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Book Trip

 

[Korean Libraries with Themes ③]

“Lotus in the Library” in Jeonju

The Beauty of Hanok Blossoming in the ‘City of Books,’ Jeonju

 

2022.08.01

 

Jeonju, a city located in Jellobuk-do, is a place that holds Korea’s traditional style. Many visit the city to feel and experience Korea’s classic beauty. It is also where many visit to leave great memories by taking photos of graceful hanok (traditional Korean housing) as a background while wearing colorful hanbok (traditional Korean clothing). Jeonju announced that it would identify itself as the ‘City of Books’ last year and continues its efforts to become the ‘Travelers’ Book City.’ Lotus in the Library, a hanok library that opened last June in Deokjin Park, is a 10-minute drive from Jeonju Station. The library captures both the identity of Jeonju as the ‘City of Books’ and the style and grace of Korea’s tradition. The green scenery of Deokjin Park, lotus flowers blossoming in a wide pond, and “Lotus in the Library,” the hanok building located at the center, show a picturesque view and awes visitors. In the ‘City of Books’, where stories written in books come alive, we visited Lotus in the Library in Jeonju, a place that introduces Korean culture and beauty to visitors from Korea and abroad.

 

 

The style and grace of Korean Books found in a quiet and cozy hanok

 

In Deokjin Park, a park not far from Jeonju Station, after walking through thick trees and along the garden a bit, a big pond filled with lotus flowers welcomes visitors. After crossing the bridge called Yeonhwagyo, which connects the pond, one can find a cozy and quiet hanok. This hanok is Lotus in the Library. In the L-shaped hanok, two spaces coexist. They are Yeonhwadang, a space reserved for books, and Yeonhwaru, the shelter and seated cultural space for visitors. All the areas in the library are filled with the smell of wood. Lotus in the Library opened on June 2nd, and there were lines of visitors even on weekday mornings who gathered to feel the charm.
There are five themes on the bookshelves of Yeonhwadang. Notably, the bookshelf’s name is categorized based on the characteristics of hanok. It is divided by Dot (•), Connection (―), Filling (), Continuity (…), and Space ( ). The library is filled with books that reflect Korea’s beauty, catching people’s eyes. Dot has books introducing Jeonju and literary texts that show the beauty of Jeonju, and Connection is packed with books on Korean traditional culture, such as hanok, hanbok, and hansik (traditional Korean cuisine). Filling contains Korean books that grabbed the world’s attention, including ones on Korean waves like BTS, while Continuity keeps picture books for all age groups and genders, and Space offers art books, such as a photo collection showing Korean sentiment.

 

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Bookshelves of Continuity (…) and Space ( )

 

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Books filling bookshelves on the wall, showing “Special Exhibition on the intellect of the era, Lee O-young”

 

 

Visitors can also meet books planned and curated by Lotus in the Library. In July, under the name “Special Exhibition on the intellect of the era, Lee O-young,” the library curated works written by professor Lee O-young, who passed away last February. Among his 160 or more pieces that let the world learn about Korean culture, renowned titles were selected to form the special exhibition. At Connection, as the first writer of the theme “Connecting the Writers,” books by Park Woonghyun were collected and displayed. Through ‘Life Changing Book’ by Park Woonghyun, the curation allowed us to learn about lives and stories in his book of a creative director who directed many advertisements that showed his warm views on people.

 

* K-Book Trends Vol. 43 – Go to the article about professor Lee O-young

 

Lotus in the Library boasts its diverse appeals to visitors

 

At Lotus in the Library, visitors can read, rest, and feel consolation by enjoying Korean cultural arts and natural scenery. In addition, there are windows on every wall of Yeonhwadang and Yeonhwaru, showing lotus in the big pond surrounding Lotus in the Library from every angle. Also, the library put out seats and sitting mats at Yeonhwaru so that the elderly and children, who have difficulty concentrating on books for long hours, can rest easy. Furthermore, visitors can find books, decorations, and artistic handicrafts that show the beauty of Korea in several locations in Yeonhwadang, giving the feeling that you are in a small exhibition hall. A particular piece that lies among books on a bookshelf is made by wooden sculpture master craftsmen Kim Jong-Yeon, a Korean Master. It is called Magpie and Tiger and gives joy to children and foreign visitors interested in Korean cultures like a surprise gift with its unique, witty, and cute facial expression and gesture.
Since Lotus in the Library is located in Jeonju, a city renowned for its tourism business, the library also cares for its visitors from other countries and regions. It holds original works on the theme of Korean cultural and traditional style and Korean literary works translated into different languages to let foreigners who do not know Korean sit and read books in the library. Moreover, the ‘Jeonju Library Tour’ course run by Jeonju provincial government includes Lotus in the Library. The course allows visitors to experience special and unique libraries in Jeonju throughout the day. On July 6th, as a part of the tour course, two writers of “Traveler,” an entertainment program from JTBC broadcasting company, held a lecture in Lotus in the Library.

