Book exchange has been a frequent activity of Shanghai Library. So far 122 libraries and 22 information institutes worldwide are carrying out uninterrupted exchanges of library materials with Shanghai Library.
In 2002, Shanghai Library initiated an international publicity project called the "Window of Shanghai", which is based on the exchange business, seeking further cooperation with overseas libraries, which either have friendship relationships with Shanghai Library or are located in the sister cities of Shanghai. In August 2003, the first "Window of Shanghai" was unveiled in the Sormani Biblioteca of Milan, the Italian sister city of Shanghai.
The rest of the year saw another two "Windows of Shanghai" opened at Tampines Regional Library of the National Library of Singapore and Russia State Library.
In 2004 five more "Windows of Shanghai" were established in Bibliotheca Alexandrina of Egypt, National Library of Cuba, National Library of Czech Republic, The Hague Public Library of the Netherlands and Gottingen State & University Library of Germany.
And in 2005, Bibliotheque de Montreal of Canada, Cork City Library of Irland, Bibliothèque municipale de Lyon of France, Durban City Library of South Africa, Voivodeship and City Public Library in Gdanskof Poland and City Library of Zagreb and Croatia have hitherto been home to "Window of Shanghai".
The local Chinese residents can therefore read more new books published in China. Also foreign readers can learn more about China's historical and cultural traditions, as well as the social and economic progress after the country implementing the reform and opening-up policy in the late 1970s.
The "Window of Shanghai" has been increasingly involved in the large-scale bilateral events between Shanghai and her sister cities all over the world. At the end of 2004 Shanghai Library proposed a motion to the local government to formalize the "Window of Shanghai" as a sustainable foreign publicity project at a city level. Shanghai Foreign Affairs Office, a.k.a. SFAO, the municipal government agency dealing with the international relations, reviewed the motion carefully and decided to work with Shanghai Library on the project. With financial and administrative support from the government, the "Window of Shanghai" is expected to be more frequently included as a part of friendship agreements between Shanghai and her sister cities in respect to the cooperation and exchange in the future.
The "Window of Shanghai" usually contains about 800~1000 volumes of Chinese, English and Chinese-English books donated by the Shanghai Library, on the subject of Chinese history, literature, economy and culture. More books (100~200 volumes) will be supplemented every year. The books in the "Window of Shanghai" can be shelved and displayed in a special reading room, or on the open shelves in the public reading area, with labels showing "The Window of Shanghai".
Mr. Chen Xuyan: email@example.com
Ms. Shen Hong: firstname.lastname@example.org
Shanghai Library, 1555 Huai Hai Zhong Lu, Shanghai 200031, China