Shenzhen Library was originally known as the former Bao'an County Library. Located in Shenzhen administrative and cultural centre and close to the beautiful Lianhua Mt., Shenzhen Library is a large modern cultural facility sponsored and financed by Shenzhen Municipal Government, and occupies an area of 29,612 m2 with a constructional area of 49,589 m2. The Library provides a book collection capacity of 4,000,000 items, holds 2,500 reading seats and 3,000 net nodes，and can receive 8,000 readers per day.
Shenzhen Library styles itself in a way of special shape, intricate design and modern feeling. The style of architecture changes from traditional mode to the module design as the big space, free of partition and flexible location. Its establishment creates a special cultural view for Shenzhen as a young and vital city.
As the centre of library materials collection and utilization of Shenzhen and the centre of information resources development, the Library holds 2,450,000 volumes of books and periodicals and nearly 1,000,000 electronic and network documents of various kinds. After the opening of the new library, Shenzhen Library has served almost 2,500,000 readers annually. Based on the current economic, social, and cultural situation in Shenzhen, the Library has collected special resources concerning high technology, business, fashion, and law. Besides, it is characterized by local documents of Shenzhen and materials published in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
Shenzhen Library practices the policy of “Openness, Equality, and Free” as its service concept. In order to meet the needs of readers greatly, it keeps improving the quality of reader service by means of relying upon technology advancements and adopting some service modes. It offers efficient and convenient services. As for its mode of service, Shenzhen Library practices the policy of “complete opening, reading without library card, management by layer, and single card passing”. It opens to the general public.
Shenzhen Library provides the readers' service of opening shelves. There are six service areas in the library, all of them adopt module design that generally accepted in the world, i.e. big space, free of partition and flexible location. The 1st floor is public newspaper and periodical service area, providing Chinese newspaper and periodical reading and lending services, and there is a reading room for people with visual impairment. At the 2nd and 3rd floor there is book circulation area offering items in Chinese and foreign languages. At the 4th floor there is the information service area, where there are multimedia video and audio materials, electronic resources reading and retrieving services, Internet services and etc. The 5th floor is special subjects collection service area, where consists of the subjects of business and trade, law, art design, ASEAN Information Centre as well as foreign newspaper and periodicals area. This area provides reading and inquires services for special subjects and research-oriented collection. Located at the 6th floor is the Special Collections Service Area, which provides local documents of Shenzhen, materials published by in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, preservation books, ancient rare books and microfilm reading service.
Shenzhen Library regards service innovation as its basis, and therefore keeps extending its service contents and innovating in the service features. In addition to the reading and lending services of general materials, it provides the readers with distance services and net services of various kinds, such as My Library (on-line personal digital library system), mobile phone short message service system, digital reference service, original document delivery service, etc. Meanwhile, the library offers extended service and has established an Interlibrary Loan system among the libraries in Shenzhen and the self-service library system. This helps to provide Shenzhen citizens with any-time and any-where library services.
Shenzhen Library aims at promoting the lifelong education of Shenzhen citizens and has held lots of reading activities to extending reading, so as to create an atmosphere of study by all the citizens. At the same time, it commits itself to strengthen the function of information reference, since it offers knowledge support and information services for government decision-makings, economic development, science and technology innovations, and academic researches in Shenzhen.
Shenzhen Library emphasizes technology innovation. The Integrated Library Automation System（ILAS）developed by the library has become the application system with own intellectual property rights and has already been widely used nationally. And its upgraded version dILAS enables Shenzhen Library to keep the leading place in digital library technology. Shenzhen Library is known as the first library in China which used the technology of RFID in all related areas. What is more, it has developed Document Intelligent Management System on the basis of RFID, which makes the library much more intelligent and modern. It also achieved the overall improvement of document management and services. With the mature technology of RFID and self-services as the basis, Shenzhen Library was the first library in China, which proposed and developed a new model of innovational library service, i.e., 24-hour Self-service Library System of city blocks. In July, 2008, the first ten self-service library machines have been successfully located in the city and more similar machines will be located in the near future. Self-service libraries not only realize new concepts, models, and approach on service innovations, which facilitate the cultural life of the citizens, but also they are of great significance both in strengthening the dignity, building up a modern and international city with developed cultural industry as well as establishing a city of libraries.
As the basic cultural facilities of Shenzhen, Shenzhen Library is not only a palace of knowledge for citizens’ life-long education, but also a significant symbol of connotation and quality of Shenzhen culture. High level reference and information services are provided for government decision-making, economic development, scientific and technological innovation, and academic research in Shenzhen Library. Shenzhen Library is now trying its best towards the objective of promoting the strategy of "City of Libraries" and becoming a centre of the citywide library network.