SEOUL, July 8 (Korea Bizwire) – Among the foreign books held by the National Assembly Library, approximately 70 percent have not been checked out. As a public library run by taxpayers’ money, it must figure out ways to maximize usage by conducting surveys and studies on customer demand.
According to a report from the Budget Office of the National Assembly, the National Assembly Library, one of the two towers in terms of the volume of books in Korea together with the National Library of Korea, purchased more than 18,000 books from overseas on average for the past three years by adding 18,413 books in 2011, 18,131 books in 2012 and 18,211 books in 2013.
By the amount of money, the library spent 1,673 million won in 2011 and 1,567 million won in 2012, exceeding the allocated budgets by 25.8 percent and 23.9 percent respectively. In 2013, it spent 1,534 million won to purchase foreign books.
However, comparing with the money spent more than 1,500 million won annually, it turned out that the check-out results were far below the expectations. On a cumulative basis, when comparing the total number of foreign books and that of foreign books which were never checked out, the rate of books not borrowed in 2011 recorded 68.9 percent with 206,566 not-checked-out books among total 299,439.
The rate goes almost the same level at 68.7 percent in 2012 with 217,300 not-checked-out books out of total 316,000 foreign books. The rate slightly went up in 2013 at 69.4 percent with 234,505 not-checked-out books among total 337,868 books. Namely, almost seven books out of ten have not check out.
An official at the budget office said, “In spite of the fact that the library is run as an open-access library where people can freely read the books on the shelves and reading the books in the library was not counted, the utilization of foreign books is not so high.”
“For the selection and purchase of foreign books, we need to consider not only for possession value but for various factors. We will prepare various measures to raise the utilization of the foreign books by conducting surveys on book demand in the process of recommendation and selection on foreign books.”
Meanwhile, the National Assembly Library spent 4,817 million won in purchasing books and other materials last year. As of June 30 this year, the library possesses around 3.72 million books and 1.05 million e-books, and 423,966 audio and video materials.
Written by M. H. Lee (email@example.com)