100 days of the opening of Seoul Metropolitan Library(http://lib.seoul.go.kr/rwww/html/en/main.jsp) following the remodeling of the former Seoul City Hall. The library is serving as a resting place for local residents in addition to being a place for reading books, in close linkage with the newly built City Hall and the Seoul Citizens’ Hall.
With total floor area of 18,711㎡, the library is a four-story building (1st~4th floors: reading rooms; 3rd and 4th floors underground: book storage spaces) with six rooms for keeping materials including those related to the history of the city. As of the end of January 2013, it has more than 200,000 paper books, 8,000 kinds of e-books, and 4,900 items of non-book materials including DVDs.
For 100 days following its opening, 6,500 items of materials were donated by ordinary people, organizations, embassies, and culture centers. They are kept according to their contents and languages as part of the service to visitors.
With regard to the 3,276 books donated by embassies and culture centers of 41 countries, which are kept at the Global Materials Section, China (918 books from the Korea-China Overseas Training Center and 147 books from the Chinese Culture Center) tops the list of donating countries. The French Cultural Center comes in second with a donation of 545 books. The Global Materials Section keeps 43 kinds of overseas journals and 11 newspapers. Six items of traditional handicrafts donated by the East Timor Embassy in Seoul are on special display in the Global Materials Section.
A total of 710,000 people have paid a visit to the library (average of 8,500 people a day except holidays). The wooden stairs placed in the General Reading Section, which combines two floors into one, and the bookshelves placed next to the stairs are the most popular spots in the library.
The number of items lent by the library stands at 108,807 as of February 1, 2013. DVDs top the list (13,635 items or 12%), followed by children’s books (19,149 items or 17%).
Visitors to the Seoul Metropolitan Library (registered cultural heritage no. 52) will surely be delighted with the Display Section on the 5th floor, which displays traces of the old Seoul City Hall building, restored offices (Mayor’s Office, Meeting Room, and Situation Room) on the 3rd floor, and Seoul Archival Services where they can check and read diverse records related to Seoul.