National Central Library, Taiwan


National Library Exterior

Name of the Library: National Central Library
Parent Organisation: Ministry of Education

Street Address: No.20, Zhongshan S. Rd., Zhongzheng District, Taipei City , Taiwan
Postal Address: 10001
Telephone :+886-2-23619132
Web Address:
Library Email:
Type of Library : Central/ Main
Population served:23,000,000
Project Type: Extension
Size (square metres):41494.95
Date of Completion:75/9/28
Architect: Sen-Tang Chen

One of the Library's reading rooms
One of the Library’s reading rooms

The National Central Library (NCL) is founded on 80 years of solid foundation. It carries in its bosom, since the Sung dynasty until today, more than 4.1 million items of rich library materials. It aims to fulfil her goals with the vision of being the center of “National culture knowledge and global Chinese resources preservation and service”. It hopes to become nationally, the only library that preserves the Chinese cultural classical works and library books and documents.

The object of its services includes the general public, academic researchers, government agencies and organizations at home and abroad, national librarians, publishing sector, international academic institutions and foreign scholars.

Services offered include “collection of library materials”, “reading materials advice,” “reading & promotion of special collections,” “digital information and video sharing,” “national library enterprise research and counselling,”  “cultural, educational and reading promotion activities,” “international cooperation and cultural exchange,” “Chinese Studies reading and cooperation promotion” and other related important undertakings.

With the hope to concretely promote the competitiveness of Chinese culture, foster reading literacy of the people by setting up global Chinese Studies stronghold, and effectively enhance the soft power of Taiwan’s pluralistic development, the NCL plans and implements the following five strategies: 1. “make good use of the new law, knowledge navigator,” 2. “Work together to reach professionalism,” 3. “Believe reading in making a happy Taiwan,” 4. “Face the world, promote the culture” and 5. “Make Taiwan knowledgeable, promote Chinese Studies globally.”

Locally join county and city governments to set up regional resource centers. On the international level, actively disseminate the quintessence of Chinese culture.

2014 Reading Festival
2014 Reading Festival

All the above initiatives in view of successfully opening a new road map towards the development of library enterprise in the 21st century, piloting readers to travel in the vast sea of books.
Each year the NCL offers more than 500 professional training courses and reading exhibitions and events; it also invites more than 400 scholars to give intriguing lectures, with over 200,000 people attending the events. It exerts its influence on culture, society, the economy, and technology. In addition, it instituted the Taiwan Reading Festival—the first event of its kind in the world. Every December publishers, artistic troupes, schools, libraries, and countless members of the public in Taiwan come together to celebrate this unique festival. At the same time, sales of publications in Taiwan increase, and reading habits are improved in the lives of the public.

The NCL has continued to improve its catalogue services, placing emphasis on e-book technology and leading the development of research in publications, academics, and reading. Other efforts include expanding service policies for readers, upgrading the functionality of information systems, re-creating the value of Chinese culture, and showing forth achievements in digital humanities. As a result, the staff works in unison, with a core concept that patrons are the most important. It strives to become one of the top libraries in the world. Moreover, it is a must-stop for Taiwan citizens and foreign scholars to gather information for research.


Minsyong County Library, Taiwan


Name of the Library: Minsyong County Library
Parent Organisation:Minsyong Township Office

Street Address: No.7, Wunhua Rd., Minsyong Township, Chiayi County 621, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Postal Address:62145
Telephone :+886-5-226-2015
Web Address:
Type of Library:Medium size town library
Population served:71948
Project Type:Refurbishment
Size (square metres) :2831 m2
Date of Completion:August, 2013
Architect:5F + 1 Basement

Minsyong County Library is located in the center of Minsyong County, which is only few minutes of walk from the train station. It has just benefited from a refurbishment that has been taken nearly two years to finish, and it reopened to the public in 2013. The Library encompasses five floors and one basement. Each floor has its own theme and served with purpose. The space of the Library is designed for multipurpose; the function is designed to cover all levels of age, and the interior design provides more sense of modernity, such as high ceiling and diamond shaped patterns on walls. Especially, during the evening, the Library becomes more attractive with LED lights on; it has become the landmark of Minsyong County and the symbol of its culture and spirit.

