State-of-the-Art Public Library Opens in Shanghai

By Chen, Mingzhu | American Libraries, March 1997 | Go to article overview

State-of-the-Art Public Library Opens in Shanghai


Chen, Mingzhu, American Libraries


The new 900,000-square-foot Shanghai Public Library in China opened to the public last December 20. Made up of two main buildings, the library is distinguished by its modern design and capability of meeting 21st-century information needs by combining public library services and a research-level collection in one facility.

Located on HuaiHai Road and GaoAn Road in the western part of the city, these magnificent buildings are destined to become a new landmark of the city of Shanghai, which is emerging as one of the world's important economic and financial centers.

Construction of a new public library for Shanghai with advanced technology and facilities is part of the city's long-term strategy known as "Education and Science Bring Changes to the City." The new facility unites the public library with the Shanghai Corporation for Foreign Technology and Product Information Consultation Services, a government company with important business information and databases, to offer the information resources and services of both to the general public.

With holdings of 13 million books, the library is convenient for readers and users. New books are on open stacks for browsing. The city's old public library was divided into separate reading rooms, a stack collection, and circulation area. The new design allows variety, flexibility, and a combination of the traditional library arrangements.

More than 20 reading rooms are scattered on different floors in both buildings, with additional rooms for individual researchers. Small carts are provided for library users to carry materials from one place to another. …

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