Our visits to Flower City and the Guangzhou Public library.

This is post number 7 in the Ni hao (Hallo) China Travelogue.

After our tea experience, we spent the rest of the day at Guangzhou's Flower City Square. It is now the largest square in Guangzhou.

On Flower City Square. 

There are many attractions that surround Flower City Square. You can see the Opera house, the museum, the massive public library and the Canton Tower from the square. Because it was raining (again) and misty, we could not see the Canton Tower. Our tour guide, Mina, said " she was hiding because she was shy.

Landie Diamond walking in the rain. In the background is the stadium where the opening ceremony of the Asian 2010 games was held.

The Guangzhou Public library

The Guangzhou public library designed like a "Z" and it resembles an open book

The Guangzhou library is an architectural and cultural marvel. This public library was designed by an international team from Japan and China. The library resembles an open book, the designers' interpretation of their "Beautiful Books" idea. The design is is based on the Chinese character, "Z". When you view the library from a distance, you can see the open book design, which creates the sense of pages being turned. 

This photo was captured while we were in the lift, going  up to floor 8

The building allows for maximum natural light. When you stand on the first floor you can see straight up to the glass-panelled ceiling.

The low-rise book shelves

There are books for Africa!  My colleague, Kersiri and I were completely enthralled by the sheer size of the library and stayed longer than our tour guide, Mina, had agreed. For our sins, we had to pay for a round of drinks for everybody, but that was a small price to pay for the experience of a lifetime!

The children's section. This picture was also taken from the lift we were in.

The library has over 1,3 million volumes of books. There are sections for braille readers and an entire floor dedicated to children's books.

The library has eight floors and each floor is dedicated to a specialist category.  The design of all the floors are similar. The books are arranged in low-rise shelving units that allow you the rest of the room to be visible. There are traditional tables and comfortable, leather-like cubes which library visitors can use. 

notice the soft seating and the computer screens

There are also huge screens and computers available for use on every floor. Apparently there is wi-fi as well. The entire place is high- tech. The library definitely does not look like your conventional storehouse of books. 

The only unfortunate factor was that none of the assistants that manned the information desks on the various floors, could understand English and could therefore not engage us.

Kersiri posing on floor 8, the design section.

The emphasis on reading and learning in China, is phenomenal. How I wish we had well-stocked, modern libraries at all our schools and in all our communities.


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