Public libraries provide ordinary members of the public with equal access to information. Their rich and varied collections and resources enable people to increase their knowledge and expand their minds, enabling them to accomplish more in life. Public libraries reach deeply into communities and local areas, serving the public with access to knowledge within a short distance of their homes and workplaces, enabling everyone to access the knowledge resources they need. They are important hubs for lifelong learning that exist outside the education system.
However, Taiwan’s public libraries have long been operating with limited funding and human resources. Most libraries are not in a position to make large purchases for their collections. In the majority of cases, they have had to prioritize best-selling or in-demand library resources, and it has been relatively difficult for libraries to completely fulfill their role to facilitate lifelong learning. In light of these challenges, In support of the Ministry of Education ”Reading Roots and Spatial Transformation: 2013-2016 Innovative Library Services Development Plan”, the National Central Library has embarked upon a four-year “Project for the Resource Integration and Development of Public Libraries” and to assist in establishing four Regional Resource Centers, in order to integrate development of the collections held by of all Taiwan’s public libraries and fully develop their resource-sharing functions. The aim is to increase the effectiveness of collection-sharing between regional libraries and boost the factors that encourage people to read and accomplish more in life.
The National Central Library is responsible for guiding the development of all Taiwan’s libraries. As such, it is duty-bound to assist public libraries in carrying out the work of integrating library resources. The Integrated Development Program for Public Library Resources commenced in 2013 and is due to end in 2016, during which time Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Central Regional Resource Centers will be set up, plus a further eight District Resource Centers. Besides resource quality, the chief consideration for these Resource Centers’ collections will be to ensure that a wide range of reading material is available. To this end a mechanism was established, by which specialists choose the books for the core collection and develop each Resource Center’s special collection. These special collections are being established according to four major categories: Cultural and Creative, Multicultural, Knowledge, and Teenagers. It is estimated that within four years, each Regional Resource Center’s collection will contain more than 100,000 books, and each District Resource Center between 30,000 and 40,000 books.
Looking forward, after the Resource Centers have been successfully established, the National Central Library will assist them in purchasing the future library resources they need and guide them in activities aimed at promoting reading. At the same time, resource sharing mechanisms such as interlibrary loans will enable books to be distributed around libraries, both marketing them and broadening their use, and widening the influence public libraries can have on society.
In order to increase the visibility of the services offered by Regional Resource Centers, each has been provided with a logo for use on their publicity materials or web pages. The common Regional Resource Center logo has been chosen from designs submitted by each of the four Regional Resource Centers. The final chosen logo was designed by Mr. Fang Shao-an. The concept behind his design is as follows:
The focus of the design is that most basic and readily understandable symbol: a book. The four books in the logo symbolize the four Regional Resource Centers, with the theme of each Center’s special collection indicated by a different color. Blue stands for Cultural and Creative, green for Youth, wine red for Knowledge, and yellow for Multicultural.