National Library of China reopens as COVID-19 epidemic subsides

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, May 13, 2020
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People queued up to enter the National Library of China (NLC) as it reopened on Tuesday after months of closure due to COVID-19.

"Please show me your reservation code and health QR code," instructed the library staff to the visitors at the entrance, where there were also signs that read, "wear a mask and keep a safe distance from one another."

"One of our most popular reading rooms, with 90 seats, was fully booked in just six minutes," said Mao Yajun, an official with the NLC, adding that the seats were arranged at a safe distance from each other.

The library has orderly resumed services concerning reader's cards, borrowing books and photocopying, among others, capping its daily visitors at 1,200. Each reading room was allocated with a certain number of available seats for booking according to the size of the space, the number of seats and the needs of readers, Mao said.

"The whole procedure was easier than I thought, it wasn't complicated," said college student Cheng who came to the library to study. Cheng added that people can make the best of the public resource in this way, but there is a great demand for these seats.

People are required to make a real-name reservation on WeChat or by phone in advance, always wear a mask in the vicinity, and follow other measures adopted by the library during the trying times to ensure the safe and orderly resumption.

Lending services for Chinese books have had a temporary adjustment. People can reserve a book they need from home via the library system and then they can pick it up at the library, which saves waiting time and avoids crowd gatherings, Mao said.

"All returned books will also be sent for centralized disinfection before being put back on the shelves," she added. 

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