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Young book worms get a new place to hang out

July 20, 2022 |

Local young readers now have one more place to borrow books from with the new branch of Shanghai Children's Library opening to the public in Putuo District on Tuesday.

Near Changfeng Park, the library covers more than 6,300 square meters and has nearly 530,000 books.

It's designed with the shape of a bridge arch as the designer hopes it can be a bridge connecting a person's childhood and adolescence as well as fitting the surrounding environment.

Besides space for general reading, it also provides exhibitions and a special barrier-free room for children with impairments to read the books, where they can find books in braille or audio books and other facilities to help with reading.

The room is set on the ground floor with a lobby and lecture hall for reading events.

The second floor mainly serves children and their parents, where the latter can also borrow books, enjoy family reading and receive professional guidance.

There's a pavilion specially designed for little kids aged up to 6 to explore knowledge in various fields including geoscience, bioscience, principles of physics and engineering technology in fun ways.

Kids and parents can also borrow books from the third floor. The third floor also has two exhibition zones for international award-winning children's books and old Shanghainese children's books and magazines.

The fourth floor serves as a "think-tank" for teens, educators and people working for promoting children's reading. On this floor, children can make an appointment to use a robot lab to learn the world's cutting-edge achievements on science and technology and try artificial intelligence training courses such as coding and robot controlling.

Citing Argentine poet Jorge Luis Borges' remark "I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library," Yan Laiyun, designer of the library, wanted to design a "paradise" for children.

"Children at different ages have different habits and characteristics, so we created different reading environments for them," Yan said. "The second, third and fourth floors are specially designed for younger children, older children and teens."

Yan also said they had introduced mechanized book return equipment in the book auto-sorting system.

"When the children take the elevator, they can see the track of the books and how they are returned."

The library's opening hours are from 9am to 12pm and 1pm to 4:30pm, with disinfection taking place between 12pm and 1pm every day.

Visitors have to do real-name registration to make an appointment to visit. The system opens at 11am every day.

Each day is divided into four periods and visitors can only make an appointment for one period. A parent can bring at most three kids and all of them need to have a negative nucleic acid result within 72 hours and a green health code.

A green channel has been set up for those who are unable to show the green code on their phone. These people can show their identity card and paper health code to staff at the entrance.