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The Guangzhou Library, established by the Guangzhou Municipal Government, was created for the benefit of the general welfare, and serve as a culture and education institution. The library’s services are based on collecting, organizing, and reserving all categories of written knowledge and information including paper-based materials, audio-visual materials, and digital materials. The library offers lending of materials, reference and information service, exhibitions and lectures, art appreciation, cultural display, Internet service and spaces for learning, research and communication. The library also holds various kinds of reading promotion activities.
With the idea of “Connect the Worldwide Wisdom, Enrich the Reading Life”, the Guangzhou Library is committed to become a people-oriented metropolitan library. To be specific, the Guangzhou Library aims to facilitate the construction of regional library network and to function as an urban cultural landmark, a space for lifelong learning, a hub for information and knowledge, and a platform for public communication and multicultural exchange. Based on the concept of “Rational, Open, Equal, Inclusive”, the Guangzhou Library’s mission is becoming an inclusive public space where reading, sharing and exchanging ideas, and communication can take place, while promoting innovative and rational thinking so as to cultivate a harmonious atmosphere in the community.
The library is situated on Huacheng Square, the brand-new downtown of Guangzhou, being known as the city’s “living room”, facing the Canton Tower. Remarkable buildings nearby include the Guangdong Provincial Museum, the Guangzhou Opera House, and the Guangzhou 2nd Children’s Palace. Together these buildings form a cultural community, and become Guangzhou’s cultural window. The Guangzhou library covers an area of 21,000 square meters, while the total built-up area reaches 98,000 square meters. The library is so far one of the largest city libraries in the world. The library adopts “Beautiful Books” as the design concept, and the placement of the structure is based on the city’s new central axis. Taken from east to west, the elegant design of the north and south towers bares a resemblance to the Chinese character “之”. The cascading style of the “books” on the exterior is representative of the overlap of history and culture. At the same time, the design integrates the typical architectural concept of Cantonese arcade, expressing the element of Lingnan art. It was put on the list of the “Top 100 Attractions of the New Guangzhou City” in 2011.
The total collection of Guangzhou library reaches 10.256million volumes (items). There are 4500 seats and 740 computers for public use, 4000 wired internet connections and 100% wireless coverage rate. To achieve the integration of collection, borrowing, reading and consultation, the radio frequency identification technology (RFID), automatic document sorting system and self-service equipment are fully applied to provide convenient and efficient document information services for the public. In 2019, we have 9,175,000 public visits(29,000 per day), 256,000 registered readers(812 per day), 11,697,000 books on loan(37,000 per day), 98,316,000 books on digital resources browsed and downloaded(269,000 per day), and 4,360 activities held (14 per day)on average, which created the service record of public libraries in China and ranked among the top public libraries in the world.