Located on the eastern side of the HEU campus, the library consists of six floors above the ground and one basement floor with a total area of about 50,000 square meters. The architecture consists of a square central area with two symmetrical circular arches on two sides. The collection area is composed of borrowing stacks, reading stacks and compact stacks. In addition, the periodical area consists of reading rooms for current or past journals and bound journals. Also, there is a digital reading area, which includes an electronic reading room, a multi-function reading room and WIFI zones. Furthermore, there are common areas for reading, and other areas that can be reserved for discussions, lesson preparation, multi-media presentations and reports, with almost 5,000 seats available in all.
The library is rich in its collection of documents, with equal emphasis on the collection of books in physical and digital forms, with full coverage in natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, giving particular stress to shipping, ocean exploration and nuclear science and related fields, which contributes to both the comprehensiveness and specialty of the HEU library while offering solid and immediate support to the teaching and research of the staff. Currently, HEU has more than 2,100,000 books in all and subscribes to 1,300 different periodicals in both Chinese and foreign languages each year. It is also easy to get access to 52 research databases like SCI, EI, Elsevier, CNKI in both Chinese and foreign languages.
The library provides services like searches of both Chinese and foreign books as well as periodical catalogs, personal reading records, book reservation, renewing and recommendation. Some books come with CDs. Retrieval and downloading of information from these and from other multimedia resources is made possible through HRBEU Library Nonbook Resource Management Platform. In addition to the regular books borrowing service, the library also offers consultation, science and technology novelty search, citation certificate, documents delivery, interlibrary borrowing, training and other services for readers. Moreover, courses in information retrieval, information analysis and prediction, etc are open to the graduate and undergraduate.
Harbin Engineering University Library has grown from the 270,000 books of the PLA Military Engineering Institute.As HEU developed, the library extended its collection, so that by 1990 the total number of books exceeded 3,000,000. Since the 1990s, HEU has been subject to strategic expansion and adjustment in layout. As a result, there has been a significant development in the size and types of library resources, resulting in comprehensive literature information resources in key disciplines. By the end of 2006, the number of books in the library collection was about 1.6045 milliuon, with 2,431 newspapers and periodicals.
The Library adapted to the rapid advancement of electronic and online services by vigorously strengthening its electronic collection, whilst continuing to focus on its print resources. After 2002, the library adjusted its procurement policy, with the result that the budget for electronic resources increased year on year. At the same time, the emphasis shifted from Chinese only databases to a balanced collection of Chinese and foreign databases and from prestige journal artcles to multiple document types.
The library always keeps in mind the need to manage its information resources around the disciplines and specialities, the curriculum and research needs of HEU, striving to achieve the optimal allocation of resources. There is a particular emphasis on the development of specialized professional collections in the shipbuilding industry, marine equipment, marine development and nuclear energy application.
By the end of 2013, the library enjoys 3.0446 million copies in literature resources (including departments), of which 2.1149 million copies are printed books, 929,700 copies are electronic books. There are 58 databases, of which 22 are Chinese ones, and 36 foreign ones. We have 1,463 printed newspapers and magazines, including 1,376 kinds of newspapers in Chinese, and 87 in foreign languages.