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Hangzhou Public Library Hosted Cultural Event for Visually Impaired Children from Xinjiang

On May 21, 2023, China celebrated its 33rd National Disability Day. To mark this occasion, Hangzhou Public Library invited 20 visually impaired children from the Aksu region in Xinjiang to participate in a special cultural event with young librarians.



The event started with a warm welcome from Wang Yilong, a librarian from the Reading Promotion Department. He introduced the children to the robots in the lobby on the first floor, who guided them to the visually impaired reading room. There, the children found a variety of braille books, listening machines, electronic readers and internet devices with the help of Zhu Yanfen, a librarian from the Circulation Center.



They also explored three tactile woodblocks that represented different aspects of Chinese civilization. Jin Xinxiu, a librarian from the Special Literature Center, explained the significance of the woodblocks to the children. “The first one is the statue of Confucius, the second one is the Plum Blossom Portrait Manual, China’s first woodcut painting manual specifically depicting the various moods of plum blossoms, and the third one is a stone tablet engraved with sentence as Reading is Good. The woodblock printing technology has taken on the responsibility of spreading civilization for a long time”, she said.



The event continued at the music branch of the library, where the children enjoyed the fragrance of Longjing tea and dried osmanthus, two local specialties of Hangzhou. Ge Ling, a gold medal tour guide from Zhejiang CYTS International Travel CO., LTD, narrated stories and poems about Hangzhou’s history and culture.




The children also experienced the “air drum”, a musical instrument that uses motion sensors to create sounds. Zhang Anqi, a librarian from the music branch, played classical music such as “Happy Shepherd” and “Spring of Xinjiang” for them. They also sang “Invisible Wings” together, accompanied by Zhang Anqi on the piano.



At the end of the event, Hangzhou Public Library presented listening resources to the children as gifts. The children also gave Xinjiang Little Flower Hats to the young librarians as tokens of gratitude.




Gulibostan Elken, one of the participants, expressed his happiness and appreciation for the event. “The library is great and I really like the accessible reading environment here. It not only provides braille books, but also various auxiliary devices such as voice guided reading. Here, I have easy access to information and engage in self-directed learning. Moreover, under the guidance of the tour guide, I have gained a specific and in-depth understanding of Hangzhou’s culture, and this experience has made me feel very meaningful.”



The event was organized by Hangzhou Public Library to enrich the lives of visually impaired children through public library services. By listening, touching, smelling and communicating, they were able to learn more about Hangzhou city and enjoy reading in the library.