Located in a community compound in west Beijing's Shijingshan District, the Beijing Science Education Library cannot be compared with many public libraries in scale, but it is unique in that it's the first private library in Beijing.
Founder and director of the library Pan Yueyong said public libraries have many disadvantages in terms of management and service.
"Most public libraries do not open in the evenings. And they're far away from people's homes, which is not convenient for people to borrow and return books. But our library is near the neighborhood. We're much smaller in scale compared to public libraries, but we can provide better services," said Pan.
In Britain, 58% of people have a library card. In China, only less than half a percent of the population has library cards. Every 2,000 Americans share a library. In China, the figure is 800,000. Is it that Chinese people do not have a habit of reading in libraries? Pan Yueyong says no. He thinks the main reason is that current public libraries cannot cater for the needs of readers. [bolding added for emphasis]