Twenty-first Century "maritime Silk Road" and the international communication platform

Building Smart Libraries: A New Trend of China-ASEAN Cultural Exchanges

2023-06-16 09:45:22   By:China-ASEAN    Hits:

Written by Tang Qi / Translated by Tang Yi

Do we still need to read in an “era of fragmentation”? The answer is yes. The Times has given people new forms to read and also bestowed a new mission of development upon libraries, which are important sites for reading.

In light of digitization, libraries have experienced an unprecedented change: approaching “smart libraries” are growing more intelligent, more eco-friendly, and more conducive to sharing. What is a smart library? What does it mean for reading? What role do new technologies play in China-ASEAN cultural exchanges? We will find out the answers to the above questions at the 18th China-ASEAN Cultural Forum on June 19.

The 17th ASEAN-China Cultural Forum (Source: the organizing committee of the China-ASEAN cultural forum)
The participants discussed on the topic of “technological innovation and the revitalization of museum relics” (Source: the organizing committee of the China-ASEAN cultural forum)

Marching in a New Reading Era

What is a smart library? As mentioned in Ten Questions of Smart Library, in regard to practice, smart libraries mainly refer to libraries that provide smart services to users by hardware and software.

Smart libraries are of great importance. They are upgraded and developed based on the past “digital library,” changing their focus from library-centered to user-oriented. By virtue of cutting-edge technologies, smart libraries can better meet all needs of people currently and represent a vivid epitome of the society entering a “smart” era.

Moreover, following the trend of “intelligence,” library-related fields also steer to a new direction of development. From June 18 to 20, the 18th China-ASEAN Cultural Forum, co-organized by China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the People’s Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, will be held in Nanning, Guangxi. The forum focuses on the development of China-ASEAN smart libraries so we can see fruitful results of China-ASEAN cooperation.

With the theme of “Smart Libraries Construction and Reading Promotion,” the forum will carry out exchanges and discussions on the construction of smart libraries and the restoration and protection of ancient books between China and ASEAN countries, as well as facilitate ChinaASEAN international cooperation among libraries and the development of publishing, in an effort to promote reading for all and jointly welcome a reading era.

Under this agenda, leading representatives from the Chinese book industry, including the Ancient Books Library of the National Library of China, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Tsinghua University Library, Peking University Library, and Shanghai Library, as well as officials, scholars, and guests from Singapore, Cambodia, Myanmar, and other ASEAN countries, will gather to envision the cooperation in related fields.

At this forum, ancient books’ protection will be one of the topics. For ancient books are cultural treasures of a country, the restoration of ancient books is an important way to pass on Chinese cultural achievements. Today, the development of science and technology makes it possible to both achieve the collection and utilization of ancient books. China and ASEAN countries have long been cooperative partners in ancient books’ restoration. From technical exchanges to digital technology promotion, people find more possibilities in ancient books’ inheritance.

In addition, this forum will also concentrate on building international libraries and publishing cooperation. Libraries and publishing play increasingly important roles in ChinaASEAN further cooperation and exchanges. From the joint construction of university libraries and the sharing of book resources to the publication and promotion of all kinds of reading materials, this forum, regarding books as bridges, will inspire thought for culture, promoting the common prosperity of libraries and publishing for both sides.

It is worth mentioning that guests from Wuhan University, Tianjin Normal University, Library of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, National Library of Cambodia, and Guangxi Publishing & Media Group have been invited to participate in the forum, jointly envisioning cooperation in the building international libraries between China and countries along the Belt and Road Initiative, especially ASEAN countries. The Forum will also issue an initiative on the establishment of the China-ASEAN Library Alliance, which will add new momentum to strengthening cooperation and exchanges in library building between China and ASEAN countries.

This year’s forum will carry out lots of activities with abundant bright spots. During the 18th China-ASEAN Cultural Forum, there will also be supporting activities such as “Pearl Returns to Hepu, Emerge Brand-new from Disasters: Revival and Repairment of The Yongle Encyclopedia” exhibition and “Zoudu Guangxi” (Reading Tours of Guangxi) brand promotion and experiencing activities.

A smart library is the deep integration of science, technology, and culture that links with the past, present, and future of libraries. It not only endows technology with cultural traits but also uses technology to foster cultural development. As the 18th China-ASEAN Cultural Forum approaches, smart libraries will open a new era of reading for us!

A 17-year-long feast of cultural exchanges

The 18th China-ASEAN Cultural Forum, as part of the China-ASEAN Expo summit series, the forum has successfully held 17 sessions and has become an important platform to promote exchanges, interactions, and cooperation between both sides.

The predecessor of the China-ASEAN Cultural Forum is China-ASEAN Cultural Industry Forum, which was first held in 2006. Since 2011, the forum has been officially upgraded to a provincial and ministerial-level forum co-organized by China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the People’s Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. In 2012, the forum was further upgraded from “China-ASEAN Cultural Industry Forum” to “China-ASEAN Cultural Forum.”

For the past 17 sessions, each of them focused on the integration of cultural resources, strengthening project cooperation, promoting cultural prosperity, and seeking common industrial development, among others. As these cultural forums are conducive to promoting exchanges, developing friendships, and reaching further consensus, they make strong contributions to the cultural prosperity of China and ASEAN countries.

Thanks to 17 years of effort, the “tree of culture” planted by the forum has already grown strong and been fruitful. The shade of this towering tree reflects a panorama of cultural exchanges and cooperation between China and ASEAN.

Continuous contributions will be made to a new chapter of practical cooperation. Thanks to the efforts of all parties, China and ASEAN have signed the Nanning Declaration, Memorandum of Understanding on China-ASEAN Cultural Cooperation, and China-ASEAN Cultural Industry Interaction Plan, issued Nanning Initiative on Building East Asian Libraries, advocated international cooperation on protecting intangible cultural heritage, called for joint declaration and inheritance of intangible cultural heritage, and published Essays of China-ASEAN Intangible Cultural Heritage and List of China-ASEAN Major International Art Festivals through previous China-ASEAN Cultural Forums. All those actions have promoted China-ASEAN cultural exchanges and cooperation.

The forum to hand over the torch of culture will be held annually. Each session of the cultural forum is a bloom of culture, delivering abundant eye-catching cultural activities and the latest culture-related topics. From film festivals, food festivals, animation and games exhibitions, performances, exhibitions, and other trendy activities, to the creative development of the cultural industry, the protection and inheritance of cultural relics and intangible cultural heritage, cultural development under digitization, library resources sharing, and other hot topics. The cultural forum has enhanced cultural exchanges and cooperation between China and ASEAN.

China-ASEAN’s long-standing friendship river will be everlasting. China and ASEAN countries are linked by mountains and rivers, share similar cultures, and have had a profound historical connection for long. With the platform of this cultural forum, two sides hold hands to further integrate different cultures and develop bilateral friendships. Various art and cultural exchanges, cultural relics exhibitions, book sharing and exchange meetings, cultural appreciation, and folk customs activities have helped enhance mutual understanding and appreciation of each other’s cultures and deepen the friendship between the peoples.

In China-ASEAN comprehensive cooperation, cultural exchanges serve as an important pillar of bilateral relations that plays a unique role. As the curtain of the 18th China-ASEAN Cultural Forum is about to be unveiled, let’s wait and see how this forum will build on the past and write new chapters!

桂ICP备14000177号 Copyright@2006-2013 Guangxi China-ASEAN Panorama Magazine Agency Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved