Visits to public libraries in the nation last year exceeded 100 million for the first time, an annual Ministry of Education report said.
That was an increase of 22.83 million visits, or 24.82 percent, from 2018, the report said.
Visitors last year borrowed 81.3 million items, rising 3.39 million, or 4.35 percent, from 2018, it said.
Photo: Hung Mei-hsiu, Taipei Times
While the number of e-books borrowed last year grew 46.55 percent annually to more than 2.55 million, the number of visitors who checked out printed books also increased 3.98 percent, it said.
Based on the figures, there was no “crowding-out” effect between the two formats, the Department of Lifelong Education said.
On average, Taiwanese last year visited public libraries 4.86 times and borrowed 3.44 items.
As of last year, 16.89 million public library cards had been issued, up from 15.95 million in 2018, it added.
Among the six special municipalities, Taipei last year had the highest percentage of residents with public library cards at 79 percent, followed by Taoyuan with 72 percent, Kaohsiung at 62 percent, Tainan with 60 percent, New Taipei City at 52 percent and Taichung with 45 percent, the report said.
Kaohsiung residents last year visited public libraries an average of 9.76 times, compared with Taipei’s 6.34, New Taipei City’s 5.18, Taoyuan’s 4.98, Taichung’s 4.18 and Tainan’s 3.8, it said.
Taipei residents last year borrowed an average of 4.87 items from public libraries, compared with 4.71 in Taichung, 4.42 in Tainan, 4.34 in Kaohsiung, 2.6 in Taoyuan and 2.59 in New Taipei City, it added.
Continued growth across various indicators demonstrates public libraries’ commitment to promoting their services, as well as a passion for reading, the department said.
The functions of libraries today have gone beyond the scope of traditional services, it said.
Besides lending materials to readers, libraries now also offer a diverse range of services that include events and discussions, it said.
These services allow libraries to be “not only public centers of knowledge and life-long learning, but also become an indispensable part of people’s lives,” it said.
Food delivery provider Foodpanda had 564 consumer disputes from January to last month and failed to attend many mediation sessions with local governments nationwide, the Executive Yuan’s Consumer Protection Committee said. In a news release earlier this month, the committee said that it investigated consumer complaints and mediations for Foodpanda and rival Uber Eats during the period, when the number of delivery orders jumped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Uber Eats had 80 consumer disputes, the committee said. Of Foodpanda’s consumer disputes, 368 resulted from delivery drivers canceling orders after customers could not be reached, 108 were related to the quality or quantity
‘HONEYMOON’ IS OVER: A political science professor said that the Tsai administration’s popularity peaked after it successfully contained COVID-19, but is waning President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) approval ratings fell significantly this month in the wake of the government’s handling of the distribution of relief funds and stimulus coupons to people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a poll released yesterday by the New Power Party (NPP) showed. The poll showed that 68 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Tsai’s performance, down 8.9 percentage points from last month, while 21 percent said they disapproved of her performance. Her approval among respondents aged 20 to 29 fell 14.7 percentage points, the largest decrease when compared with other age
‘CHINESE CAPITAL’: Fanny Liu was found guilty of reducing the rent of a tenant in exchange for a vote for a KMT Taipei city councilor candidate The Taipei District Court on Wednesday sentenced Fanny Liu (劉樂妍), a former member of the now-disbanded female pop group Fantasy 4, to 10 years in prison for vote-buying. The court found Liu — who is now based in China and has made pro-Chinese Communist Party remarks — guilty of reducing the rent on a Taipei property she owned in exchange for the tenant voting for a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate in the November 2018 nine-in-one local elections. She can appeal the ruling. Liu in December 2018 reportedly lowered the rent by NT$1,000 after the tenant said they had voted for Taipei City
Passengers arriving at Taoyuan International Airport will find that most entrances to both terminals have been sealed off as part of its COVID-19 prevention efforts. Follow the signs and directions posted on the doors to find the nearest entry point. The airport has installed infrared cameras and thermometer guns at all open entrances, and all persons with a temperature of over 37.5 degrees Celsius are prohibited from entering the terminal. In addition, staff will take the temperature of those checking in to their flights in advance at Airport MRT stations A1 and A3. In accordance with the Centers of Disease