爱达荷州立大学中国学生学者联谊会

Chinese Association of Idaho State University (CAISU)

Something for everyone at Hangzhou Library
CHINESE people celebrate 60th anniversaries more warmly because of its auspicious meaning and importance in the Chinese sexagenary cycle — a cycle of 60 terms used for reckoning time.Find the latest Hangzhou City, stories and opinions on politics, business, society, lifestyle and culture, as well as featured stories and multimedia coverage from SHINE.

The 60th anniversary of Hangzhou Library is no exception. The curtain came down on the anniversary gala at the end of last year. Staff and readers put on brilliant performances to show their appreciation and love for the library. Meanwhile, an exhibition of photographs tracing its footprint since the 1950s is underway.

The present-day library covers an area of 49,000 square meters and boasts more than 5.6 million books, top-flight facilities and an advanced borrowing system. It leads the library field in China with its open and inclusive environment and innovative operating concept.

However, readers may not realize how small it was when established in 1958. Organizers borrowed a meeting room from Xinhua Bookstore and about 3,000 books from Zhejiang Province Library to set it up.

People lined up until midnight to borrow books. The small meeting room was packed with readers every day. The library had no choice but to move to a larger venue in present-day Jianren Lane.

This was a classical Chinese-style building with up-turned eaves and black-tiled roofs. The library settled there for 27 years. It even borrowed a room from Sicheng Church as reading space to meet demand.

In 1986, the library moved to Huansha Road. The 5,500-square-meter library was divided into different sections, considered a breakthrough for libraries in Zhejiang Province.

In 2003, Hangzhou Library took the initiative to lend books for free. People were no longer required to hand in identity information and a fee.

In the new century, Qianjiang New Town has prospered along the Qiantang River, which also helps bring in streams of visitors every day. In 2008, the library headquartered there and then gradually established branches in districts.

From then on, Hangzhou Library has been dubbed “the third life space” — the home and the office being the first two spaces — where citizens can improve and showcase their hobbies.

For music aficionados and professionals, they can enjoy live music and hi-fi audio since the library invested more than 10 million yuan (US$1.49 million) to purchase musical equipment. Every year it spends over 300,000 yuan on CDs and books to enrich its collection.

The library hall is equipped with dozens of Marantz CD players, Sennheiser earphones and thousands of CDs. Three hi-fi rooms with top-notch equipment — including the Avantgarde Trio Basshorn and Acapella Triolon Excalibur speaker systems — provide a terrific environment for music appreciation.

The high-caliber facilities are not the only attraction for visitors. The library has hosted a number of activities for the public. Over the past years, it has organized more than 2,000 gatherings devoted to opera and classical music.

Many notable names in the music world have been invited to give lectures and preform there, including pianists Maksim Mrvica and Richard Clayderman and violinist Yu Lina.

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