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Nantong native builds bookcrossing stations overseas

en.nantong.gov.cn Updated: 2022-08-19


Zhen Xiang (2nd from left) introduces the overseas bookcrossing stations built by the Overseas Chinese Library. [Photo/Nantong Daily]

Zhen Xiang, a Nantong native, has been working to establish bookcrossing stations for overseas Chinese people since he retired in 2018.

Years of working at the Jiangsu Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese helped Zhen foster strong ties with overseas Chinese.

He set up an overseas Chinese-themed library in Nantong right after retiring, and soon after the Overseas Chinese Library built nine bookcrossing stations in the city.

"Chinese people in more than 50 countries and regions have made contributions to the library," said Zhen, adding that some surplus books can be delivered to other countries for overseas Chinese people to read.


Employees at the Overseas Chinese Library pack books to deliver to overseas bookcrossing stations. [Photo/Nantong Daily]

By contacting overseas Chinese organizations and Chinese language schools, Zhen realized the urgency and necessity of establishing overseas bookcrossing stations as it is hard for overseas Chinese people to access Chinese books, especially Chinese language textbooks.

As of Aug 12, Zhen's Overseas Chinese Library had clinched agreements with overseas Chinese organizations and Chinese language schools in 27 countries and one Chinese language education group in Hong Kong to build a combined 42 bookcrossing stations, which will receive donations from the library.

On April 22, the bookcrossing station in Kigali, capital of Rwanda, opened to the public, the first of its kind built by the Overseas Chinese Library. To date, 22 such bookcrossing stations have been established around the world.

"The Overseas Chinese Library has donated 200 to 600 books to each overseas bookcrossing station," noted Zhen, "We plan to build 100 such bookcrossing stations overseas by the end of next year."