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Library alliance along Silk Road boosts common development

CGTN

Preserving literary classics and historical records, a library can also serve as a significant basement for cultural communication. 

More than 20 libraries from countries and regions along the Silk Road organized into an alliance Monday to cooperate on document sharing, classics protection, and digitalization. 

The Silk Road International Library Alliance forms in Chengdu City, southwest China's Sichuan Province, May 28, 2018. /VCG Photo

On the 2nd Silk Road International Cultural Forum (SCF) held in Moscow in 2015, China firstly proposed to form a library alliance along the Silk Road and build a platform for cultural cooperation and resource sharing. 

The proposal comes to a real project expected to promote more communication and coordination of multiethnic cultures among the countries along the Silk Road. 

CGTN Photo

Initiated by the National Library of China (NLC), the alliance has the first batch of 24 members from countries and regions such as Bangladesh, Belarus, Malaysia, Mongolia, Thailand, and Vietnam. 

Books became the bridge linking multiethnic cultures and connecting different civilizations. 

Rare books are seen on the shelves of the Writing Works Library of Konya District in Turkey, March 20, 2018. /VCG Photo

Sun Yigang, deputy curator of the NLC, also the initiator of the project, explains that the cooperation between alliance members will range from document resources sharing and preservation and protection of classics to the digital library building and talent training and exchange.  

James Andrew, director of the Department of Culture and Education of the British Library, believed that it is a provident move to build the alliance and share resources for common development, which may further improve the quality of regional public service and promote urban cultural construction. 

A-Lai, president of the Sichuan Writers' Association, delivers a speech at the seminar themed “Read, City, Culture” in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China, May 28, 2018. /VCG Photo 

Han Yongjin, curator of the NLC, said that libraries along the Silk Road by land and sea had unbalanced development and exchange experience. 

"The alliance will drive the common development of the industry," Han said. 

The alliance can also help members seek funds, personnel and technical support for projects such as improving facilities and setting up digital libraries. 

An intelligent bookstore in Chengdu City, May 28, 2018. /VCG Photo

The alliance has issued a manifesto on cultural cooperation through exchanges, forums and research programs and integrative development of libraries and bookstores. 

With a theme of “Read, City, Culture,” a seminar is held to explore better integration of reading space, such as library and bookstores, and urban cultural space. 

(With inputs from Xinhua and the NLC)

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