Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Libraries in the US - 美國圖書館

Libraries in the U.S. are very different from their counterparts in China.  In the U.S., libraries collect large quantities of books, audio and video materials, with few duplications.  Their collections are usually free of charge for local people to use, either in the libraries or at home.  Borrowing materials from libraries is very easy.  Once one proofs his local residency, he can obtain a library card almost immediately.

In the U.S., libraries also provide many social activities, such as story times for children, etc.  Usually, there are several computers people can sign on to use for free.

Libraries in the U.S. are open to the public and requires no endorsement or recommendations from other organizations for one to borrow books, unlike in China, that libraries there often require people to produce some "introduction letters" from their workplaces or resident committees before they were allowed to use the facilities.

The openness of the U.S., libraries and their service orientation make them very valuable in people's life.  In China, even highly educated people like my parents almost never use any library after their college days.

圖書館在美國与在中國的非常不同。在美國,圖書館收集大量的書籍和音頻, 視頻材料,很少有重複。它们的藏品通常是免費為當地居民在圖書館或在家使用。從圖書館借用材料是很容易的。一旦證明居住情况,居民可以得到幾乎立即一個借書證。


在美國的圖書館向公眾開放的, 用户不需要任何其他組織的贊同或推荐来借閱圖書,不像在中國,需要有從他們的工作場所或居民委員會开给圖書館的“介紹信”。


Berkeley Public Library - 伯克利公共图书馆
Courtesy Steve Masover

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