One year ago when I was thinking to start this blog, I asked one of my Australian friends about his view of living in Shantou. He said a lot of things, but one of them was about the Lin Bai Xin library in Lin Bai Xin square. “It has been there for years but nobody wants to finish the construction and start using it”, he said. Indeed it had been under construction for many years now and nobody knows why. However last week it eventually opened to public and now we have another library in Shantou!
I went there yesterday to read for my dissertation. The building was brand new with nice facilities. They have computer rooms, several floors for different functions like reading and loan. I would give 9 out of 10 for it! They don’t charge for borrowing books but you have to pay deposits like 50 yuan for a year or something. But I wanted to use the reading room and it costs me 20 yuan a month (50 for three months).
There was a little story while I was there yesterday actually. I went to the second floor at first. It is the loan section and I am not supposed to bring my own books in. But when I walked in the staffs there were having a nap on the desk so nobody asked me to deposit my books. Then after ten minutes, a few other mid age women went in and they started chatting about the weather, their son was late for school this morning, the lunch wasn’t that great etc. This is quite common in most public services, but consider that was in the library and people were reading, it was not acceptable. I couldn’t concentrate, after 20 minutes bearing, I went to them and tried to make a complaint. But I started by asking whether it’s business hour or lunch break, they said it was business hours. Then I asked was there the reading area, they told me it was loan section, not for reading. Fair enough, I didn’t go any further but asked them about where is quiet for reading. They pointed me to the fifth floor so I went. Still, I wasn’t totally happy about library staffs talking their own business loudly in business hours.