Window of Shanghai, Window for the World

Window of Shanghai’ is a Chinese book donation program launched by the Shanghai Library, and supported by the Shanghai Government. This program aims to introduce Chinese culture and promote Shanghai’s presence to the outside world through donating Chinese or China-related publications.

Window of Shanghai program launching in Latvia

Window of Shanghai program launching in Latvia

Right now the Shanghai Library has 122 libraries and 22 information institutes participating in its book donation program. Most of the participants are public and academic libraries in Shanghai’s sister cities. Every donation program consists of two phases. The first phase lasts  one year, and  500 books donated to participating libraries. The second phase is the next two years, when 100 books are donated annually. After the first three years, these international partners can apply for a project extension based on an assessment of the successful operation of the program. With a successful assessment, the international partner could sign a memorandum of cooperation with Shanghai Library to extend the donation. Shanghai Library is hoping to acquire more international partners for the program.

The gift books are recent publications that have been published in the past five years. The subjects of these books include: history, business and economics, folk arts, customs and traditions, politics, sociology, literature, travel, traditional medicine, language studies, and popular science.  Most books are published by Chinese publishing houses in either Chinese or English, or bilingual.  Some other languages are also available including French, German, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Arabic, Japanese and Korean. If the partner libraries have difficulties cataloging donated books in Chinese, the Shanghai Library can share its ready catalog records.

New donation books

New donation books

The Window of Shanghai has two potential reader groups: overseas Chinese and international readers. It tries to connect overseas Chinese with their mother language and culture. At the same time, introduces international readers to China and Shanghai through the latest Chinese publications.

As one of many Chinese Culture Communication and Promotion programs, Window of Shanghai aims to introduce Chinese culture and society with its partners. At the same time, it is also a great opportunity to share with the partner libraries Chinese library system and operation.
References:

Embassy of People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Latvia. http://lv.china-embassy.org/eng/xwdt/t868605.htm.

Shanghai Library. http://windowofshanghai.library.sh.cn/Default.aspx?tabid=71&language=en-US&id=135.

The Window of Shanghai. http://www.white-clouds.com/iclc/cliej/cl21WS.htm.

Window of Shanghai website. http://windowofshanghai.library.sh.cn/.

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About Ximin Mi

Ximin Mi is a second year GSLIS graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Right now she is working at two departments of the university library as a graduate assistant: Research Reference and Scholarly Services, and International and Area Studies Library.
Her academic interests lie in reference, instruction, and data analysis. She is passionate to explore the new roles libraries will play in academia and community. Most of her blog posts discuss how the roles libraries play in society change, and how these changes are affected and affecting the society.

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