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July 23, 2011

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Home » Metro » Entertainment and Culture

Timed-out workers skipping libraries

About half of the white-collar employees in the city seldom visit libraries, mainly because they cannot afford the time, according to a recent survey on cultural habits carried out by the Shanghai Social Studies Center.

About half of these time-stressed workers also said they hardly visit museums for the same reason. Pollsters pointed to Shanghai's heavy workloads as the culprit.

The survey covered about 1,600 white-collar employees whose monthly income ranged from 2,000 yuan (US$310) to 20,000 yuan. Most of the interviewees were under the age of 30.

About 62 percent of those who said they never visit libraries or museums said work and other daily commitments occupies too much of their time, while nearly 34 percent said they "were not interested."

"White collars suffer an increasingly heavier work pressure," said Lai Peng, a professor with the Shanghai Normal University, who participated in the survey. "Too much working overtime compressed their time of going to cultural venues."

Meanwhile, many cited the content in libraries and museums as the reason for their lack of interest.

Wu Anran, an ad agency employee, said she prefers to read science fiction and fantasy in English.

"The PDF version of the books I collect from the Internet are far more than I can find in libraries here," she said. "So basically I don't go to the library to find something I want to read."

The survey also found the community culture centers, in which the government invested more than 1 billion yuan in 2005 to 2006, have failed to attract white-collar workers.


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