The Korea Herald


National library to open ‘Korea space’ in Taiwan

By Choi Si-young

Published : June 14, 2024 - 14:31

    • Link copied

“Window on Korea,” a space dedicated to Korea, opens at the National University of Mongolia. (National Library of Korea) “Window on Korea,” a space dedicated to Korea, opens at the National University of Mongolia. (National Library of Korea)

The state-run National Library of Korea will open a space dedicated to learning about Korea at the Chinese Culture University in Taiwan in December. So far 35 such spaces have opened globally.

“Window on Korea,” a space that opened this week at the National University of Mongolia, contains some 1,500 books about Korea. The university was the first to launch a department on the Korean language in 1991, and currently offers degrees in Korean interpretation and translation as well as Korean studies.

“We will continue to push for a wider network of Korea spaces worldwide,” a library official said, noting the project to promote “Window on Korea” has been well received since the project kicked off in 2007. Since then, libraries in countries across Asia, Europe and the Middle East have received over 130,000 books on Korea.

The official added that the demand for setting up Korea spaces is still robust, citing multiple applications coming in from overseas to qualify for the initiative. The National Library of Korea does not make public how many applications are submitted annually or how much it provides in funds to help foreign libraries establish a "Window on Korea."

“Before we decide on libraries to fund, we convene an internal meeting that gathers input from other state-run groups that have to do with Korean studies,” the official said, highlighting transparency in the way government money is used for the space. Groups the library consults include the Academy of Korean Studies and the King Sejong Institute Foundation.

Backing a bigger push to raise Korea’s global profile has been one of priorities for the Culture Ministry since October, when Yu In-chon took over as minister. Yu, who previously held the post for three years ending in 2011, wants to paint Korea as a country that is as invested in giving back to the international community as it is in advancing its own interests.

In February, the Culture Ministry took over the role the Korean Culture and Information Service had played to promote the country as an outside ministry agency. The role can be better played with the ministry directly overseeing such efforts, Yu said of the overhaul.