Apart from the upgrade of the building itself and the facilities, the Library has also demonstrated its abilities of launching activities. Minsyong Library has held various reading events that involve local residents to be engaged. Further, the Library utilizes its resources to hold many culture exhibitions and performances. It successfully employed the combination of computer tablets and electric resources to offer residents more information with quick access. Instead of traditional marketing, the Library takes the advantage of e-commercial to publicize its activities and performances. It vibrates the functions effectively over the traditional role of a library.

The vision of the Library is to create an image of the township that is cultural and scholarly. The Library not only provides a comfortable reading area for readers, but also integrates all sorts of resources to actively host the launch of various reading events for people. With these years’ constant efforts, the number speaks for itself. The amount of visitors to the Library is continuously on the rise, and the volumes of books and the number of borrowers increase strikingly. These achievements have definitely demonstrated the significance and the success of Minsyong Library.

Awards2014  The Excellent Library Award
2014  Green Building Award
2015  Ten Libraries you must visit in Taiwan
2015  The Annual Library Award
2015  The Excellent Library Award

New Taipei City Library, Taiwan

Exterior of Library
Exterior of Library

Name of the Library: New Taipei City Library
Parent Organisation: New Taipei City Government

Street Address: No. 139, Guixing Rd., Banqiao Dist., New Taipei City, Taiwan
Postal Address: 22060
Telephone : (886)2-29537868
Web Address:
Library Email :
Type of Library : Central/ Main Library
Population served: 3,960,000
Project Type: New Building
Size (square metres): 6,137M2
Date of Completion:10/5/2015
Architect: J.C. Yang Architect and Associates

Young people's area
Young people’s area

Designed as a big shelf with lots of books stacking together, New Taipei City Library Headquarters provides traditional library services and new technologies at the same time, and it’s also a diamond grade green building. Pioneering in serving 24 hours a day, the library is not only the new cultural landmark of New Taipei City, but also opens the new page in library serves. With the concept of “being considerate of all users,” the library is built under the principles of Universal Design. The library provides diverse reading spaces based on the needs of different kinds of readers, so that all the patrons can read in a friendly and comfortable environment, which makes them feel like reading at home.

Reading corner
Reading corner
  1. Services
    24 hour opening
    The library opens 24 hours a day, and the services won’t stop. The opening hour of New Taipei City Library Headquarters is the longest one among all the public libraries in Taiwan. The Self-checkout system at the 1st floor and the study room at the 4th floor are open 24 hours.The windows of the world—reading in the exotic atmosphere
    From the 5th floor to the 8th floor we prepare the reading corners decorated with exotic themes, such as Japanese Zen style, Bali style, Northern European style, Mediterranean style, and others. Through these windows, the library can extend to the world. Readers are encouraged to read without electronic devices and enjoy the happiness of reading.Pioneering in Universal Design, Reader-friendly library
    To meet the needs of different kinds of readers, the library is designed under the principle of Universal Design. Disabled readers, senior citizens and readers with special needs can read in a comfortable and convenient environment.Ready holds self-checkout services works 24/7
    The first 24-hour self-checkout system in Asia is now equipped in the library. With this system, readers can pick up books that they have placed holds on with their library cards on their own.

    Conserving the most amounts of periodicals in the public libraries in Taiwan
    We provide over 1,100 kinds of periodicals in different languages, thus to serve our patrons with the lasted information.
    A diamond- grade green building, an environment-protecting library.
    Constructed based on the 9 Indicators of green buildings, the library is a environmentally responsible architecture that built up with materials efficiency and wasted as little as possible.

