On August 22, 2023, NCL and the Nanjing Library, the Shanghai Library, and the Suzhou Library put on the 10th Xuan Lan Forum at the Nanjing Library Academic Report Hall. The topic of this year’s forum was “New Knowledge from Ancient Learning: Wisdom Begets Abilities.” The opening ceremony was conducted by Nanjing Library’s Party Secretary Hongyu Dai. He welcomed everyone to the event and then had Jiangsusheng Department of Culture 2nd Inspector Xunhua Xu, Jiangsu Provincial Government’s Taiwan Affairs Office Deputy Director Zhicheng Feng, the National Central Library of China’s Research Institute Director Xiaojuan Shen, and NCL Director-General Shu-hsien Tseng collectively start the opening ceremony. During the opening ceremony, NCL and Nanjing Library presented each other with books. NCL gave copies of The History of the National Central Library, Dunhuang Manuscripts, Lotus Sutra, Pearls of the Sea, and A Flourishing Four Decades of Chinese Studies in Taiwan: A Review and Outlook to Nanjing University to enrich their holdings. In attendance were more than 70 representatives from libraries in China and Taiwan, as well as others from various industries.
NCL and the Nanjing Library started the Xuan Lan Forum in 2014. It is held in different locations each year. The heads of various libraries and scholars are invited each year to attend the forum, which has had a positive social impact and branding effect. Both NCL and the Nanjing Library come from the same original “National Central Library” established in 1933. The Xuan Lan Forum has functioned as a cross-strait platform for scholarly exchange, allowing for long-term collaboration, the sharing of experience, and the encouraging of spiritual harmony. Both libraries hope that through the forum to coalesce a powerful energy to carry on the heritage of Chinese culture and, hand in hand, to pass on and continue to develop the outstanding aspects of traditional Chinese culture. The main value of the forum is in spreading culture, sharing experience, and cultivating friendships. Through a mutual sharing of experience, and learning from our counterparts in China, we explored together high-end scholarly exchange platform for classical Chinese works. All of this increases the influence of libraries at home and abroad, guiding and moving forward scholarly progress.The event consisted of forum sessions on a number of topics and cultural tours. Forum sessions were held on the 22nd, with the 24 participating scholars presenting research and lectures on five topics: modern interpretations of traditional Chinese culture, the heritage and preservation of the classics, studies on smart services in libraries, children and youth reading and the improvement of librarians’ literacy, artificial intelligence and library development. Nanjing Library Director-General Junji Chen and NCL Director-General Shu-hsien Tseng spoke on two topics that correlated with the theme of the forum: “Genre Theory and the Dream of the Red Chamber” and “Open Lab: A Library Lab for All Kinds of Innovation.” The discussion was insightful and engaging. The two talks were also a perfect end to the five sessions of the forum.
On the 23rd and 24th, the delegation from Taiwan traveled to Shanghai and Suzhou on a cultural tour and to learn from people there. They toured the Shanghai Library East Hall, the Shanghai Children’s Library, the Suzhou Library, and the Suzhou Museum. They interacted with library staff at these locations, sharing ideas and learning from each other.
On the 25th, the delegation attended “Rosy Clouds Reflect the World, A Long-Standing Flow: An Exhibition of Ancient Books and Paintings from the Guoyunlou Collection” put on by the Nanjing Library (the Jiangsu Provincial Center for the Preservation of Ancient Books), the Gu Clan in Suzhou that curates the Guoyunlou Collection, and the Pheonix Publishing and Media Group. On display were the best of the three institutions’ collections. The delegation also visited Nanjing Library’s Ancient Book Preservation Department.