Kwok Keung, Wong

Experiences of Promoting Reading Activities in Macau Public Library

by Dr. Raymond Wong Kwok Keung

University of Macau Library, Head of Publication Center

Vice Director of Macau Publishing Association

The Development History of Reading Promotion

Referring to the past record, the earliest reading promotion is the Book-report Writing Contest held by Pui Ching Middle School in the library week in 1951. After that, Macau Bible Institute held a Bible reading competition for children in the 1980s. In the early 90s, the Macau Public Library did not pay much attention to the reading education of the local children. In 1996, Wong Ying Kuan Library was established by Leal Senado of Macao and our organization was invited to take care of the Library affairs. The first Librarian, Mr. Sin Hang Kin, sensed that the Central Library was lack of activities for children, so a series of activities were carried out for the first time, such as the Children Stories World, Family Education Seminar, Family Handwork, Painting Competition, small scaled Reading Activities, etc. After the Handover, Wong Ying Kuan Library was taken over by IACM, maintaining their good cooperation relationship. As IACM was responsible for the roadside advertisement, lamp boxes, lamp posts, including most entertainment facilities, as well as the cooperation of the independent design department, thus it possessed a great advance in promoting the Library activities. After that, practicing activities were cooperated by the Hong Kong Boys’ & Girls’ Clubs Associations, the activities are with great variety and can promote into the public effectively, in which Reading Flyer, Reading Activities in China, Macau and Hong Kong, Books Friendship Club, Small Volunteers, Volunteer Mothers, etc, will have significant effect on it.

As Macau is under Macanese’s rule, the Central Library had carried out similar activities which was initially organized by our organization, such as Family Stories Workshop, Encyclopedia for Saturday and Sunday, Library Tour, Fairy Tales Tour, Summer Activities and Library Orientation Courses, while others are cooperated by the other associations, such as Small Art Workshop, Musci All the Way, Painting World, English Learning as a Cook, etc.

Other than that, a specific seminar was held each month, such as Library e Course, Library Prevention and Protection Course.

For the aspects of the schools, reading plan, reading competition, and reading meeting were held mainly. Schools had tried to spread the seeds of reading through carrying out reading promotion training course or specific seminar for the Education Department. From 2001, the promotion of reading environment in schools and the society was indicated in the executive report of the Chief Executive each year. The Education Department has also appointed our organization to write a report for “How to promote reading in Macau”, (Website), Library expenses were provided according to the content of the report, i.e. the Library Re-Construction Project, the Complement for computers and Library facilities, etc. In 2004, an approximate amount of Mop14,000,000 was given for improving Library facilities and setting up Library Package Tour, Free Reading, Borrowing Grade, Excellent Reader Awards, etc. At the same time, the department had set up co-department reading groups for promotion in the society and schools. In order to strengthen the coordination among the Library teachers, a seminar for Library staff had been held in the Library Week each year since 2005. The theme of 2005 was the method of promoting reading, while the theme of 2006 is Good Books Award and Target Books.

Library Week Activities

The 1st Macau Library was established by Macau Central Library and Wong Ying Kuan Library of IACM in 2002. After that, a yearly platform was established for promotion with the cooperation of our organization and the Education Department. In order to promote reading further, there were activities, such as good books reading, readers award, Library Tour, academic and reading seminars, etc. An Audio-video meeting of the children from three districts was set up in 2004, too, there were about 2 – 3 pupils from each district, sharing their comments, from which a short movie for promoting 2 Borders and 4 Districts was produced.

Absorbing Outside Experiences for Promoting Reading

IACM, the Education Department, the Central Library and our organization had invited some organizations and individuals, such as the Hong Kong Boys’ & Girls’ Clubs Associations, Ms Poon Ming Chu and Ms Poon Kam Ying to partake in the activities in Macau.

Reasons for success

1. As it was still early for promoting children reading, it was easier to absorb the experiences of the former and the other places.

2. Most of the activities were carried out in Macau for the first time, the people responsible for the activities were full of responsibility and motive.

3. Active support is given by the department, leading way to succeed.

4. Full support was given by the friends from different places, specially from the two teachers, Ms. Poon Ming Chu and Ms. Poon Kam Ying, Mr Tsung Kuon Yuen of the Hong Kong Boys’ & Girls’ Clubs Associations, Lecturer Chan Ming Ying of Hong Kong Teacher Librarians Association, Mr Kong Chi Hong etc.

5. It was motive for them to create and promote activities, such as the Library Week, cooperating the Grand Books Exhibition (????) which were carried out every 3 years, Reading Festival, Babies Exhibition, Life Long Reading Week, 1 June International Children Festival, Children Stories Telling Competition, etc., thus impressing the importance of reading in citizens.

6. Smooth promoting channels, such as newspaper, radio, television, roadside advertisement, etc.

7. The preparation and the awards for the activities are attractive, creating good reading environment.

Future motion and development

1. Collecting the books, bookmarks, advertising documents, dolls, souvenirs, etc, of different places for reference.

2. The activities in the seminar are mainly designed practically, such as books management, books storing, bookworms, etc, which can arouse the attention of the students.

3. Collecting reading idioms.

4. Books reading list, Books list indication, Children activities Promoting Handbooks, and the names and contents of all kinds of activities.

5. Participating the reading workshop in the districts nearby, such as the sharing committee of the Chinese Library Association.

6. Establishing Libraries with Special Topic.