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Libraries to meet international standards by 2015

Trans. by B.NARANTUYA

The state is planning to upgrade libraries in Mongolia to meet international standards new years.
People face a lot of difficulties with the library services in Mongolia, especially students. There are problems with getting books, often the library hall gets cold in the winter, employers have difficult attitudes towards customers, most equipment and facilities are old and the environment is not suitable for study. Sometimes students are not able to find books that they are looking for. Most university based libraries are noisy; don’t have an appropriate comfortable reading hall and lack materials.
The National Library of Mongolia was established in 1921 and became a member of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions in 1991. Nowadays it shares books and materials with 100 libraries of more than 70 countries.
At the moment, the library has over three million books, one million of which are related to history, and ample rare and valuable pieces.
There are over 1,509 libraries currently operating in Mongolia; 373 of them are the libraries in provinces, 101 libraries in universities, 54 libraries at institutions, 817 libraries at schools of general education, 120 at organizations, and 44 scientific libraries.
These libraries relate to many sectors and work under the regulations and rules of the Central State Administrative Body. Issues such as funding, book registration, and services to customers are problematic.
Some handwritten historical scriptures are protected and registered in accordance with policies for protecting cultural heritages of the National Library of Mongolia. Historic pieces that are in the hands of individuals and private organizations haven’t been registered or arranged to meet related standards.
In 1990, Mongolia had nearly 400 public libraries, while by the year 2000, the number decreased to 181.
Active readers started to decrease due to several issues. Firstly, libraries of 165 soums were unified with school libraries. Secondly, organizations such as Children’s Library and Public Library of Ulaanbaatar were closed down and privatized. These issues affect readers negatively by limiting information resources and young people lost interest in acquiring and reading books from libraries.
Since the state policy on library services were neglected, libraries started to face a lot of problems. Due to the lack budget for libraries, they couldn’t provide new books, sufficient materials, widen its resources, prepare comfortable environment for readers and conduct efficient services.
Library is a place where people can learn, study, explore and make research throughout their whole life. Globally, the development of libraries is considered an essential issue for human development. That’s why highly developed countries have well organized libraries that provide and conduct services with the latest technologies.
Recently, the library project law was processed in Mongolia. The law covers issues such as building an efficient library service, curator and their duties, reader’s rights, and activities.
The project initiator believes that by approving the law, libraries will meet international standards and will have many of the problems resolved. It will provide readers the latest database, provide sufficient materials and books and a comfortable environment for readers as well as employers.
Some parliament members and related official gave different views on the project and underlined its significance for cultural development.
MP Ts.Davaasuren noted, “Cultural centers and school libraries in soums will be better if they are unified to become a central big library.”
Member of the Standing Committee on culture Yo.Otgonbayar said, “This law focuses on controlling library activities. I think that soums must have separated libraries for public and school use. Database resources in schools must have different materials from public libraries. In the law, there is a reference stating that parliament members who work in the field of education and culture must approve the list of books and materials that will be used at schools.”
“Every institution and school must have a library,” he added.
The project will be considered by Parliament as 67.4 percent of the Standing Committee members approved the project at their meeting.
The final discussion of the project will be conducted soon, according the Standing Committee.

Source: Zuunii Medee

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=12854

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