China’s first national public library law will come into effect on January 1st, 2018, China News Service reported.
Promulgated in November, the new law stipulates various aspects concerning the establishment, daily operation, service, and legal liability for Chinese public libraries.
The new law encourages social participation in public libraries, with the government remaining in a leading role.
Public libraries can take a donor’s name, and those who make donations to a public library may enjoy tax incentives. At the same time, society should be involved in the evaluation process of public libraries, the law stated.
It also specifies obligations for Chinese public libraries.
According to the law, a public library should provide four kinds of services for free, including offering inquiry and borrowing services for document information, opening its public spaces such as reading rooms, organizing public lectures, reading promotion activities, training and exhibitions.
Public libraries are required to open on weekends and legal holidays, and government-funded ones should set up a reading area for children as well as take the needs of elderly and disabled groups into account.
The law also emphasizes privacy protection issues, noting public libraries are responsible for preventing readers’ personal information from being divulged.
Intellectual property (IP) is a major concern of the law, as it highlights that public libraries should ensure full compliance with relevant IP laws and regulations.
The law also demands readers obey the regulations of a public library, claiming the library has the right to refuse to provide services to those violating the rules.
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The 68th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China.
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily