Wednesday marks the 100th birthday of the National Library of China. And an exhibition has opened there to recall a whole century of momentous memories.
Titled "National Library of China: 100 Years", the exhibition takes a retrospective look back at the significant moments in the building's past century. Pictures, inscriptions, and objects are the precious materials of China's library culture.
Walking into today's National Library of China, the reading rooms are quiet and busy as usual. The newspaper room is packed. For many of these readers, the library is the best place to find some peace and quiet.
The number of average daily visitors remains above 10-thousand even though the library has seen a decline since 2004. The popularity of the Internet and other media has severely influenced the book industry.
To face this challenge, the library's new building is a digital pavilion. E-book devices provide the latest updates everyday for 50 newspapers. E-magazines, academic research publications, reference books, and yearbooks are also available for downloading. Readers can also search the library documents through the Internet at home or even with a mobile phone.
Zhan Furui, director of National Library of China, said, "We are working on developing a new service called home library. If the software works out, readers can setup a mini library according to their own needs. This way, the resources of the National Library of China can be used by more people."
So far, the digital library has proved to be popular among readers. The exhibition is free to the public and runs through October 7th.