  2. Opening Hours
    Monday to Sunday: the 1st floor and the 4th floor are open 24 hours a day; other floors are open from 8:30 to 21:00.
    The library is closed on national holidays and the last Thursday every month. The day before closure is closed at 21:00, and the day after closure is open at 8:30.
  3. Floor Plan
    B1-B3 Parking Garage
    1.Circulation Service、24 Hours Self-Checkout、24 Hours Self-Return、New Arrival、New Taipei City Gallery、Braille Materials Room、Multifunctional Area、Coffee Shop
    2.Periodicals & Newspapers、Bound Periodicals、Senior Citizens’ Resources
    3.Young Reader’s Area、Young Reader’s Storytelling Zone、Auditorium、Family Reading Area、Breastfeeding Room
    4. Study Room、Comics & Manga、New Taipei City District Resource Center、Sun Room
    5. Multimedia Area、Information Commons、Group Multimedia Area、Multimedia Classroom、Classroom、Audiovisual Room、Multifunction Room、Reading Corner(Northern European style)
    6. 800-999 Stacks、Reading Corner(British style, South French Cottage style, Bali style)
    7. 400-799 Stacks、Discussion Room、Reading Corner(Mediterranean style)
    8. 000-399 Stacks、Government Publications、Simplified Chinese Collection、Reading Corner(American style, Japanese Zen style)
    9. Reference、Western Publications and Multicultural Collection、Local Collection、Conference Room
    10. Administration office


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  •   2015 10 Libraries you must to visit in Taiwan
  •   Building Corban Footage Certificated BCFd Diamond Grade
    FIABCI-Taiwan Real Estate Excellence Award/ Planning & Design Excellence Award / Golden Quality Award
  •   Certificated Universal Design Library for the Public
    2015 IT Month Top 100 Innovative Products / Public Services Award
  • The Friendly Building Of Ministry Of The Interior .Republic Of China (Taiwan)
  •  The Healthy City And Age-Friendly City Innovation Results Award And Facilitating Healthy Award
  •  Taiwan’s top ten comfort building

Stadtbibliothek Duisburg/Public Library, Germany

Copyright: Stadtbibliothek Duisburg, Photographer: Friedhelm Krischer
Copyright: Stadtbibliothek Duisburg, Photographer: Friedhelm Krischer

Name of the Library: Stadtbibliothek Duisburg/Public Library
Parent Organisation: Duisburg Municipality

Street Address: Steinsche Gasse 26
Postal Address: 47051 Duisburg
Telephone :+49-203-2832593
Web Address:
Library Email:
Type of Library :Central Library
Population served: 487.000
Project Type: New Building
Size (square metres): 7.000
Date of Completion: 2015
Architect: msp Architekten Strothmann, Dortmund

Copyright: Stadtbibliothek Duisburg, Photographer: Friedhelm Krischer

Innovative library for children: four houses for children at the age of 0-3, 3-6, 6-9, 9-12 with books, dvds/blu rays and toys, different facilities for reading, parking place for baby buggies, special toilets for children, special reading and creative programs, exposition of illustrators, international children’s library with more than 6000 books in 18 different languages

  • Innovative library for juveniles: books for school as well as leisure time, console games and facilities for gaming within the library, 21 Pcs for research training for school classes, laptops on loan and usage within the library
  • Modern technology: charging via RFID, reservation of items with intelligent book shell, cash dispenser, laptops and dvd players on loan within the library, free usage of WLAN within the building, digital signposting system, Library Press Display (more than 2000 journals and newspapers from 95 countries in 54 languages) and Online Library (more than 20000 e-items) – usable as well within the library as at home.
  • Libraries for special topics: “Business qualification and job”, “How to live better”, “Parents”, “Environment”, “Consumer protection”
  • Special library for migrants and refugees: “Arriving in Germany”
  • Special Turkish Library with 12000 items
  • Schulmedienzentrum: Library with 15000 items (books, dvds, blu-rays, digital items on demand) for teachers at schools and nursery nurses at kindergarten
  • Music library with 18000 sheet music and baby grand piano
  • Four special working/meeting rooms (quiet zones)
  • Collection of 3500 ancient books starting with “Sachsenspiegel” (1385), bibles of 16th and 17th century
  • Regular author readings
  • Edition of literary catalogues
  • Italian Café
Lesehäuser für Kinder1
Copyright: Stadtbibliothek Duisburg, Photographer: Friedhelm Krischer

