Korea’s first-ever multicultural library faces shutdown over budget shortfall

(24 December 2015) On the second floor of an old building in Dongdaemun-gu, eastern Seoul, children sit scattered around the floor of a small library, reading. Behind them are walls of bookshelves filled with colorful books. In the next room, others play board games, while in the third room a small group of children intently watch volunteer teachers instructing them how to make creative objects out of large board papers using scissors and glue.“I come here every day after school. I usually read books or play with friends here,” said a 9-year-old surnamed Choi. For him, the small library has become his second home after school.

“This space is where Korean and multicultural mothers connect with each other and mingle. Their cultural distances gradually narrow by having a place to interact with each other,” library director Moon Jong-seok told The Korea Herald.

For the first five years, the library received full financial support of 100 million won ($85,000) every year from trading company STX Corporation.

The library, however, faced financial difficulties in 2013, as the major sponsor company went bankrupt.

“There are no financial backup plans for now, except for the donations from regular library users and public fund from the Seoul Metropolitan Library,” Moon said.

The Korea Herald has the full story.