May 28, 2022

Report: Budget Problems May Force Korea’s First-Ever Multicultural Library to Close

From the Korea Herald:

In 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.


While this cozy retreat for children may be common at other libraries, there is something unique about this one. It is the country’s first-ever “multicultural” library.


The 166-square-meter private library Modoo, opened in 2008 by regional civic group Purun People offers more than 13,000 children’s books. Of them, about 8,000 are in languages from 20 other countries, the largest such collection in the country. They include books from China, Japan, Russia, Mongolia, Vietnam, Bangladesh and others, according to Purun People.

The library attracts about 1,500 visitors a month on average, mostly children. Of them, about 30 to 40 percent are foreigners or multicultural, it added.


However, despite its positive impact and achievements over the past seven years, the library is facing shutdown due to budgetary realities.

Up until this year, Modoo had been able to stably operate thanks to various donations, library officials said.

Read the Complete Article

See Also: Multicultural Library Emphasizes Diversity, Harmony (November 2, 2009; via Korea Times)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.