The Historical Contributions of the Public Library Law of the People’s Republic of China

【作者】 李国新

【Author】 LI Guoxin;

【机构】 北京大学信息管理系

【摘要】 公共图书馆法的历史贡献主要体现在:对公共图书馆作出既体现国际一般规律又具有中国特色的法律界定;指引我国公共图书馆事业发展方向;呼应新时代社会主要矛盾转化的历史要求;明确政府设立和保障公共图书馆的责任;创新公共图书馆体制机制;促进公共图书馆服务与现代科技融合发展;确立引导和鼓励社会力量参与的基本方针;明确国家图书馆的性质功能,完善出版单位出版物交存制度。

【Abstract】 The main historical contribution of the Public Library Law is reflected in the following aspects: 1) It clearly defines the notion of public library which not only reflects the internationally-accepted law,but also endows with Chinese characteristics. The law provides basic guidelines for a better understanding of the public to the public library,and for governments at various levels in establishing and properly managing the public libraries. 2) It guides the development of public library cause in China,and provides the answers to questions including what direction is China ’ s public library going in the new era,what development principles and service aims should be adhered to,and what historical responsibilities should it bear. 3) It meets the needs of the historical requirement proposed by the transformation of social principal contradiction in this new era,points the right direction for dealing with the issue of unbalanced development in the construction of public libraries and provides the legal basis for the settlement of the underdevelopment. 4) It clearly defines the legal responsibilities of the government in establishing public libraries and in ensuring their daily management. The law prescribes that government at or above the county level should establish the public library of their own; that the establishment of public libraries should consider the conditions including population, population distribution, conditions of environment and transportation; and that government at or above the county level should reasonably determine the number,size,structure and distribution of public libraries according to their local conditions. The law prescribes six basic requirements that ought to be fulfilled in establishing a public library. The public library law also prescribes that the government should provide a stronger,instant and enough financial support to the public library; that the number of the library staff should be determined by the following five factors,namely,the library service,the library scale and size,the scope of services,and the served population; and that the library staff should obtain adequate proficiency. 5) It innovates the system and mechanism of public library. The law summarizes the successful experiences obtained from the long-term practices and the norms in the previous policies,thus constructing a central-branch system of public libraries with Chinese characteristics. It prescribes that a comprehensive corporate governance structure should be built in public libraries,which provides the legal basis for the governance reform. To reform and perfect the current evaluation mechanism,the law also makes a great breakthrough by combining the assessment results and the reward mechanism. 6)It promotes the development of public library services and its integration with modern technology. The law clearly prescribes that government should support the assisting function that technology has in the construction,management,and service of public libraries; that government should bear the responsibilities regarding the digital and network construction of public libraries, namely, building a unified,interconnected digital service network,supporting the development of digital reading products and the research on digital resource conservation,and promoting public libraries to provide services using digital and networked technologies; and that the public libraries bear the following responsibilities,namely,strengthening the construction of digital resources,equipping the corresponding facilities,establishing literature information sharing platform both online and offline,and providing special attention to the construction of the central-branch libraries and the digital protection of ancient books. The law prescribes clearly the legal norms which concern the responsibilities of public libraries in the protection of readers ’private information. Specifically,the types of readers ’ information that public libraries should protect include the personal information,book-borrowing information,and other types of information that may pose threats to readers ’ privacy. Such protection is realized by the guarantee that the public libraries cannot provide these information by selling or by other means illegally. 7) It establishes fundamental guidelines for encouraging the participation of the social powers in the establishment and management of public libraries.The law prescribes that government should provide supports to the service of public libraries by means including government purchase of services,and that a donor-naming mechanism should be built. 8) It clearly defines the nature and functions of the National Library. The law prescribes the National Library’s construction subject and the main functions. It is the first time in terms of law to clearly prescribe that the National Library has the function of public library. The law establishes a publication deposit system in which a publisher should fulfill the obligation to deposit publications to public libraries. In this regard,"deposit"refers to the free submission and conservation in the public libraries. The legal submitting subject refers to the National Library and local provincial public libraries. It is a great breakthrough that the law enlarges the extension of the submitting organizations to the local provincial public libraries.

【关键词】 公共图书馆法; 公共图书馆事业; 公共文化服务;

【Key words】 Public Library Law; Public library cause; Public cultural service;

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