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Introduction

The Koo Chen-Fu Memorial Library of the NTU College of Social Sciences maintains the most comprehensive collection in social sciences among libraries in Taiwan. Designed to resemble a forest canopy, the structure features a combination of modern aesthetics and nature. During the day, as students immerse themselves in books, sunlight glows/beams/radiates through the ceiling and illuminates the pages. At night, surrounded by a shallow pond is the building glowing against its serene backdrop. In any time of the day, the library without doubt adds to the beauty of NTU campus.

At the entrance to the Library’s reading area, a plaster bust of Mr. Koo Chen-Fu overlooks the young intellects coming in and out like a wise elder. An excerpt from The Analects(論語) has been rendered by renowned calligrapher Tong Yang-Tze and engraved on the wall, reminding fellows and scholars to stay humble and “to learn with a constant perseverance.” These words capture the eye of students as they enter, and will stay in their heart for the years to come.

The library seeks to become the hub of social sciences research in the country. Besides being green, we are also committed to provide services that address users’ needs. Currently library holds around 240,000 printed books. Among these are featured collection of over 80,000 publications on law, politics, economics, and Southeast Asian studies of the Japanese era. The library also provides access to some 2.8 million electronic resources of all academic fields, which it shares with the NTU Main Library. The staff here are trained and prepared to help with different teaching and researching needs, allowing the library to play a strong role in furthering academic success within the college.

The separated reading area on the first floor is the most unique sections of the structure. Its six-meter high ceiling is supported by 88 white columns designed to resemble trees. 130 pieces of skylights of all shapes and sizes allow the sunlight beams/glows/radiates in from every direction, making the readers feel as if they were reading under the shade of trees. Bamboo bookshelves take up a large part of the floor. With each of them coming in a unique curve shape, searching for books in the archive becomes a pleasure of its own.

Looking out from the ceiling windows on the first floor, one sees a large lawn and then the campus. The view embodies the vision of the college, where all faculty members and students not only acquire knowledge of their subjects, but also maintain an open mind towards the world.

Here in the library, away from all noises, students scoop from the ocean of knowledge with their spirit refreshed and motivation renewed.