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Official Gazette

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Draft law permits foreign libraries

Updated: 10:40’ - 27/04/2012

Foreign individuals and organizations would be allowed to establish libraries in Vietnam, according to a draft law designed by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to replace the 2000 Library Ordinance.   

Under the 37-article draft, which has been recently debated for the first time by National Assembly Standing Committee members, libraries are categorized into 3 types: state, non-state and foreign libraries.

To be licensed, a foreign library - a book repository established or run by a foreign organization or individual in association with their Vietnamese partners to serve specific Vietnamese readers - must be set up as a legal entity within Vietnam’s territory and satisfy some other certain conditions. Meanwhile, its sponsors would have at least five years’ experience in the cultural or educational field and have proof of their financial capacity.

During their discussion, lawmakers agreed about the necessity to promulgate a law on libraries in order to increase educational and cultural standards nationwide, as well as to satisfy the increasing public demand. Arguing for the establishment of the library-grading system, most legislators said that such system should be set up for both state and non-state libraries. Grading results would serve as a basis for the State to make appropriate financial and human resource investment in state libraries. As for non-state libraries, grading would create a motive force for development and a basis for raising donation funds. 

According to a report enclosed to the draft law, the current national library system includes central- and provincial-level libraries in all 63 provinces and centrally run cities, 626 district libraries, and nearly 4,000 communal libraries and reading rooms. There are roughly 50 private, 100 institutional and 26,000 school libraries nationwide. The total number of books in all these facilities is estimated at more than 27.5 million.-



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