The Kaohsiung Main Public Library: A Cultural Landmark/高雄市立圖書館總館 城市的新文化地標


The Kaohsiung Main Public Library: A Cultural Landmark

◎English translation: Lin Yi-chun

◎Photo by Huang Ching-wen


  Port of Kaohsiung has been part of a major shipping gateway for 150 years and has brought a great deal of prosperity to the city. For several years, Kaohsiung City Government has been focused on developing the city's harbor area. One of these major development initiatives has been the "Asia's New Bay Area" which has brought about a series of new architectural wonders. These include four major public buildings and the first stage of the light-rail system. The Kaohsiung Main Public Library is the second of the four public buildings to have been completed. The 10 billion NT Dollar building opened its doors on November 13th of this year and is situated on 19834.2 square meters. The Kaohsiung City Government's goal is to nourish residents with great reading material and educational resources.

  Mr. Shih Chun-fu is the Director of the Kaohsiung Public Library. He applauds the City Government's initiatives, particularly the book and fund raising campaign, called "Give a Million Books", which began in January 2013. The campaign has enjoyed an enthusiastic response from local residents, including generous donations from the business sector. It has raised over 500 million NTD to date and has contributed to the purchase of over seven-hundred thousand books. Each floor has its own outstanding characteristics. Mr. Shih says he feels the most unique being the "International Picture Book Centre", which was brought about by generous contributions from major Taiwanese bookstore chains such as Eslite and Kinokuniya Books. This collection includes one-hundred ten thousand picture books, from five continents. The library also offers various sections designed with resources for specific social groups, such as immigrants and senior citizens. There will also be a specialized section for the visually impaired, offering books available in Braille and audio. On the third floor, there are one thousand periodicals and ten thousand electronic books.

  Shih is appreciative of each donation, "They have been like drops of water, that have come together to form a vast ocean of support". He feels the donations have greatly assisted Kaohsiung City Government in achieving their goals for the Kaohsiung Main Public Library. He emphasizes the library has something for everyone and believes all ages will enjoy its unique space. "The library has been constructed with the philosophy of: architecture within the trees and trees within the architecture". With such an abundance of books, citizens are encouraged to come out, enjoy the library and the books it has to offer. It is expected the Kaohsiung Main Public Library will become an important new cultural landmark in the city.   


高雄市立圖書館總館 城市的新文化地標





  高雄市立圖書館館長施純福表示,市政府從2013年1月,發起「募書百萬冊 」捐款買書活動,獲得民眾、新住民乃至企業各界熱烈響應,迄今已募得民間資金5億元,成就新圖書館總館現有藏書70萬冊,使其更見深度和厚度。施純福談起,新圖書館總館最大藏書特色為建構「國際繪本中心」,透過國內知名書店如:誠品書店和紀伊國書店等協助,從五大洲搜集11萬冊繪本。此外,規劃包括高雄、新住民和銀髮族不同主題的書籍,更為視障朋友設置點字書和有聲書專區,3樓提供1千種期刊,還有電子書1萬冊供民眾借閱,每個樓層都精彩可期。


Pastor Calbert G. Latham

◎English translation: Wendy Wei Chang

◎Photo by Hou Ya-ting


  Pastor Calbert G. Latham comes from Saint Vincent. Fifteen years ago, Pastor Latham came to Taiwan to preach. He then met Ms. Siao Han-yu and the two fell into love. However, Ms. Siao’s family did not approve of her marrying a man of African descent, so the heart broken Pastor returned to Saint Vincent, with the belief that perhaps he and Ms. Siao were just not meant to be. Ms. Siao however, had plans of her own and flew to Saint Vincent where they married shortly thereafter. Pastor Latham says his wife travelling to Saint Vincent to save their relationship, was probably the most adventurous thing she had ever done. After they were married, the couple moved back to Taiwan. The couple’s love story was recently published in a local newspaper. The shy pastor stated humorously, that he and his wife have become famous because of it!

  After the couple married, Pastor Latham worked as a volunteer preacher for eight years. Two years ago, Pastor Latham was relocated to Kaohsiung to become the English speaking Pastor for Kaohsiung's Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Currently, there are approximately twenty English speaking members that attend the church. He also preaches to thirty members at a church in the Nanzih Export Processing Zone. The English speaking church members come from all over the world. "It feels like a mini UN", says Pastor Latham. The job of a Pastor is more than just that of a preacher, sometimes he must serve as a spiritual or marriage counsellor and at other times he is asked to just go to the homes of sick church members and their families to pray for them. Pastor Latham is always willing to serve the church.

  Pastor Latham says that the weather in Kaohsiung is similar to Saint Vincent's. He has also become very familiar with Taiwanese culture. In Saint Vincent he would eat a lot of root and stem vegetables, so he misses the food from home. In Taiwan he cooks a lot of taro and his favorite, and Taiwanese roasted sweet potatoes are his favorite.

  The Pastor and his wife have two children and when he is not working, he takes them for walks or to play badminton in the park. The children attend a local Taiwanese school and therefore speak fluent Chinese. At home, they speak English, as Saint Vincent is an English speaking country. Pastor Latham hopes the children will also get to know the values and culture of his home country. Sometimes, he takes the children to Saint Vincent to have the opportunity to experience life there and visit family and friends.   





  攤開報紙看見自己和太太蕭涵予的愛情故事披露在媒體上,聖文森籍基督教牧師旭日(Calbert G. Latham) 有些難為情的幽自己一默說,看來我們出名啦!15年前,Calbert到台灣傳教 ,結識台灣籍的蕭涵予,但2人的愛情卻因為女方家人不放心將女兒嫁給非洲裔的Calbert,他黯然返回聖文森,心想也許這不是命中注定的緣份,沒想到蕭涵予竟獨自一人飛到聖文森嫁給Calbert,Calbert說太太個性冷靜,挽救2人的愛情,這大概是太太這輩子做過最冒險的事了。倆人在婚後返台定居,Calbert持續8年擔任傳教志工,2年前,高雄「復臨安息日會」沒有牧師牧養,於是他被奉派到高雄擔任牧師,負責英文傳教。


  Calbert說台灣海島型的氣候與聖文森相似,讓他感覺有如家鄉的生活環境,他也早已習慣台灣文化,因為在家鄉常吃根莖類植物,當他想念家鄉味道時,他自己會下廚烹煮芋頭之類的食物,台式烤蕃薯尤其是他的最愛。Calbert 談起,空閒時會帶孩子們到戶外走走,到公園打羽毛球或者是散步。