The library of Beijing Normal University was originated from the former library of Capital Metropolitan University founded in 1902. Built up initially in 1923, the University Library merged with the library of Peiping Women’s College of Education and the library of Fu Jen Catholic University in 1931 and 1952 respectively. The second library building stood up in 1959 and the present library was built up is 1989, possessing an area of 15,523 square meters. The 30,000 square-meter Education & Information Building is under construction, which will provide dynamic and innovative access to information resources and services.
The library supports not only the teaching and learning of the university but also the research and service orientation of the university by undertaking information provision and delivery to BNU staff and students and the community through a total collection of 3,363,500 paper-based volumes (including 2,330,000 volumes in Chinese language, 410,000 volumes in foreign languages, 300,000 volumes of journals, more than 30,000 kinds of thread-bound ancient collections of 370,000 volumes, and 16,000 Master and Doctor dissertations), hundreds of electronic and digital databases of all kinds (including 350,000 e-based volumes, more than 60 full-text databases and another 10 special databases), five branch libraries (i.e. Education Library, Law Library and Continuing Education Library), reading rooms for 13 disciplines and reference rooms for 15 disciplines. Its educational and resourcing activities are supported by the broad knowledge and specialized skills of the librarian team.
The library has a large collection of books on education and humanities. This collection includes a systematic collection of textbooks of primary schools, secondary schools and teacher training schools from all over the country; collection of regulations, documents, diagrams and reports on educational issues in central and local governments since the end of Qing Dynasty; and collection of project outcomes from the 7th Five-Year Plan to 10th Five-year Plan of Ministry of Education. Besides, the collection of thread-bound ancient books includes handwritten or block-printed ones from Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasty (from 10th century to 20th century), with a specialization on local chronicles and series of ancient books.
The library has imported the international advanced library system management software, the Aleph500, which enables the library to meet the information needs of its readers via the provision of excellent digital services.