopes that through these abundant resources for reading and learning that the public can be full of energy and vitality, and pass through this difficult time shoulder-to-shoulder (figuratively, of course). Through reading and learning at home, we can stop the coronavirus from spreading, as well as return to a wonderful and normal life sooner.