Director of Capital Library of China: an introduction
23 February 2023
I am the Director of Capital Library of China (CLCN), my name is Mao Yajun. Previously, I led various departments of the National Library of China, including the Chinese Acquisitions & Cataloguing Department, Legislative Reference Service Department, and Coordination & Operation Management Division. Over the course of my work, I was involved in the construction, planning and management of national and regional library document resources in China. I was also a member of the Academic Council of Library Society China, Document Resources Construction Council, and Cataloguing Committee in the past 20 years.
To construct a public cultural service system, I have been researching on the methods and modes to guarantee information access for persons with disabilities, open access and the future development of libraries, the specification of characters used in the processing of Chinese digital resources and the basic platform for presenting them. At the same time, I have published more than 20 relevant monographs and papers and chaired and participated in a number of national-level projects.
I currently serve on IFLA’s Document Delivery and Resource Sharing (DDRS) Section. In my opinion, the international exchange and cooperation between libraries are indispensable from the mutual connection and sharing of resources. Libraries across the world could learn from each other, promote mutual integration and connectivity, and achieve true openness, cooperation, and mutual benefit. To this end, I am a frequent participant of international conferences and academic forums and maintain good relationships with many international counterparts.
CLCN is a large-scale public library of the Beijing Municipality, as well as a significant knowledge information hub and civilisation base of the city. Its service concept is ‘high standards in accessibility, high efficiency in servicing’. Other than being a public library with the widest accessibility and highest level of cultural integration, CLCN is a library with over 100 years of history, dating back to 1913, and was established by the famous litterateur, ideologist, and educationist – Lu Xun.
CLCN has collected close to 9.41 million volumes of literature, including not only modern but also ancient documents; not only Chinese but also foreign documents, covering extensive fields and diverse formats, among which the most featured are rare ancient editions, Beijing local literature, modern books and newspaper, videos, foreign books and journals.
CLCN offers open and self-service lending and reference materials that are managed intelligently providing readers with more than 1.25 million volumes (pieces) of open-shelf literature for free borrowing. The number of available literature works for loan is among the top of public libraries in China.
The Beijing Municipal government is building a public library which could meet citizens’ cultural needs, improve the public cultural service system and activate Beijing’s cultural resources. A public library of Beijing City Library will be built in the city’s sub-centre ‘City Green Heart’ in Tongzhou of Beijing. In the future, CLCN and the Beijing City Library will be playing an irreplaceable role in helping Beijing build itself into a national cultural centre.
Enjoying distinctive advantage of capital Beijing, CLCN exchanges and cooperates with foreign embassies in China, domestic and overseas counterparts and cultural organisations. It has established cooperative relationships with hundreds of organisations in more than 40 countries to hold local cultural exchange exhibitions and demonstrate cultural resources in various countries, providing a window for readers to understand the world.
2023 marks the 110th anniversary of CLCN. We will be holding a series of educational activities to show you our history, service, and culture. During that period, we look forward to your arrival and hope to join hands in a common pursuit of development.
Contributed by Mao Yajun, Director, Capital Library of China