WUHAN, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Libraries and bookstores have joined hands to build 18 mini-libraries in temporary hospitals in China's Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak, to lend "spiritual support" to patients there.
The libraries, comprising rows of bookcases, have been installed in all temporary hospitals and six others yet to be opened, according to the culture and tourism department of Hubei Province, where Wuhan is the provincial capital.
Facing a shortage of beds amid the coronavirus outbreak, Wuhan has put into use 12 temporary hospitals converted from gyms, convention or exhibition centers. With a combined over 20,000 beds planned, such hospitals mainly treat patients with mild symptoms.
The Hubei Provincial Library built eight of the libraries and contributed about 5,000 books, while the rest were constructed by local libraries and two bookstores. Books there were mainly in the genres of classic literature, health, popular science and psychology.
Liu Weicheng, a curator of the Hubei Provincial Library, said the books are expected to soothe the minds of patients living in an isolated ward environment.
"Knowledge, strong will and a positive mentality are also important in the fight against the virus," Liu said.
Liu said they were inspired by a picture of a patient reading a book in the ward, which has gone viral on the Internet. Previously, online videos also showed patients and nurses in make-shift hospitals practicing group dances to boost morale.
The library said it had also launched an online library, with 80,000 digital books, 420,000 audio clips and 8,482 videos, to cover all makeshift hospitals and quarantine hotels. The service is also being promoted among families in quarantine.