Foreign residents are now entitled to borrow and return books without charge at any public library in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China’s Sichuan Province, the first arrangement of its kind in the country.
From November, after registering their passports, foreign residents can freely use the unified loan and return system, which links all 21 public libraries in the city. They can also have free access to the libraries’ remote digital resources.
The unified loan and return system in Chengdu was rolled out in 2014 and gives local residents free access to all public library resources at all branches.
It is the first time an entire public library system covers foreign residents.
Previously, foreign residents could only return books to the library branch where the books were loaned out.
“Chengdu has welcomed a growing number of foreigners in recent years. As public libraries we should provide services for all residents in the city, including foreign residents,” said Xiao Ping, deputy chief librarian in Chengdu.
Over 14,000 foreigners live in Chengdu as of October this year, according to the Chengdu Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office.
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