søndag 7. juli 2024

Does China Still Need Libraries?

In 2020, literature professor Yang Suqiu chanced upon an opportunity of a lifetime after taking up a temporary position as the deputy chief of a district culture and tourism bureau in the historical northwestern city of Xi’an: establishing a new district library.

Tasked with leading the project, Yang had to oversee every aspect of the library, from its physical construction to the content within. But this also meant stepping into the role of a “sesame official” — a Chinese term for low-ranking public servant — which required her to navigate the unspoken rules of government and manage the many different parties involved.