Awards, case studies, further information

Ein Blick durch das „Stadtfenster“ in die Zukunft. Die neue Zentralbibliothek in Duisburg hat ihren Betrieb aufgenommen, in: Buch und Bibliothek 67, H. 10 (2015), S. 616-621

Literatur als Herzenssache. Der Verein für Literatur und Kunst, die Stadtbibliothek und das literarische Leben in Duisburg seit 1912, Klartext Verlag: Essen 2012

Vom Sachsenspiegel bis zum eBook: Die Stadtbibliothek Duisburg als kommunales Informations-, Medien- und Kommunikationszentrum, Klartext Verlag: Essen 2016 (in preparation)


Halmstad Library, Sweden

Halmstead 2
Photographer: Adam Mørk

Name of the Library: Halmstad Library
Parent Organisation: Halmstad Municipality
Street Address: Axel Olsons gata 1
Postal Address:300 04 Halmstad, Sweden
Telephone :+46 035-13 71 81

Type of Library :Medium size town library
Population served:95,000 (625,500 visitors per year)
Project Type: New Building
Size (square metres):8,000 sqm
Date of Completion:2006
Architect: schmidt hammer lassen architects

Photographer: Adam Mørk
Photographer: Adam Mørk


Halmstad Library is set within a park next to the Nissan River, overlooking the historic centre of Halmstad. With its atrium encircling a large existing chestnut tree becoming its fulcrum and the long concave facade with double-height glazing distended between the seemingly floating floor-plates, nature, the seasons and the city all become part of the library.

Inside, the library is essentially a single open space, flexible and highly legible: an open structure which allows an active interplay between the columns and the trees outside. The double-height glazing of the concave façade creates a welcoming, transparent ambience. The atrium is the focal point that creates an instant overview and connects the library’s three floors vertically.

Photo: Adam Mørk
Photo: Adam Mørk

Surrounding the atrium is the information plaza: a dynamic zone containing the reception area, computer terminals, exhibitions, a café, and stairs to the balcony and the stacks in the basement. Around this zone looking out in the direction of the façade and the views, the various sections unfurl, breathing their own tranquil atmosphere, affording users space to ponder or be drawn in.

The library is extended across the wide expanse of the Nissan River like a bridge linking the historic part of town and the new urban development area, formerly divided by the river for hundreds of years. A square in front of the library creates a new urban space which can host a range of civic activities.

The library is constructed of few and simple materials: concrete, glass and Nordic larch flooring that interact effectually with the exterior surroundings. The Library is raised above street level on a forest of columns echoing the trees surrounding the building. The grass roof of the building is a sustainable solution, reducing UV penetration and the need for drainage, as well as providing additional insulation

2006, Nominated for the Kasper Salin Award
2006, The Architecture Prize of the Municipality of Halmstad 2007, Awarded the Helgjutet-prize from Swedish Concrete Industry

Växjö City Library, Sweden

Vaxjo City
Photographer: Adam Mørk

Name of the Library: Växjö City Library
Parent Organisation: Växjö Municipality
Street Address: Västra Esplanaden 7
Postal Address:  351 12 Växjö, Sweden
Telephone :  +46 0470-414 44
Web Address:
Library Email:

Type of Library : Medium size town library
Population served:85,000
Project Type:  Conversion, New Building
Size (square metres):3,850 m2 new build. 3,100 m2 conversion
Date of Completion:2003
Architect: schmidt hammer lassen architects

Vaxjo City 2
Photographer: Adam Mørk


Växjö City Library sits in the cultural centre of the city and comprises a new build extension and a sensitive refurbishment of architect Erik Uluot’s building from 1965. The extension is an independent circular volume that matches up with the existing square library.

