As part of the 2018 Taiwan Reading Festival, the National Central Library (NCL) hosted a Reading Carnival at Da’an Park on Saturday, December 1. This year’s festivities began with a Forest Chapter: Start Dreaming Parade, a procession of more than 500 ardent readers led by the National Central Library (NCL) Director-general Tseng Shu-hsien, the Ministry of Education’s Director of Lifelong Education Huang Yueh-li, and many other senior officials. The parade was followed by the opening ceremony for the Reading Carnival, and the award ceremony for outstanding contributions to libraries.
The Minister of Education Jiunn-rong Yeh participated in the opening ceremony and presented the 2018 Outstanding Contribution to Libraries Awards. In his remarks, Minister Yeh said that reading is one of the most important things that supports human life. Through reading, one can achieve inner tranquility, and he thanked and gave his blessing to the public libraries in Taiwan for their outstanding success in promoting reading. Their efforts have resulted in the public making much greater use of libraries, and the image of Taiwan’s libraries has been transformed. After the award ceremony, Minister Yeh went to the Forest Story Village where he morphed into Uncle Yeh and read stories–such as Bravery Soup and Mikey’s Poofy Afro-to the children.
The activities at the main venue for this year’s Taiwan Reading Festival included a Golden Decade of Reading Achievement Exhibition at the small stage in the children’s area, where some of the reading promotion events held by libraries throughout Taiwan and their results were on display. The most eye-catching of these was the Reading Moon Blocks activity, where participants cast moon blocks at the Library Earth God Temple and received a number as a result. They then signed an Earth God Reading Promise Card, stating that within one year they would borrow and read that number of books from their local library. In this way they would fulfill their promise to the Earth God. This event attracted a large number of children.
In the grassy park, children of all ages listened to stories in the Forest Story Village. They also played Flying. Fun with Popular Science, a DIY game which gave them an opportunity to see how science affects their life. In the Little Book Lovers area, children could interact with Chinese characters and books through activities such as singing children’s songs, looking at pictures, reading stories, recognizing Chinese characters, and they could create their own illustrated book. Other activities included: Save the World through Reading; A Walk through the Forest; Forest Reading Room; Love the Earth, Be Environmentally Conscious; the Book Market; Reading Bazaar; and Illustrated Books: Listen-Guess-Narrate. These were all popular attractions that got lots of people involved and ensured that everyone enjoyed a feast of reading pleasures.