Friday, July 15, 2016

Touring the Shanghai Library and some other book sites in Shanghai

While attending the Shanghai International Library Forum 2016, the delegates were given the opportunity to tour the magnificent facilities of the Shanghai Library. The Library is the second largest in China (after the National Library in Beijing) and housed in impressive 24 story building (with an expansion underway) in the trendy Xuhui area of Shanghai.

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The Library serves multiple audiences, including the general public, science/technology researchers, and academics.  The catalog has over 79 million metadata records and the digital library over 45.9 million full-text pages representing 232 TB of storage.

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The tour focused on two major areas. The first was the Chinese Ancient Book collection. We were given an introduction to the collection by the curator and allowed to see a number of the items in the collection; the second was the audio-visual collections; and the third was the newly opened maker space. This large facility included numerous terminals for customers to create products using CAD software, 3D  and 2D printers, and open spaces for other types of creative work.

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As a side note, while touring the city after the conference, I visited the Shanghai Confucian Temple. Since it was a Sunday afternoon, the courtyard of the temple was hosting the regular used book market. I picked up (center picture) some interesting little graphic/story books from (likely) the 1960s.

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The temple is also home to the Zhujing Pavilion, or library, first built in 1484 and serving as the library of Confucian Classics for the schools run by the temple. In 1931, under the Republic of China, the Zhujing Pavilion became the first National Library of Shanghai.

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Readers might also be interested in my post on the Bosu-dong Book Alley in Busan, South Korea.

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