With a base of light-toned natural stone terminated at the top by an unbroken band of glass, the new building appears as a simple, balanced juxtaposition of stone and glass. Visual weight below and an apparent lightness above – exactly like its sister building but with the order reversed. The interconnecting building sensitively mediates contact between the circular building and its quadratic counterpart.

Photo: Adam Mørk
Photo: Adam Mørk

The circular atrium is the new building’s unifying element. Extending up through the library’s three storeys, long flights of straight-run stairs present a linear contrast to the geometry of the circle. Between the atrium and the building’s façade are the library’s
many functions located, positioned as freestanding furniture pieces on the light-toned wooden floors at each level. 

2004, Växjö Municipality Architectural Prize
2004, Nominated for the Kaspar Salin Prize
2005, Kronoberg Län’s Architectural Prize





Halifax Central Library, Canada

Photographer: Adam Mørk
Photographer: Adam Mørk

Name of the Library: Halifax Central Library
Parent Organisation:Halifax Regional Municipality and Halifax Public Libraries
Street Address:5440 Spring Garden Road
Postal Address: Halifax, NS B3J 1E9, Canada
Web Address:

Type of Library : Central/Main Library
Population served:
Project Type: New Building
Size (square metres):15,000
Date of Completion:2014
Architect: schmidt hammer lassen architects

Photo: Adam Mørk
Photo: Adam Mørk


The new Halifax Central Library is the most significant public building to be built in Halifax in a generation, and represents the diverse communities, talents, and creativity of the residents of Halifax throughout the municipality and present this to the world.

The new Halifax Central Library is sited on a prominent position in downtown Halifax. The site itself is bound by the heritage neighbourhood of Schmidtville, the historic Citadel Hill, Dalhousie University School of Architecture and the busiest shopping street east of Montreal, Spring Garden Road.

The new library is a multifunctional cultural hub with direct accessibility to the vibrant surrounding urban context of historic and new buildings, and the buzz of downtown. The library building stands as a reflection of the diversity of the community and the modern life within the municipality as a whole, and as a flagship for all 14 branch libraries servicing the whole municipality.

The construction of the library is essentially cubic in form with four significant ‘volumes’ vertically placed on top of one another with a horizontally twisted and shifted facade alignment. A number of distinctive cantilevers and one signature larger cantilevered element create a voluminous expression whereas the remaining façades align elegantly with the neighbouring façade of the classic architecture of Dalhousie University’s Architecture School. From the top of the building – the Halifax Living Room – there is access to an open green roof terrace providing a unique view towards Halifax Harbour, Citadel Hill, the historic George’s Island, Dartmouth and onto McNabs Islands that reaches out towards the North Atlantic Ocean.

Photo: Adam Mørk
Photo: Adam Mørk

Every stage of the architectural design process has been carried out through extensive monthly public consultations; and several workshops with various focus groups have been held. Live streaming on the library’s website has ensured all future users of the library have had a substantial influence on the design process. The citizens of Halifax have welcomed this initiative by participating in these events and have provided important contributions, for instance the way green space is represented within the building and how light is brought into the building, the establishment of private spaces and also the priority of seating and workspaces.

The project is aiming ambitiously towards a LEED Gold certification. The façade of the building is intended to reflect the local history of the site which was once a central local ‘garden’ and significant green space within the heart of the city. An abstracted ‘leaf’ motif of varying densities creates a façade that appears more solid in some areas, yet fully open in others reflecting the strong seasonal nature of the much loved trees that surround the site. The approach is to combine this local reference with that of a Scandinavian design signature and to create a modern hybrid library building that will stand out from other public buildings.

Award of Merit in the 2014 Nova Scotia Lieutenant Governor Design Awards