A recent survey released by the Taipei Public Library showed that middle-aged residents read more than people in other age groups, with books borrowed by Taipei residents in the 31-to-50 age group last year accounting for 49.7 percent of all books borrowed.
The survey, which looked into Taipei residents’ reading habits and borrowing records, also showed that the number of books borrowed from branches of the library reached 12.5 million last year, and more than 42 million people borrowed books.
Lin Chun-yu (林君諭), director of the library’s promotion department, said the book-borrowing rate among children under six years old increased from 0.43 percent in 2011 to 4.12 percent last year, while borrowing among people in the 23-to-30 age group also grew, encouraging the library to step up efforts to promote reading.
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday touted the city government’s efforts to cultivate residents’ reading habits, promising to provide a faster and more efficient library service by incorporating the EasyCard into library cards and opening more self-service libraries.
“Taipei Public Library has issued 1.7 million library cards to local residents and the survey shows that people in almost all age groups have spent more time reading. We will provide better services that allow Taipei residents to enjoy reading at any time,” Hau said.
Hau made the comments yesterday as the library launched its sixth self-service library in the underground mall at the MRT’s Zhongxiao Dunhua Station.
The library has a collection of 8,000 books and is equipped with a radio-frequency identification (RFID) system which allows users to enter the library and borrow books by using an RFID-enabled library card or an EasyCard.
The mayor also presented awards to library card holders who borrowed the most books last year.
Among the bookworms was four-year-old Lin Ting-cheng (林亭辰), who borrowed 737 books last year, while her five-year-old sister, Lin Ting-yun (林亭妘), took out 628 books.
Lin Lung-chi (林隆崎), the sisters’ grandfather, said he and his wife, who are both frequent visitors to the library, take the sisters to the library almost every day and borrow books for them to encourage them to read from an early age.
“They love fairy tales and books about animals, and I think they love books because they have watched us read every day and have became fond of reading,” he said.
The Taipei Public Library has five other self-service libraries at Carrefour in Neihu, the MRT’s Ximending Station, Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport), the Youth Park in Wanhua and at Bailing Elementary School in Shilin.