SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, May 10, 2018 — The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced the Five-Year Master Plan for Seoul Library in a bid to make Seoul a city of Knowledge and Culture where every citizen is allowed to enjoy reading books and experience lifelong learning in their daily life.
According to this plan, the Seoul Metropolitan Library will be expanded into five areas, and each library will be specialized in startup and business, humanities and social sciences, picture books, and family. In particular, one of the five will become the first municipal library exclusively for the handicapped in Seoul. Currently, the Seoul Metropolitan Library is only located in the former building of Seoul City Hall.
In addition, 40 district libraries will go through remodeling for the next five years and they will be cafe-like places where anyone visits to read books, studying and doing club activates; they will evolve into working spaces where IT devices and office supplies can be freely used; and they will become classrooms where new technologies and media can be learned.
Each autonomous district will designate one public district library as a support center for information have-nots, playing an information welfare base for each district. The center will provide diverse cultural activities and lifelong learning programs especially to North Korean defectors, disabled citizens, senior citizens and multicultural families.
At the same time, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will increase the budget for purchasing library materials to 20 billion won ($18.7 million) by 2022 from the current 12.5 billion won (1,274 won per citizen → 2,000 won) to meet diverse needs of citizens. The integrated online e-book platform will also be newly established to ease inconveniences the citizens may experience. The reading campaign “Book Start” will be launched for every newborn baby in Seoul, and a “pack of books” along with bags, handkerchiefs, and guidebooks will be given as a gift.