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Feature: Chinese books become more popular in New York libraries

(Xinhua)    13:10, May 30, 2015

NEW YORK, May 29 -- A 69-year-old Flushing resident, Huiming Pang, came to Flushing's Queens Library early Friday morning. Within thirty minutes of the door opening, she had already picked five books to read at the table.

"The Chinese books here have a large quantity as well as a wide variety," Pang said. "I worked in the clothing profession, so I even found many books here are about clothes and fashion in Chinese."

Pang is a Chinese immigrant who came to the United States18 years ago, and it was at that time that she started to visit Queens Library. During these years, she has witnessed the rebuilding of the library and its development.

She found that the number of Chinese books and electronic products about China have been increasing quickly.

Paul Qiu, associate library manager of Queens Library at Flushing, told Xinhua that as the number of Chinese Americans is increasing, they have added more Chinese books to their collection.

"The library allocates resources to meet the demand of its residents, so it's easy to imagine that Chinese books are becoming more popular here," he said.

Qiu said New York's Queens library system has a total of 62 branches, among which over ten libraries have participated in the "Ni Hao" program, which collects Chinese books for the library.

As a newly emerged Chinatown in Queens, Flushing has become the branch of the Queens libraries which boasts the largest number of Chinese books.

From May 27 to 29, China has been invited for the first time ever as the Guest of Honor country at Bookexpo America, which was held in New York. At the ceremony, the Chinese side donated 1,000 books each to the three public libraries in New York.

Bridget Quinn-Carey, interim president and CEO of Queens Library, said they were thrilled to receive the donation.

"Right now we have hundreds of thousands of Chinese books," she said. "We collect about 25 languages, but Chinese-language books represent a huge percentage of our international language materials, because there's such a big demand for them."

"We actually spend about a hundred thousand dollars a year on Chinese language materials," she said. "We got quite a number of Chinese books every year. They have been popular for a number of years."

As one of the three library systems serving New York City, and the fifth largest public library system in the United States, the Brooklyn Public Library is the public library system of the borough of Brooklyn in New York City.

Frank Xu, manager of the Languages and Literature Division of Brooklyn Public Library, told Xinhua that it's the same situation with Queens Library -- the number of readers who come to their library looking for Chinese books has also increased.

He said this was probably due to two reasons. Firstly, more Chinese immigrants are moving to Brooklyn. Secondly, the new residents of different ethnic groups moving there have a relatively higher education background.

"They ask for more Chinese books, on topics of Chinese economy, philosophy, culture, music and so on," he said.

"In addition to the Chinese immigrants, more Americans are becoming interested in China. They like to read about travel in China, learning Chinese and Chinese philosophy, as well as some novels written by contemporary Chinese authors which have been translated into English," Xu said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Sun Zhao,Bianji)

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