177.3 billion won (approx. USD 150 million) earmarked in 2022 for new construction and remodeling of 246 small and public libraries

  • Department International Cooperation and PR Team
  • Registration Date 2022-03-22
  • views 239
Character size

177.3 billion won (approx. USD 150 million) earmarked in 2022 for new construction and remodeling of 246 small and public libraries

- A service population per public library of 43,000 persons targeted, 1000 persons less than in 2021 -

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (Minister Hwang Hee) has budgeted 177.3 billion won (roughly USD 150 million won) this year for the construction or remodeling of 147 public libraries (167.9 billion won) and 99 small libraries (9.4 billion won) as part of its efforts to enhance the lifestyle and cultural infrastructure in South Korea.

This year’s library construction and remodeling projects include 41 new construction (29.3 billion won) and 106 remodeling projects (138.6 billion won) for public libraries and 87 new construction (8.4 billion won) and 12 remodeling projects (1 billion won) for small libraries. As a result, the service population per public library* is expected to fall to around 43,000 persons, which is 1,000 persons fewer than the rate from 2021. Community accessibility of public libraries has continued to improve thanks to the government’s 2020-2022 Social Overhead Capital policy. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is planning to keep increasing the total number of libraries in order to reach the average size of service population per library for the OECD countries.**

* Service population per library: The average number of people serviced by each library. The smaller the number, the greater is the overall access to public libraries.

** Number of people serviced per library in South Korea: 51,184 persons in 2016; 49,692 persons in 2017; 47,287 persons in 2018; 45,723 persons in 2019; and 44,223 persons in 2020.

(International) Number of people serviced per library: South Korea 44,223 persons (2020); USA 36,333 persons (2019); Australia 15,441 persons (2019-2020); Germany 12,215 persons (2020); and Japan 38,141 persons (2020).

The Advisory Board for the Construction and Remodeling of Public Libraries provides consultation support

The ministry also provides support through consultations with an advisory board for the construction and remodeling of public libraries that are tailored to the needs of local communities. The board provides comprehensive consultations from the stages of project planning to library operation with a goal of reducing uncertainties in the scale and budget of projects and to help develop future-oriented libraries that embrace new technologies, cultural trends, and the needs and diversity of the community.

Public libraries recognized for their designs, inclusiveness, and energy independence

The libraries built so far with the help of the advisory board have been recognized for their excellence. As an example, the Ulsan Public Library obtained the 2018 Good Design Mark at the Good Design Awards hosted by the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy and the Barrier Free Mark, which is awarded to accessible architecture. The Kumsem Children’s Library in Asan, Chungcheongnam-do Province obtained both the Zero Energy Mark for energy independence and the Passive Architecture Mark.

”The expansion of public and small libraries as part of our education, lifestyle, and cultural infrastructure is expected to help narrow the cultural and information gap between communities,” said a ministry official. “Our goal is to increase the number of libraries to reach the OECD average and improve the quality of libraries through the advisory board for library construction, as well as refine the policy, legal, and technical validity assessment that take place before the construction/remodeling of public libraries. The assessment system will be introduced next year.”