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  • 2011-05-27
National Central Library Welcomes High School Students

The National Central Library, after evaluating development trends in national libraries across the globe and taking into account the overall rise in the level of education in Taiwan, have determined that high school students have the ability to engage in academic research. As such, as of July 1, 2011 the minimum age requirement to apply for a library card to enter the library will be lowered to 16 (high school students under the age of 16 will also be allowed). All books and facilities will be available for their use. NCL is a government institution that serves mainly legal entities, organizations, and researchers. Our main tasks center on acquiring, cataloguing, and archiving books and materials in Taiwan; preserving culture; promoting academics and research; and encourage and guide the development of libraries nationwide. Due to the nature of the library and its intended patrons, collections are predominantly scholarly in nature and services are geared to those who have the ability and need to engage in scholarly research. Because of this, there is an age restriction in place. In comparing national libraries across the world, all have an age restriction for patrons. For example, the U.S. Library of Congress stipulates that only those who are above high school age can use the library. The British Library sets the age requirement for a library card at age 18 and has very stringent requirements for use: patrons must have written certification that public and university libraries do not have the book and pass an interview. Only then are they issued a temporary card. The library does not issue cards that are valid indefinitely. Bibliothèque nationale de France allows citizens 16 years and above to purchase entrance tickets to view certain areas. Citizens 18 years and older must also provide written certification and pass an interview before they are allowed to purchase a ticket to access the library. After NCL was relocated to Zhongshan South Road in 1986, regulations for issuing library cards were instituted, namely patrons must be at least 19 years old, or be enrolled in a university if younger than 19. In recent years, NCL has slowly been adjusting age requirements based on patron needs. Beginning in 2003, high school students who are attending national or international competitions, or who are composing research papers but lack adequate resources in their school library or local libraries, can apply for entrance to NCL with a written request from their school. This year, over 637 high school students have come to use the library. In response to the Ministry of Education’s “Cultivation of High School Talent in the Humanities and Social Sciences Plan,” NCL has made library holdings available to students in these experimental classes throughout Taiwan. In addition, each year during Library Week in December, tours are available for middle school classes. This year brings a more concerted effort to promote reading. Many activities have and will be planned and middle and high school students will be actively encouraged to attend. There will be guest lecturers and speakers. NCL has also asked the departments of education for Taipei, New Taipei, and Keelung, as well as Taoyuan County’s Education Bureau to inform middle school and high school students about this activity and have them apply to tour the library. In recent years, the standard of education in Taiwan has been increasing. High school students have begun doing research—either as a school assignment or due to personal interest. After considering many facets of the issue, NCL has decided to lower the minimum age requirement to 16 (high school and vocational school students under 16 can also be admitted), starting on July 1. It is hoped that this measure will help foster a spirit of academic research at a much younger age. In addition, as a way to address reading needs of various age groups, development trends throughout the world have been taken into consideration. We have been seeking in recent years to establish children’s and youth libraries. The National Library of Korea has a children & youth library already in place. The National Diet Library in Japan has an international children’s library. The National Library of China has a digital children’s and youth library. During organizational changes in the Ministry of Education, NCL is working hard to keep abreast of world developments in establishing a branch library for children and for youth.

Last Update Time:2011-05-27