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Chengdu sets up library alliance along ancient route

By HUANG ZHILING | China Daily | Updated: 2018-05-29 07:28
Delegates from 15 nations attend the founding ceremony. [PHOTO BY HUANG ZHILING/CHINA DAILY]

The Silk Road was a win-win initiative in terms of friendship and peace, which led to mutual development and prosperity through enhanced communication, understanding and trust among the countries involved, according to the Chengdu Initiative of the Silk Road International Library Alliance.

Over 2,100 years ago, the Silk Road stretched for 10,000 kilometers across the European and Asian continents, becoming a historical symbol of the convergence of civilizations, the establishment of trade links, and the fostering of mutual cultural development and bonds between countries enmeshed in life along the route. An agreeable spirit of openness, cooperation, harmony and acceptance endured over this period, a statement from the group said.

The initiative was unveiled on Monday in Chengdu, as the Founding of the Silk Road International Library Alliance and the "Reading, City, Culture" Academic Forum on the Integration of Libraries and Bookstores events were held. Delegations from as far afield as Bangladesh, Belarus, Brunei, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Myanmar and Qatar, as well as Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Mongolia, attended.

Against the backdrop of globalization, a growing trend toward mutual development in the library field is emerging.

"Representatives from a variety of countries and regions are gathering in Chengdu, a key area in the origins of the ancient Silk Road in Southwest China, to form the Silk Road International Library Alliance, an initiative based on equality and friendship," the statement said.

In the spirit of "peaceful partnership, openness and acceptance, mutual learning and development," the group proposes strengthening business exchanges and partnerships among the libraries along the Silk Road, while moving forward with the "acquisition, protection, development and utilization of document resources" and the improvement of library services as a whole.

The initiative also aims to promote exchange and partnerships to its members, organizing visits to libraries along the Silk Road, encouraging exchanges between top-level managers and providing training to professionals to boost mutual development for all involved.

It calls for promoting academic exchanges and partnerships in scientific research, initiating dialogue across sectors and channels, and holding regular summits and forums for library directors along the Silk Road to share the results of their cultural heritage and research programs.

The initiative also aims to follow major issues faced by libraries and frontier sectors involved in scientific progress, by jointly discussing transformation and development strategies for libraries that contribute to the overall enhancement of human civilization, and to forging strong and open partnerships among libraries.

"The initiative pledges to maximize the reach and strength of this alliance and remain open to colleagues from abroad," said Chen Li, executive deputy curator of the National Library of China, who announced the initiative.

"If you are willing to invest your wisdom and effort in the Silk Road International Library Alliance and regional development initiatives, we welcome you to be our partner," Chen said.

"All members of the alliance will embrace the spirit of harmony, openness and acceptance in the discussion of the development plan to pave the way for our future together," Chen added.

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