The Department and Graduate Institute of Library and Information Science opened the Children's Reading Material Area in 2008 to strengthen the promotion and research of children's literature. Located on the second floor of the Library and Information Science Building, the reading room houses a collection of reading materials for children and teenagers that includes more than 4,000 publications, ranging from illustrated books and fairy tale books to educational reading materials and teen novels. Besides the Chinese-language books, there are many books in foreign languages, including Japanese, English, and other European languages. Most of the books can be checked out.
Many students enjoy the reading area due to the casual, relaxing atmosphere created by the wooden floor, red sofas, and warm lighting. Paging casually through the colorful picture books, one easily loses oneself in a world of innocent thought and experience.
Students use the Children's Reading Material Area for such activities as designing courses and organizing book exhibitions. The most recent exhibition was "The Picture Book Fair for Big Children." The students who organized the exhibition say that most people believe picture books are for children when in fact children often fail to see the deeper meaning the authors have buried inside. One of the students, Pei-Ni Chiang, says, "Picture books are able to convey their content easily and readers don't need to spend a great deal of time to understand their profound messages.
Occupying one corner of the reading area is a large display of emotional healing picture books for children. The display was created following Prof. Chen Su-may Sheih's campaign to send children's bibliotherapy picture books to Sichuan Province in China in the aftermath of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. All of the books presented in the display are listed in Prof. Sheih's book Emotional Healing Picture Books for Children: An Annotated Bibliography. Prof. Sheih says that every person possesses an innate resilience and that the characters in picture books are like invisible important others who serve to provide comfort when readers are feeling negative emotions.
Prof. Sheih chose to initiate her research into picture book bibliotherapy in response to witnessing many people burdened by frustrations and suffering unfortunate events. Believing illustrated books would be an especially good medium for bibliotherapy, she began to research the impact of picture books in the emotional healing of children, junior and senior high school students, university students, and adults.