Photo taken on April 16, 2018 shows the exterior view of the News South Wales State Library in Sydney, Australia. (Xinhua/Bai Xuefei)
SYDNEY, April 23 (Xinhua) -- The News South Wales State Library, Australia's oldest library, is making efforts to promote reading and literacy throughout the community, library officials told Xinhua recently.
A wide range of activities took place on Monday at the library to mark the World Book Day.
Held on the anniversary of William Shakespeare's death, the World Book Day is an opportunity for lovers of literature to promote reading, publishing and copyright.
"With collections of more than 6 million items including books in foreign languages, in particular Chinese, a lot of them are available to read on site, but we also lend them through our public library network," manager of research and discovery Maggie Patton told Xinhua.
"We also have some much older manuscripts and rare books in Chinese as well."
Dating back to 1826, the library located in the center of Sydney showed off some of its rarest and most iconic works of literature to the public on Monday, including Shakespeare's four folios, a first edition of Jane Austen's Emma and various editions of Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote.
Apart from holding some of the greatest works of literature, Patton said the state library is often flooded by students looking for non-fiction as well.
"We have lots of students coming in looking for books on business, economics and commerce," she said.
In order to cater for this younger market and make the most of the extraordinary collection, the library has been trying hard to keep up with the digital trends.
"We have our traditional services, where we expect people to come in and have a look at the material here, but we also have a huge online service through our website and we subscribe to numerous electronic journals and electronic books," Patton said.
"We also have a massive digitization program, where we're digitalizing some of the materials so it can be viewed online from anywhere in the world."
Photo taken on April 16, 2018 shows the public reading area of the News South Wales State Library in Sydney, Australia. (Xinhua/Bai Xuefei)
The library is also working to promote reading and literacy throughout the community.
One of the roles of the state facility is to help fund a public network of 300 libraries across New South Wales.
"Onsite in the library we have a fantastic learning services team and they do a lot of programs for young people, from kindergarten through to high school graduation," Patton said.
"They do reading, they do author talks, there are lots of activities through reading here in the library."
The good news is the effort seems to be paying off.
"I like to pop in here if I can once a week, just to have a walk and have a look around," visitor to the historic library Paul Traynor told Xinhua.
"I really like the fact that the library here has some exhibitions that aren't strictly to do with literature necessarily, it could be artwork and photography, but how they relate back to the literature which inform those things or were written about those things."