Sunday 11 June 2005
We visited the public library in Tsetserleg today, the main library which is also the main library from the aimag unit. This particular aimag has nineteen soums that it provided services to, each containing their own library as well. I found the overall structure of the libraries here to be quite interesting. Most are closed stacks because librarians actually assume financial responsibility for the books, so patrons must place a written request for a librarian to retrieve the item. A lot of the books also do not circulate beyond the reading room unless multiple copies are available. This library also contained some very old materials-periodicals from the 1940s and 1950s, a small collection of books written in the old script, and even books with bejeweled spines. The Children’s Palace next door to it had a surprising number of English books. The director seems very motivated to automate the aimag and its nineteen soums by 2009. Although libraries house much information and are fairly accessible, the people in villages and cities prefer to get their info from television while more rural areas primarily use radio. After visiting the Press Center and Internet Center, we visited the monastery turned into a museum. Most of its holdings were at the museum in Ulaanbaatar as well, but it was still nice to visit. The winds here seem to be constant, and if not for them it would feel like the desert due to the hot sun. At least the dirt does not fly around here like dryer areas. I am very curious about what is being announced over this loudspeaker though as it can be heard for some distance. Sitting in this park is quite nice, trees and grass growing against the odds. A small river used to run through it, but all that is left is a sandy rock-lined ditch filled with debris.