 

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The scenery of the pond seen through the windows of Yeonhwadang and Yeonhwaru

 

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Wooden sculpture master craftsmen Kim Jong-Yeon master’s Magpie and Tiger placed in diverse locations, Korean literary books translated into different languages

 

A Lotus is beautiful, and all the single parts, from petals to fruits and roots, can be served as food to the hungry and used as medicine for the sick. Also, Lotus in the Library, the place surrounded by lotus, lets people in need of rest relax and fills the cultural and intellectual urge of people thirsting for information. Lotus in the Library is a place that boasts many charms. July and August are the hottest times in Korea, being summer, but it is also the time when lotus blossoms. If anyone wants to experience hanok, a house often shown in Korean dramas and TV programs, or learn more about Korean culture by reading books on Korea, consider visiting the hanok library, Lotus in the Library. You might find yourself being mesmerized by the attractiveness of hanok and Korea.

 

Lotus in the Library
Website: lib.jeonju.go.kr/index.jeonju?menuCd=DOM_000000107008001043
Contact: +82-63-714-3527
Address: 390-1, Kwon Samdeuk-ro, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do

 


[Another Book Space]
Diverse Hanok Libraries in Korea!

Chungwoon Literature Library

Chungwoon Literature Library supports diverse connected programs as the center of literary arts, along with ‘Hill of Yun Dong-Ju the poet’ and ‘Literary Museum of Yun Dong-Ju the Poet’ located nearby. In addition, the library provides spaces for book clubs and creative activities, organizes special exhibitions and lectures on Korean literary arts and writers, and runs poem writing classes and others.

 

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The exterior of Chungwoon Literature Library

 

Address: 40, Jahamun-ro 36-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Contact: +82-70-4680-4032
Website: www.jfac.or.kr/site/main/content/chungwoon01

 

Wondang Village Hanok Library

At Wondang Village Hanok Library, people can share knowledge of Korean traditional culture and history and form a literary community that enjoys culture through books. The library also runs seasonal events that take books as media, gives lectures on humanities and history, hosts diverse exhibitions, and provides play as an experience.

 

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The interior and exterior of Wondang Village Hanok Library

 

Address: 17, Haedeung-ro 32ga-gil, Dobong-gu, Seoul
Contact: +82-2-906-2022
Website: www.unilib.dobong.kr/contents.do?idx=325

 

Mokgol Hanok Children’s Library

Mokgol Hanok Children’s Library is a cultural space that provides a place to rest to people exhausted by competitive daily lives in the city. The library runs traditional Korean culture programs and has a reading room for children and adults.

 

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The interior and exterior of Mokgol Hanok Children’s Library

 

Address: 3, Jagok-ro 7-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Contact: +82-2-2226-5930
Website: library.gangnam.go.kr/hchildlib/menu/10470/contents/40067/contents.do

 

Oesol Hanok Library

Oesol Hanok Library was built to commemorate the 122nd birthday of Oesol Choe Hyn-bae in 2016. The library runs reading discussion classes and educational programs regularly and occasionally. There is the birthplace and a memorial hall of Oesol Choe Hyn-bae near the library, and both are good places for visitors to Oesol Hanok Library.

 

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The interior and exterior of Oesol Hanok Library

 

Address: 36, Byeongyeong 7-gil, Jung-gu, Ulsan
Contact: +82-52-290-4196
Website: lib.junggu.ulsan.kr/pageCont.do?menuNo=1030000

 

 

 

 


Written by Choi Ha-Yeong

 

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Choi Ha-Yeong

#Lotus in the Library#Jeonju#Hanok#Hanok Libraries
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