Home >> Features >> How Hangzhou Public Library Contribute to UN Agenda 2030

How Hangzhou Public Library Contribute to UN Agenda 2030

In 2017, IFLA launched a survey to gather examples of how libraries contribute with the UN 2030 agenda


Hangzhou Public Library submitted nine cases of library programmes or services as follows:


· Ordinary Hangzhou

Hangzhou is located in the southeast of China. In September 2016, China hosted the 2016 G20 Summit in this city, by which Hangzhou was enabled to get a full attention from all around the world for the first time. By taking this chance, Hangzhou Public Library together with the local media City Express organized an exhibition of Ordinary Hangzhou with an emphasis put on moments in daily life of citizens of Hangzhou-what they eat, what they wear, where they live, how they commute, which, in a subtle way, carry the information of their identity. The exhibits mainly comprised by 55 photos shot by ordinary people living in Hangzhou and a video of 15 minutes recording about 3 people’s daily life. Since the beginning of July 2016, the exhibition “Ordinary Hangzhou” kicked off in Public Library of Porto in Portugal. Totally 11 libraries around the world have joined the event. 4 public libraries, including Canberra Civic Library, Indianapolis Public Library, Bremen Public Library and the Boole Library of UCC separately held a grand opening ceremony to celebrate the event. What’s special about the exhibition is that the exhibition integrate the external resources and overcome difficulties like funding, personnel and design of the exhibition through extensive collaboration with global community and achieve mutual benefit through partnerships and cooperation.


· Bibliotherapy

Bibliotherapy is the use of books to support and improve positive outcomes for people with mental health and wellbeing issues.

Taking literature as intermediaries, Hangzhou Public Library has been delivering bibliotherapy since 2013 and was widely recognized as a pioneer in this field in China.

A team of psychological therapists was selected, providing therapies for people suffering from the problems like parent-child relationship, family relationship, interpersonal relationship, workplace relationship and emotion management.

Regular activities are held twice or three times a month under the help of therapists within the library, including cinematherapy, OH cards, book club, group therapy, psychodrama salon, music therapy and Zentangle, etc. Besides these on-site activities, users set up wechat groups and qq groups, which change on-site activities into on-line exchanges. Moreover, cohosted with hospitals, jails, welfare houses and disabled people’s organizations, activities are organized outside the library.

In this fast-paced, high-pressure society, bibliotherapy can benefit users by using affective treatment techniques and relevant reading materials. Thus people could gain hope in life and release emotional tension.


· Library of Internet of Things

Enjoyable Reading

Enjoyable Borrowing

For so long,the service model of the public libraries has still adhered to book acquisition, catalog, reservation and circulation processes. Untimely procurements and other long cycle issues in the ever-changing needs of reading today highlights its drawbacks. Meanwhile, the investigation shows that there is a decline in readership due to the diversification and individualization of reading needs, as well as the continuous expansion of urban areas and fast pace of life.

In order to change the situation, Hangzhou Public Library launched a series of people-oriented services, and created a new service mode of “libraries +bookstores +online platform +express delivery”. These services include:

“Enjoyable Reading”. The role of library users changes to book purchasers, which enables them to select their favorite books in the bookstores and directly borrow the books there.

“Enjoyable Borrowing”. It allows readers to check out books online and get them delivered to their homes at low prices.

“Mobile Subscription”. Based on the analysis of big data, relevant information will be pushed to readers correspondingly and reading promotion events both online and offline will be organized.

“Smart Storage Center”. On the basis of analyzing utilization of different books, the smart storage center has been established to intelligently manage catalogue, reservation and circulation, etc.

“Reading Points”. Readers library credit system has been established and readers can exchange their reading points for other library services. 

In the era of internet of things, Hangzhou Public Library connects “people –families –libraries –bookstores -society” as a whole through books as a medium, which fulfills readers’ needs, mobilizes social resources. It’s so called library of internet of things, which represents the future trends at some level.


