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New Town Library in a Solitary Island

Posted March. 08, 2005 22:47,   


The Gangnam-gu office sent a “gift” to a school on a solitary island in the southwestern seas. Gangnam-gu, a district in Seoul, established sisterhood ties with Sinan-gun in 1999 and has since been seeking ways to improve the poor education environment of the 827 islands of Sinan-gun.

After careful preparations, a ceremony for pledging to exchange and educate culture and for opening a town library was finally held with the presence of the area’s residents. While the Gangnam symphony orchestra was performing, some students and residents broke out big smiles after being awarded prizes for their strong performance in a composition contest held in commemoration of the founding of the library. Choi Gyu-chul, former chief editor of Dong-A Ilbo, was named as honorary president of the library.

Kwon Moon-yong, head of the Gangnam-gu office, said, “We will make our utmost efforts to give dream and hope to the students who have less access to private education than do urban students as they live on islands, and we will try to promote our friendly relationship between the two local governments.”

With the help of Gangnam-gu, all third graders in Sinan-gun (117 from seven high schools) can now watch online education program for the CSAT (at www.ingang.co.kr) for free from March 2. Some 26 million won worth of textbooks were also delivered to them on the same day.

All 2,100 students of Sinan-gun’s 22 elementary schools were given IDs and pin numbers so that they could use the Gangnam-gu electronic library with a collection of 88,000 e-books whenever they wanted to. The town library, which is placed in a classroom of Jeungdo Elementary School with the help of “families for reading good books” and the Gangnam branch of KT Corporation, is expected to be used as a cultural space for local residents and students. Ahn Hoon-young (13, 6th grader in Jeungdo Elementary School) said, “It was very cumbersome to go ashore to get a book because there is no bookstore here. Now I am so happy to be able to read all the history and natural science books, which are my favorites.”

Seung-Ho Jung shjung@donga.com