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Historical development

  • hits: 19089
  • sourece:National Taiwan Library
  • Date:2009/11/4

The National Taiwan Library is the oldest public library of Taiwan, with the largest collection of books, most frequent updates and a comprehensive organizational structure. The library’s aim is to provide a service for the public, to conserve local literature, promote academic research, and assist private libraries in Taiwan. The predecessor of the National Taiwan Library was known as the Taiwan Governor’s Library, established in 1914 (Tasho year 3). On April 14, 1914, the Japanese governor promulgated ‘ukase number 62’, that the Taiwan Government Library be designated a public office. In November, a temporary office was put together in the Qingshui Master Temple of the Bangka area (now Wanhua), in preparation for the official opening of the library. In June 1915, the library’s first director Kumamoto shigekichi (1915-1916) moved the collection to the old Lottery Office at the left side of the rear of the Taiwan Governor Office (on the corner of Boai Road and Baoqing Road, now Boai Building). This office was opened to the public on August 9 of the same year. Unfortunately, the entire building was destroyed in 1945 during fighting with the Japanese near the end of the Second World War. When Taiwan was liberated, the Taiwan Government Library was nominally transferred to the Taiwan Province Government Executive Office, and in the following year was combined with the Southern Library, established by the Japanese, to form the Taiwan Province Government Executive Office Library (Taiwan Library in short). Fan Shou-Kang was its first director (1945-1946). In May 1948, Wu Ke-Gang took over (1946-1955), during his office orders were given to transfer the library to the Educational Office of the Taiwan Province Government, and its name changed to Taiwan Province Taipei Library. During both these periods the library operated in a borrowed space on the first floor of the Museum of the Province of Taiwan (at the junction of Guanqian Road of Xiangyang Road). However due to insufficient space, the ninth director Wang Xing-Wu (1955-1965) commissioned a new building at the junction of Bade Road and Xinsheng South Road, he built the first two floors, and his successors Liu Xiao-Qian (1965-1967), Han Bao-Jian (1967-1969) then completed the third and fourth floors. On July 1, 1973, the 12th director Yuan Jin-Shu (1969-1973) applied to transfer the library to the Ministry of Education, and it was renamed as National Taiwan Library, as it has remained to today.
Following the buoyant development of information technology and rapid growth and use of the libraries collection, the existing building was once again stretched beyond its capacities. Therefore, the 16th director Sun De-Biao (1988-1992) gained permission from the Ministry of Education in 1989 to search for ground to build a new library. In 1994 and again in 1996, during the 17th director Lin Wen-Juin’s period (1992-2004), two planning reports were handed to Ministry of Education of the Executive Yuan, which the Executive Yuan passed on June 16, 1997, registered Jiao #24623 (1997). On January 31, 2000, building permission was obtained and construction work began at a new site for the National Library in Park No4, Jungan Street, Junghe City. On September 15, 2004, the newly constructed library received a Premises Use License, and was inaugurated on December 20 of the same year.

Since the Japanese occupation, the history of the National Taiwan Library spans over 90 years. During this time, it has been renamed several times and experienced various changes in management; from the Imperial Taiwan Library, the Taiwan Province Government Executive Office Library, the Taiwan Province Taipei Library, to the National Taiwan Library. Now, the library’s new building in Jhughe is the largest public library in Taiwan; facilities include a Parents and Child Information Centre; Information Centre for the Visually Impaired; Taiwan Study Research Centre; Study Rooms; Periodicals Room; Reference Area; Reading Area; Multimedia Area and many other facilities. The building also has several outdoor areas, such as the Li-Zhi, Li-Xue, Creativity, and Waterscape Plazas; plus a Meditation Hall and other recreational facilities. The library actively collects and organizes documents and information on Taiwan and the Southeast Asia Pacific; on parents and child relations; documents for the visually impaired; as well as general books and documents. This information is available to the general public, and material is also provided for the collection, organisation and research on Taiwanese documents. In order to improve academic use, it is necessary to follow the trend of society and cooperate with other sectors, organizing educational and promotional events, promote the concept of life-long learning, and bring the idea of social education as a whole.

Details of former directors and organisational maps of each period are as below: