Brief Introduction of the Library

Library is the documental information center of a university, an academic institution that serves the teaching and scientific research of the whole university, as well as the important base for university informatization and social informatization. It takes on dual roles of education and information service, which also functions as an importance venue for teachers and students to learn and study.  

The Library of Central China University is the predecessor of the Library of Zhongnan University of Economics and Law. In 1949, the library was relocated to Wuchang along with the university from Henan Province. By the year 1953 when the faculties nationwide were undergoing an adjustment, books on finance, economics, politics and law from Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangxi University, Hunan University, Nanchang University then were concentrated, when libraries of Zhongnan University of Economics and Zhongnan College of Law were founded separately on the basis of the Library of Central China University. In 1958, these two libraries, with the respective university, were merged into Hubei University Library. Experiencing all the ups and downs afterwards, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law was established through the merge of original Zhongnan University of Economics and Zhongnan College of Law in May, 2000, thus giving the name of the Library of Zhongnan University of Economics and Law.

Three library premises are now available to the Library of Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, namely Yifu Library of South Lake Campus, the Library of Shouyi Campus and the old library of South Lake Campus (Wensu Building) with the gross floor area of 39,000 square meters and 1900 reading seats. The permanent staff at present add up to 88, of whom 32 have a master’s degree and above and those having a bachelor’s degree and above account for 85% with 25 holding the senior professional title, taking up about 28%. The Library is split into eight business and management departments including Office, Document Resources Construction Department, Information Consultant Service Department, Network Technology Service Department, Reader Service Department, Publicity and Promotion Department, Shouyi General Management Department and Museum of Chinese Monetary and Financial History.

Yifu Library of South Lake Campus was funded by the state plus the donation of Mr. Shao Yifu. Completed in October, 2003, it has a magnificent appearance, complete functions and a reasonable layout. The main body has six floors, provided with 13 reading rooms of various sizes and 1900 reading seats, adopting an open management mode on open shelves. The Museum of Chinese Monetary and Financial History on the second floor of the Library boasts of a 660m2 exhibition hall with unique features as well as a collection of abundant financial historical data and precious monetary materials in all ages in China. The collection has gathered around 4000 pieces (sets) of antiques, integrating knowledge and ornamental value, functioning as the base to propagandize the cultural history of Chinese currency and to conduct studies and instructions on currencies.

The Library of Shouyi Campus was built and put into use in 1987, covering an area of more than 10,000 square meters. A total of 1 million Chinese and foreign books is reserved here including 83,800 books of ancient thread stitching and former paper-cover before liberation and more than 50,000 items of bound volume journal in Chinese and foreign languages. Places open to the public in this library fall into circulation desks, new book & newsroom, professional book reading room and library of Chinese and foreign newspapers and periodicals. Three additional independent study spaces are provided to readers as book reading places.      

Since January 2008, “All-round Opening” services are implemented for all reading rooms and circulation desks in the Library of ZUEL. The management mode of “Borrowing and Returning from Total Entrance Guard” is put into practice in Yifu Library where readers access in a unified manner from the total entrance guard. The vertical opening of each reading room and centralized book circulating formalities at the reception have realized all-in-one services of “conservation, borrowing, reading” in the real sense. Apart from the Library of Shouyi Campus and individual reading room, the public service places in the Library are ceaselessly open from 7:30 a.m. to 22:00 p.m. from Monday to Saturday and from 7:30 a.m. to 17:00 p.m. on Sunday so that the library resources are accessible to readers to the maximum extent and readers’ needs are satisfied. Since the original layout of Shouyi Library embraces independent stacks and reading rooms, the mode of “Special Circulation Desk” is still followed. The borrowing and returning of books are still handled at the ad hoc circulation desks, under the circumstance of which books and periodicals in each reading room are not for circulation, only providing reading services to readers.

As of the end of December, 2020, there is a total of more than 3.47 million paper documents preserved by our library with a new increase of 25,560 items in the year. The variety and quantity of books are abundant and full, giving priority to literature on finance and economics, politics and law and management, covering social sciences and natural sciences. The library is a research-level collection unit. In 2020, Chinese journals subscribed by our library reach up to 911 types and 1104 items while those of foreign journals are 276 and 276 respectively (for the moment five types of French journals/four types of Russian journals/four types of Japanese journals/one type of English newspaper are available). Among the collected journals, the important Chinese periodicals before liberation, for instance, New Youth, Eastern Miscellanies, National News Weekly, present high reference and preservation value. There is also a large collection of ancient thread-bound books and publications before liberation, in which the rare ancient books total 110 types. Some superior versions of them include The Corpus of Han Changli first stamp marked by Xu Shitai at Dongya Hall in the Ming Dynasty, Anthology of Tao Jingjie printed in red and black, fine carved by Lingshi in the Ming Dynasty and others. Moreover, important classical works like Complete Library in the Four Branches of Literature, Four Essential Classics, Si Bu Cong Kan, Rare Edition of Siku, All-Encompassing Library are also stored up.   

In the last few years, the construction of electronic resources library preservation is vigorously promoted in the Library. At present 79 academic periodicals in Chinese and foreign languages and e-book databases, including China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Wanfang Data, CQVIP, Chaoxing Digital Library, WOS (SCI, SSCI, A&HCI), Science Direct (Elsevier) Database, EBSCOhost Periodical Full-text Database (ASP, BSP), Wiley-Blackwell Periodical Database (WILEY) are integrated on the homepage of the Library, having set up a digital library that opens all day long for readers. By the end of December, 2020, the preserved e-books in our library have counted up to 4,580,559 items and 3,452,282electronic journals, 3,922,006 academic dissertations with a total of audio/video data in 215,434.9 hours.

Some say that library is the second classroom and the real learning center for students, and even honor it as the “heart of university”. In this regard, a heavier sense of duty and mission is endowed on the Library by the tenet of “readers first and services foremost”. In line with the demand of teaching and scientific researches, a reasonable and scientific integration and development will be carried out on traditional and digital literatures with efforts made to provide a more comprehensive resource guarantee for every discipline. In the near future, the Library of ZUEL will strive to build a knowledge resource system that covers all the majors of humanities and social sciences in our university with distinct characteristics in the fields of economics, law and management, and a diversified, deep-leveled, multi-formed, high-quality, efficient, fast and convenient modern knowledge service system so as to lay a solid foundation for the establishment of a first-class research university library.