· Encouraging Women to Develop Their Creativity and Discover Their True Potential

Various events held by City Life Theme Branch of Hangzhou Public Library aims at encouraging women of different ages and social roles to develop their creativity and discover their true potential, share their own inner voice, and become more confident. Cooking classes, cloth art DIY, horticultural activities and some other activities focus on life skills may make their life more artistic and elegant, and set them free from tedious chores and fast-paced daily life. In the future, more salons such as floral design, felted wool DIY and make-up courses will be introduced to female readers.

· Life of Senior Citizens Still Brilliant

The aged society has become a global trend. City Life Theme Branch of Hangzhou Public Library is committed to providing various services for senior citizens, for the sake of keeping their life wonderful still. Since 2013, more than 60 activities, such as Camera Club and some other salons especially for senior citizens are held every year, attracting more than 2000 people annually. In 2016, in order to better help senior citizens embrace modern life, the library started a new program, organizing workshops to guide seniors to use smartphones, like the use of social software, electronic wallet, etc. Library services for senior citizens bring them not only happiness and health but also knowledge and fashion.


· Best Life Reference

“Best Life Reference” is a series of activities aiming at providing various kinds of life reference for citizens, consulting topics include career, people’s livelihood, food, travel, medical treatment, etc. Readers, experts and talented people can be speakers, who share various life knowledge with the audience. 60 activities have been held since February, 2016, attracting 10,000 people.


· “The Smurfs” Environmental Protection Class Series

Jointly hosted by Environment Protection Branch of Hangzhou Public Library, Hangzhou Environmental Group Co., Ltd. Daily Business, and co-organized by Hangzhou Friends of Nature, “The Smurfs” Environmental Protection Class Series has been held since September, 2016. More than 10 activities have been held, attracting nearly 1,000 families.

“The Smurfs” Environmental Protection Class Series is practical, which concerns about natural ecology, waste sorting, waste recycling and utilization and air pollution. Children participated in the classes may get more knowledge about environmental protection, improve their consciousness of environmental protection and put it into practice in daily life.


· Music Appreciation Class Series

Music appreciation classes guide ordinary citizens what to listen for and how to understand what they are hearing in different types of music.

Usually music appreciation classes involve some history lessons to explain why people of a certain era liked the music that they did. The classes also typically include basic music theories, information about the composers, the instruments and ensembles, etc. for example, teachers will expect students to start learning to identify each individual instrument and to understand how composers employ varying instruments to achieve a certain effect. 

There are both librarians with music background working as teachers and some experts as well as music teams are invited to be instructors for the classes, from Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra, Hangzhou Grand Theatre, Royal College of Music, Xiyue Music Studio, etc.

Besides, the library launched a music program named ”classic music on air” hosted by a librarian from Music Branch Library on June 2015, which broadcasted regularly via radio channel FM 89.


· Perfect Combination of Reading and Sports

Sports Branch of Hangzhou Public Library, centering on the service concept of “sports keep you fit, reading improves your life”, emphasizes the integration of reading related to health and fitness, on-site sports experience and social cooperation.

What we do:

Reading promotion related to health and fitness. Diversified activities are organized to promote reading, including on-site reading activities, cultural tours combined with reading, exhibitions concerning health and fitness, etc.

On-site sports experience activities. Some conventional exercise program, like indoor golf, archery and yoga, with professional coaches’ guidance, as well as fitness test, are very welcomed by patrons.

Open sports classes. Lectures and salons are regularly organized there. Swordplay classes, diabolo classes, golf classes, Wing Chun classes, yoga classes and ballet classes have been introduced to our patrons so far, which have realized the instant communication both online and offline.

Extension services. Sports Branch Library is actively extending their services outside the library by cooperating with different sports organizations and setting up sub-branches to offer more free services. For instance, It cooperated with Mulan Boxing Promotion Association to jointly organized a Mulan Boxing performance which attracted more than 300 audience; worked with Hangzhou Golf Training Center to jointly launched a “Winter Physical Training Camp for teens” in Qiushi Primary School, making full use of public resources.